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Fitting tributes to club stalwarts

16 September 2020

THE memories of Banbridge Golf Club stalwarts, Bill and Betty Beasley, are being kept alive due to generous donations by their daughters, Gillian Ward and Diane Edwards. 

The sisters have sponsored both a Bill Beasley Memorial Cup for a gents’ competition, and one of the wooden tables enabling outdoor dining under the clubhouse balcony.

Gillian and Diane were devastated to lose both their parents within five months of each other last year. 

And they decided that central to a fitting legacy for Bill and Betty should be Banbridge Golf Club. 

“The club had always been a big part of their lives,” reflected Gillian.

They came up with the idea of a silver cup for a men’s competition in memory of Bill, and dedication of a picnic table to the couple. 

The competition for the Bill Beasley Memorial Cup is due to be played later this month.

The Beasleys had a long and distinguished association with the club, including roles as captains – Bill in 1982 and Betty in 1992. 

They also had a long and happy marriage of 64 years – but were sadly parted in July 2019 with the death of Bill, followed by Betty’s death in December at Spelga Mews. 

Both natives of London, Bill and Betty settled in Banbridge in 1970 and soon became actively involved in many aspects of the local community.

Bill joined the local golf club and went on to hold many positions, from council member to competitions convenor and club captain. 

He was also both secretary and president of the Cowdy Association, and an Ulster representative of the GUI.

“Undoubtedly what dad loved to do most was play golf,” said Gillian, adding that Bill and his regular Saturday grouping of John McCartan, Desmond Beattie and Raymond White established a record for the longest playing fourball, golfing together for nearly 40 years.

Betty also immersed herself in her adopted community and followed Bill to the golf club and, besides lady captain, held various offices on the committee of the ladies’ branch and remained an active member of the club until her passing. 

“She particularly enjoyed playing mixed foursome competitions with dad, both in Banbridge and other local golf clubs,” added Gillian.

In a further family association with the club, Gillian – who has just taken early retirement as a teacher at Edenderry PS – has joined the ladies’ Get into Golf scheme and is enjoying the course and camaraderie as much as her late parents did. 

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