The rain and cold weather wern't enough to drown out the outpouring of affection for Dave and Crystal Callum at Lone Wolf on Saturday night. On Sept. 8, the scheduled fun tournament was cancelled, but a dinner and party was still held in Lone Wolf’s outdoor tent for Callum, the club’s longtime general manager whose last day is Wednesday, Sept. 12.
More than 50 people came out to say their goodbyes, share their favourite story about Callum, enjoy a prime rib meal and dance to the music of Adam Winn.
“People leave jobs. You don’t usually throw them a party like this, but it shows the fun, family friendly culture we’ve created here and I’m happy that so many people came out,” Callum said.
The night featured many people close to the Callums and a part of the course sharing their thoughts and how great it’s been getting to know Callum over the 10 years he’s been there. As well, junior golfers Jarrett Lawson and Jakob Simpson presented Callum with a junior golf medal, and the course staff presented him with a framed picture. The picture included the phrase, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.” Callum almost teared up when the quote was read allowed and was clearly emotional.
L.J. Lawson has been the marketing and events coordinator at Lone Wolf for two years, but was a member and a part of the executive long before that and has been able to see the change in the course and its culture since Callum joined Lone Wolf.
“It’s amazing. Anyone who golfed here before Dave came knows it’s nowhere near the same. From course conditions to service, the restaurant and tournament experiences, it’s just become a great place to be,” she said.
Callum announced his resignation back on Aug. 14, and that he would be taking over as the general manager of the Fort McMurray Golf Club, where he begins working on Sept. 17. He said the 14th was both a good day and an awful day. Callum said he felt those around the course were sad to see him go but happy for he and his wife at the same time.
“I’m happy for him but sad for us. This was Dave’s vision, he was the spark. We hope it’s now bred in everyone here to keep us on track, and hopefully whoever comes next has the passion to keep it going,” said Lawson.
Callum said he’s excited at the opportunity in front of him, but it’s scary at the same time. The Fort McMurray Golf Club is a popular course, but one facing a lot of challenges. The transition into a newly built clubhouse will begin shortly, and the course recently added a third nine.
Callum will also be moving from a municipally owned course to a privately owned one, where he’ll report to a board of directors, whose focus will be solely on the course, and Callum is excited to work in that environment.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.