The following information has been gained from Eileen McSweeney’s memoirs - Eileen was Associates President of Royal Queensland Golf Club and a member of the Steering Committee formed to establish the District..
“Although 1922 saw the birth of the Queensland Ladies’ Golf Union, it was not until October 1923 that the first AGM of this body was held.
Delegates from 6 local clubs were represented, 4 of them from Royal Queensland, Brisbane, Ipswich and Sandgate.”
However, during the 1970’s, many of the country districts became very unhappy because of the perceived influence, rightly or wrongly, that the Brisbane clubs held in the Q.L.G.U. In those days, very few country delegates had the time or funds to attend meetings and had to rely on “proxies” to air their views. There is more than substantial evidence to suggest that some of the “proxies” used their position to further the fortunes of their own clubs rather than those of the club they were supposed to represent!
It is not surprising then that in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, the country Districts were established with Far North Queensland, North Queensland, Central Queensland, Wide Bay Burnett, Downs and South West and Gold Coast being created.
As the Q.L.G.U operated from Brisbane and the metropolitan clubs came under the blanket of the Q.L.G.U., it was believed that there was no need for a Brisbane District to be formed. Consequently, it was not until October 1983 that the Brisbane & District Ladies Golf Association came into being, the last of the 7 Districts in Queensland.
The problems were not all over for the Districts as the voting system to be used was on a per capita basis i.e. 1 vote for every 500 members with a minimum of 2 votes for the smaller districts and usually as much as 11 for B & D and I believe up to 7 or 8 for the Gold Coast, depending on the number of affiliated lady golfers. That meant that the Brisbane and District still had the major influence in the voting with the Gold Coast next. Therefore, if the Gold Coast and Brisbane agreed on an issue, they would out number the rest of the Districts.
However, the system seemed to work and eventually the Q.L.G.U. became W.G.Q. and Q.L.G.A. became W.G.A.
The C.E.O. of W.G.A was a lady from Ireland who was a professional golfer who came out to play in some of our tournaments and stayed. Maisey Moonie. A very intelligent lady but very strong willed.
Queensland’s system was unique and, while having some flaws, actually worked quite well. Queensland is not a “centralised” state (e.g. N.S.W. is with Sydney on the central coast, Victoria is not much bigger than the Districts in our south-east corner, S.A is mainly concentrated close to Adelaide, W.A. all around Perth, and Tasmania, a day’s drive to anywhere.
Brisbane is in the extreme south east corner of the State and far away from our northern clubs so the country clubs liked the system of being able to contact someone in their District who understood their particular problems and could give them an answer on the spot.
In about 2000, Maisey Mooney came up with the bright idea that the Clubs should be the “grass roots” of women’s golf in Australia and should have the voting power and not the Districts. She refused to consider the fact that our system in Queensland worked well and almost everyone was happy with it.
The system she espoused probably would have worked in the other states because of their demographic patterns but, as far as Queensland was concerned, why fix something if it’s not broken? If the delegate from Weipa or Mt Isa or other far flung clubs wanted to attend a W.G.Q. meeting, it would take them several days travelling time, not to mention the expense! Our District system really worked well and yet she was determined to force us into line. As has eventuated, the clubs did not really care what happened on a State or National scale and all they wanted was to play their golf.
Brisbane and District was the last of the Districts to be formed.
The first President was the late Hazel Linneman. The following ladies have also served as District Presidents but not necessarily in order as some served more than one term.
- Hazel Linneman
- Joan Dowling Oxley
- Aileen Gardiner Nudgee
- Joan Westcott Pacific
- Shirley Shardlow Redcliffe
- Margaret Otto McLeod
- Ruth Common Windaroo/Carbrook
- Wendy Horgan Victoria Park/Nudgee
- Phyllis Fourte Gailes