After two days of golf, camaraderie and torrential rains, the true winner of the Fort St. John Petroleum Association's 1st Annual Senior Oilmen's Golf Tournament was announced on the evening of Thursday, June 27.
Proceeds from the tournament, including the live auction of a painting of the 14th green donated by Jim and Audrey Anderson and taxidermy services donated by Greg Pallister, will help Lakepoint Golf and Country Club build a series of new walking bridges throughout the golf course.
"We have low-lying spots in several of the fairways," said Mike Kosick, one of the organizers of the tournament, who also lent his services as auctioneer during the dinner.
The bridges will make it easier for golfers to walk those parts of the course.
"They're going to make them all similar as the funding keeps coming in," Kosick continued. "They're going to be long-lasting. They're going to be attractive."
Darwin Pimm, the chair of the organizing committee for the event, recalled that his involvement with the Lakepoint began as a young boy, when he was picking roots on the second hole with his Boy Scouts troupe.
"To see this course emerge into what it is today, which I think is a masterpiece in the North, it's just really due to the character of the community," he said.
The bridge project continues that legacy.
"And if we can come up with another project to make this golf course a little bit better than it is today, I think we will do that," he added.
Troy Knight, the general manager at Lakepoint, remarked that the course has always received a great deal of support from the oil and gas industry in the region.
"When they were looking for something to turn the proceeds of the tournament towards, that was what we came up with for the golf course," said Knight.
"It's something that is lacking."
Knight expects that the Senior Oilmen's event will continue to contribute to the project until all seven bridges are built at a cost of between $2,000 and $3,000 per bridge.
The golfers had to slog through a rainy Wednesday for the first day of the tournament, but the weather improved considerably for the second day.
"We golfed in pretty tough conditions," said Pimm. "And at the end of the day, we scored as well yesterday as we did today. What it boils down to is we're not out here just for fun. We're still competing. Everybody in my flight competed at the highest level they possibly were capable of. There were no gimmes. They made us putt out everything. We're competitive!"
"We're still young at heart," added Kosick.
The winners of nine flights are as follows:
Championship Flight: Greg Pallister
Consolation: Paul Leblanc
First flight: Bruce Craig
Consolation: Jim Peever
Second flight: Les Hendricks
Consolation: Glen Harvey
Third flight: Darwin Pimm
Consolation: Bobby Brown
Fourth flight: Don Donis
Consolation: Rex Stromsmoe
Fifth flight: Charlie Slugget
Consolation: Stan Nyberg
Sixth flight: Ray Clark
Consolation: Neil Johnson
Seventh flight: Elmer Westergard
Consolation: Glen Pomeroy
Eighth flight: Norm Watson
Consolation: George Soule
Pimm and Kosick are confident that the new tournament will return next year and become a fixture on the Petroleum Association calendar.
"I really think the first kick-off is always a crapshoot," Pimm said of the inaugural event.
"We followed a format that we've been involved with in Edmonton for a few years," he continued. "And we scaled it down a little bit because we wanted to nail it at 72 golfers. We were hoping that we would have a few people on the waiting list, and we did have a few, but at the end of the day we got everybody in.
"It was just a wonderful opportunity for many, many people that have been in the oil industry for as many as 50 and 55 years ... to get together and come out and enjoy some good fellowship.
"A lot of them were old friends. And I know there were a few new acquaintances made this week."