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  • Ron Heesen: Well done Peter. There is no question that Gordon’s lifelong dedication to the profession of...
  • Jerry Coldiron: Good stuff Gord, thanks for sharing… and count on a note for John. It would be awesome if most...
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Archive for October, 2010

The Brotherhood of Superintendents

And, I must hasten to add that it includes the sisters that are joining our group in ever-increasing numbers. Colonel Morley, our founder in 1926, realized the importance of fellowship and mutual support and it has been so ever since.

In my travels to many different countries, I have sought out superintendents and enjoyed their company because we have this common bond that immediately removes barriers. We speak of the grass, the golf course, green committees and whatever else comes to mind relating to our work.  In the process we learn from each other and become strengthened through mutual support.

We speak of the grass, the golf course, green committees and whatever else comes to mind relating to our work.  In the process we learn from each other and become strengthened through mutual support.

Recently a fellow superintendent in the Greater Toronto Area, a young man in his mid forties, a man with a wife, a daughter going to college and a house with a mortgage, was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctors tried all manner and means to cure the sickness with medication and chemotherapy but to no avail. During this period he could still function and perform his superintendent’s duties normally. As a last resort the hematologists decided that the only option left was a bone marrow transplant. At that point, he had to turn his superintendent duties over to his assistant.

In early July, John Trelford entered Prince Margaret Hospital in downtown Toronto, the main cancer hospital in the province and about sixty  miles from where he lives. He has been in and out of the hospital ever since, often staying overnight in a nearby hotel and always with his wife at his side. One of the owners of the club where he works picks up the hotel bills.

In the meantime, the brotherhood of superintendents and several others have come forth and raised thousands of dollars to assist a needy colleague. While his medical expenses were fully covered by our provincial health insurance system, there were many additional costs that were not.

The recovery has been slow and there have been occasional setbacks, but he expects to get back to work next spring. I firmly believe that the support and encouragement he received from the brotherhood of superintendents and the industry as a whole have been (and continue to be) an important factor in his recovery.

If you wish to send John a note of encouragement you can contact him at j.trelford@sympatico.ca or leave a message on the message board at www.friendsofjohntrelford.com.  Contributions are welcome as well. As his website states, “Skip one case of beer, a few bottles of wine or a dinner out this month and donate that money to ease the financial burden and stress on John and his family…”

* * * * *

A few years ago, a prominent Wisconsin superintendent, Wayne Otto, CGCS, lost his battle with cancer. It shocked his friends into action.  They started the Wee-One Foundation – aptly named because Wayne Otto was small of stature but large of spirit – as a tribute to their friend but also to raise money to help superintendents all across America who have incurred overwhelming medical expenses beyond which insurance would cover.  This was very much in the spirit of the brotherhood that I have been talking about. The Wee One Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help superintendents in need, not just in Wisconsin but far and away beyond.

Visit their website and make a donation to help a colleague in need.   http://www.weeone.org/