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Engineering Golfing Society celebrates centenary

Michael Lunt, late captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club joined distinguished representatives of the engineering professions to celebrate the centenary of the Engineering Golfing Society in May.

The Engineering Golfing Society president Colin McKee and captain Archie Harrison welcomed golfers and guests to the Centenary Dinner of at Woking Golf Club by on Friday 18 May.

The dinner followed a great day's golf with 56 members and eight guests playing Woking's beautifully prepared Tim Simpson-designed heathland course. They played for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals specially struck for the day and donated by Captain Archie Harrison.

Distinguished guests included Michael Lunt, late captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and Sir Colin Saxby, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

The Society has a long association with Woking Golf Club having first played there in 1909 in a match against the Bar Golfing Society and has held meetings there regularly ever since.
The Woking captain, David Monks joined the Society for dinner as did Dr Bob Long, captain of Hunstanton Golf Club, another close golfing association.

A further link with the past was provided by the presence of Alexander Kennedy, great grandson of our founding president, Sir Alexander Kennedy, who was at the time president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Alexander is himself a prominent engineer having been a partner of Kennedy & Donkin, the firm founded by his great grandfather.

The evening proceedings were started with drinks on the terrace lit by the evening sun and overlooking the golf course. Michael Lunt wearing the scarlet uniform of the Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club stood out against the more sombre black and white formal wear of the members and the rest of their guests; many wearing their honour medals.

All were led by the president and captain into a sumptuous dinner after group photographs were taken, the photographer having to climb onto the clubhouse roof to obtain the best view.

In his welcoming speech Colin McKee said "how proud we are to have Michael Lunt with us, a much sought after figure in the world’s golfing fraternity and from the engineering institutions; Sir Robin Saxby, President, Engineering and Technology, Douglas Oakervee, a Past President of the Civils, and John McDougall, a past President of the Mechanicals".

He pointed out that these guest represented the society's original qualifying Institutions "albeit our members are now drawn from all the chartered engineering bodies".

He also mentioned "that having been to the recent Leonardo da Vinci exhibition he had seen drawings of that great engineer which he believed were of a golf swing without a golf club! Perhaps Dan Brown unsuccessfully searched for a gold box when he should have been looking for the holy grail of a very special golf swing."

Michael Lunt in proposing the toast of the EGS said: "Society golf represents about 30% of golf clubs income and is being increasingly targeted by marketing programmes. The Engineering Golfing Society was a pioneer in the form of golf and its existence focuses on the success and pleasure through golf enjoyed by your chartered engineering members".

He finished by presenting a silver salver from the R & A as a prize for a future competition.

The captain responded "that only a few golfing societies had made it this far - the Bar, the London Stock Exchange, the London Solicitors and the Chartered Surveyors among the prominent. He recalled that the earliest document of the EGS was a letter to editors of the engineering magazines of the day and the Times inviting contact from "Gentlemen desirous of becoming members of the Society"."

John Wild, past president of the English Golf Union, spoke on behalf of the guests, entertaining the company with a dry Lancastrian wit on playing and administering golf.

The proceedings were wrapped up by "A letter from America" presented by our foremost American member, Ken DeGhetto, sometime chairman and managing director of Foster Wheeler in the UK.
During his stay in Britain he became not only a Fellow of the Mechanicals but also a member of the R & A and was captain of the Society in 1992.

He extolled the virtues of membership for up and coming Engineers for "where else could a young engineer associate with chairman and managing directors of major UK engineering firms at dinners and better yet as a golf partner. The networking opportunity cannot be found elsewhere. I cannot wait for the next Society meetings".

Prizes were presented by Michael Lunt - a task performed in shirtsleeves and to enjoy the sunshine on an immaculate golf course, precluding any excuses except those down to personal failings!
Sadly, a few days after the dinner, Michael Lunt died suddenly, a great shock for all those present and a sad loss to golf and his family.

For details of the Engineering Golfing Society contact: Michael Dunn, 01883 624083

Photographs of the evening may be viewed on the web site of Hyde End Studios

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