A GROUP of 11 golf-mad Australians recently ventured on a trip of a lifetime to come back to Ayrshire for Scotland’s Year of Homecoming 2009.
The golfers from Ayr Golf Club in North Queensland, Australia decided to venture back to their namesake town in Scotland to play some golf, visit The Open Golf Championship at Turnberry and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.
The golfers planning began after reading an article in their local newspaper about the Homecoming year and how the Mayor of Burdekin Shire had been contacted by a Scottish Parliamentarian inviting Scottish ex-patriots or descendants from Ayr, Australia to come back to Ayrshire.
With one of their group, Jack Bloice, a Scot, able to point out the proximity of The Open at Turnberry to Ayr, plans soon came together and the trip was arranged. Hearing about their, trip the Mayor of Burdekin Shire asked the group to present a plaque to Provost Winifred Sloan of South Ayrshire Council to mark the historic link between the two towns of Ayr, and it was agreed that it would be fitting for this ceremony to take place at the Open on Homecoming day.
The 11 golfers received an official welcome on the ‘Come Back to Ayrshire’ stand from First Minister Alex Salmond who greeted each member individually. Following which, David Reguson presented the Burdekin Shire plaque to Provost Winifred Sloan, who in turn presented an Ayr plaque for the group to take back to The Mayor of Burdekin Shire, Councillor Lyn McLaughlin, along with some commemorative Ayrshire mementos.
The group also enjoyed the added bonuses of having their photographs taken with the famous Claret Jug, caps signed by Sam Torrance and Bernard Langer, a tour round the newly refurbished Turnberry Hotel and complimentary tickets to the Highland Gathering.
Provost, Winifred Sloan, said: “We are especially proud to meet the people of Ayr, Australia and welcome them to Ayrshire as part of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming. We are also delighted to showcase Turnberry, one of our finest golf courses as the venue for The Open this year to a group of dedicated and inspirational golfers.”
David Reguson of Ayr, Australia, said: “We are extremely pleased to be here in Ayrshire, Scotland to be part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations and honoured to be making this presentation to our sister town of Ayr, Scotland on behalf of our town of Ayr in Australia.
“We have been overwhelmed by the welcome and hospitality we have received in Ayrshire and meeting Scotland’s First Minister was a true honour, making this a once in a lifetime trip.”
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