Noelene Lancaster - Keperra
Noelene Lancaster was born in 1926 and in 1958, at the age of 32, commenced playing golf at the Waratah Golf Club in NSW. This is where she had her first dabble in being on the Ladies Committee and was elected to Captain from 1961 to 1963. A few years later and a move to settle in Brisbane found her and her husband joining Keperra Country Golf Club in January 1967.
It was not long and she again took up the challenge of being a committee member and if you take a look at the Honour Board she has held the office of both Captain from 1969 to 1971 and President from 1974 to 1976 here at Keperra.
Not only did Noelene play both weekend and weekday golf, she also represented the Club in pennants. With the appointment as Captain she automatically became a delegate on the Queensland Ladies Golf Union (QLGU), a position she would hold for 31 years. During this time she continued to play golf with all her friends here at Keperra.
Whilst at the QLGU one of her early positions was on the Junior Golf Committee with a small grant of $200 and the assistance of fellow committee members they conducted the first of the Junior Camps for young junior girls at Redland Bay Golf Course, and she proudly spoke of three of their first protégés Corinne Dibnah, and Ann and Elizabeth Wilson who later went on to become professional golfers. This program is still going today and our own Rachael Thomas attended these camps as a junior.
During her 31 years on the QLGU, she was Chairperson on the Finance Sub-Committee and the Match Committee. She was Handicap Manager from 1979 to 1986. She was also on the Uniforms Committee and later on the Scratch Score and Course Rating Committee where she remained until she resigned from the QLGU in the year 2000.
Noelene attended and worked at several Country and City championships commencing in Bundaberg in 1969.
In the 1980s golf clubs were undergoing big changes. Golf Clubs obtained Government and Council grants. Money was spent upgrading courses. They were busy times. As the clubs altered their courses they wanted them rated. It had been many years since anyone had visited Queensland Country Clubs for the purpose of course rating. Over the ensuing years Noelene rated most courses throughout Queensland. It was hard work, but enjoyable, trying to equalise the Course Ratings and make the handicap system more workable on all courses. She met and stayed with Lady Committee members throughout the state, many of whom remained her very good friends right up until her death in early 2010.
In 2000 the then Prime Minister awarded the Australian Sports Medal as a one-off medal to coincide with the Sydney Olympic Games. Noelene was awarded an Australian Sports Medal for Services to Women’s Golf in Queensland. The citation was signed by John Howard Prime Minister of Australia and William Dean – Governor General on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
Noelene passed away in early 2010 and it was in 2010 that the Keperra Ladies’ Weekday -v- Weekend Challenge was officially renamed to be called the “Noelene Lancaster Weekday -v- Weekend Challenge”. The challenge was played in great spirit and on the day of competition all ladies reflected on the great contribution that Noelene Lancaster had made to ladies’ golf, both at Keperra and in Queensland, and were honoured to have been part of the challenge.