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Professional to the End: Harry Hereford Passes Away

Harry Hereford (Photo: Joe McLean

Former PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone Executive Director (2000-2017) Harry Hereford passed away this morning after a lengthy battle with cancer and much like he lived his life – Harry went out on his own terms.

Current PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone Executive Director Carol Ann Baxter announced Harry’s passing in an e-mail:

“Hello Everyone,

I have just received a call from Phyllis, Harry’s wife, informing me that Harry passed away this morning. In her words “It was a blessing”.

She is finalizing the details for his service which she believes will either be this Sunday or the following Sunday.

I will forward the details when I receive them.”

Harry was honoured by his peers earlier this year at the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone Senior Championship at the Mississippi Golf Club in Appleton, Ontario.

After the conclusion of the Zone’s Senior Championship on the Flagstick.com Players Tour on Monday, August 14th, the floor was turned over to a number of friends and fellow golf professionals.

Harry has been an institution through his time with the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone and he was greeted by many of his colleagues and friends with numerous standing ovations.

Some stories were told and many more were held back because of the mixed company. Through it all, Harry, who was accompanied by his wife Phyllis, kept a smile on his face. Although he has lived the last few years in constant pain, he was pleased to be in the company of so many of his friends.

Gord Percy brought greetings from the PGA of Canada and presented him with a BOSS watch. Carol Ann Baxter presented Phyllis with a bouquet of flowers and she also announced that the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone would be making a contribution to the Arnprior Legion in Harry’s name. Zone President Greg Chambers also announced that the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone’s Teacher of the Year Award would now be re-named as the Harry Hereford Teacher of the Year Award.

Steve Hall may have summed up the emotions of many present when he talked about his friend Harry Hereford.

“I know some of them played in the Zone Senior Championship so they could be here to honor Harry Hereford who has done a lot for the Association through the years. He’s a PGA of Canada guy right down to the core and he’s been very good to me. He’s gotten me a few jobs with his recommendations which I really appreciate. I worked for Harry for a couple of years and I really appreciated the opportunity.”

Harry took centre stage to talk briefly and his tone reflected his love for his profession and the service PGA of Canada Golf Professionals provide to their members as well as the general public.

Monday, August 14th will be remembered not only for the crowning of a new PGA of Canada Senior Zone Champion, but also for the chance to honour a gentleman who has contributed so much to golf in the Ottawa Valley.

Much respect was shown to Harry Hereford for his life-long dedication to the game of golf and the PGA of Canada.

In closing, I would like to share a personal note I had sent a few weeks ago to Harry.

“Harry, I have known you since the early Gatineau days and although you had a bit of a wild side (I hear), I appreciate the dedication and professionalism you took towards your job as the Executive Director of the PGA of Canada Ottawa Zone. While there were a few who disagreed with your values, you stood firm and resolute, maintaining the values of your profession.

You have made a difference in your life sir, as I can attest. I have patterned my life on the lessons I have received from a few role models I have met.

You, sir, were one of those role models to me.

Go forward Harry with the realization that you have made a difference in your life to many.

Joe McLean”

For more on the career of Harry Hereford, a profile published in Flagstick in July, 2003 shares his story. You can find it at this link.