Smithers golf course memorial bench program nears capacity

The bench on the #1 tee box memorializes Victor Zavaduk. (Thom Barker photo)The bench on the #1 tee box memorializes Victor Zavaduk. (Thom Barker photo)
The bench on the #9 tee box memorializes Mike Parrish. (Thom Barker photo)The bench on the #9 tee box memorializes Mike Parrish. (Thom Barker photo)
The bench on the number 16 tee box memorializing George “Fairway George” Anderson, is one of only two on the course, along with #17 (Andy Malbeuf) that is light-grey rather than cedar-coloured. (Thom Barker photo)The bench on the number 16 tee box memorializing George “Fairway George” Anderson, is one of only two on the course, along with #17 (Andy Malbeuf) that is light-grey rather than cedar-coloured. (Thom Barker photo)
The bench on the #18 tee box memorializes Manson KennedyThe bench on the #18 tee box memorializes Manson Kennedy
The bench by the clubhouse memorializing Ken “Zippy” Zimmer is the latest addition installed this spring. (Thom Barker photo)The bench by the clubhouse memorializing Ken “Zippy” Zimmer is the latest addition installed this spring. (Thom Barker photo)
Smithers Golf and Country Club layout. (SGCC graphic)Smithers Golf and Country Club layout. (SGCC graphic)

The Smithers Golf and Country Club (SGCC) is a community treasure in a lot of ways.

Originally built in the 1930s and expanded to 18 holes in the 1980s, the course is a picturesque gem nestled in forest under the majestic view of Hudson Bay Mountain.

Katlhyn Creek features prominently on seven of the eighteen holes and the course teems with wildlife from waterfowl to deer.

In the spring, summer and fall, in addition to golfers, community members walk the myriad paths and kids wile away lazy afternoons fishing in the numerous ponds.

This summer, following a wildly popular and successful winter path clearing program that saw many people and their dogs use the course for recreation, the executive has opened up a pilot program allowing people to walk their furry friends Monday and Wednesday mornings.

If successful, the program could be expanded.

The SGCC is also home to a junior program that is the envy of the Northwest due to the efforts of tireless volunteers and affordable memberships.

And, of course, there is the biannual Celebrity Golf Tournament that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities over the years.

One of the lesser-known features of the course, perhaps, is the memorial bench program. For roughly $2,200, the cost of the bench and a plaque, the club will install a bench memorializing lost loved ones.

Currently, 17 benches grace the links. The latest, installed this spring by the clubhouse, honours Ken “Zippy” Zimmer.

Spots for the benches are available on a first-come, first-served basis and although there are only a couple of remaining tee boxes (#12 and #14) groundskeeper Murray Grasdal says there are a few other places on the course where benches may yet be installed.

With space running out for benches, though, the club is now looking at alternatives such as a memorial tree program.

They are also going to rebuild the gazebo that used to stand behind the 14th tee box between the 13th and 15th greens and offer the community the opportunity to memorialize loved ones with a plaque inside.

HOLE #1, TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 317 yards, 11th handicap

Ladies’ Par 4, 297 yards, 13th handicap

IN MEMORY OF VICTOR ZAVADUK

1931 – 2016

HOLE #2 FORWARD TEE BOX

Men’s Par 5, 514 yards, 3rd handicap

Ladies’ Par 4, 386 yards, 1st handicap

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

DOREEN ELSIE WILSON (1935-2003)

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US

HOLE #3 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 296 yards

Ladies’ Par 4, 286 yards

In honor of Chris George

He loved, laughed & golfed

Oct. 25th, 1967 to Feb 2018

HOLE #4 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 3, 156 yards, 15th handicap

Ladies’ Par 3, 134 yards, 9th handicap

IN MEMORY OF ISLA ANDERSON

FEBRUARY 1947 TO SEPTEMBER 2012

HOLE #5 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 406 yards, 7th handicap

Ladies’ Par 5, 396 yards, 17th handicap

IN MEMORY OF

WILLIAM STEWART PALMER 1922 – 2009

EVER REMEMBERED EVER LOVED

HOLE #6 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 430 yards, 1st handicap

Ladies’ Par 5, 402 yards, 15th handicap

IN MEMORY OF MARGARET DAVIDSON JULY 26/1935 TO NOV. 9/12

AFTER GOD MADE MARGARET HE THREW AWAY THE MOLD

DONATED FOR HER LONG SERVICE TO THE LADIES GOLF CLUB

SHE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

HOLE #7 FORWARD TEE BOX

Men’s Par 5, 520 yards, 5th handicap

Ladies’ Par 4, 310 yards, 3rd handicap

IN MEMORY OF

HAROLD McGIBBON

1936 – 2013

“LIVE LOVE LAUGH”

HOLE #8 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 3, 352 yards, 17th handicap

Ladies’ Par 3, 291 yards, 7th handicap

ELZO (AL) BRUINTJES 1935 – 2019

A GREAT HUSBAND, DAD, OPA AND FRIEND.

AL APPRECIATED ALL THE GOOD THINGS IN LIFE,

GOLF WAS ONE OF THEM, SG&CC MEMEBER 47 YEARS

HOLE #9 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 156 yards, 9th handicap

Ladies’ Par 3, 139 yards, 11th handicap

IN LOVING MEMORY OF MIKE PARRISH

JAN. 21, 1936 – SEPT. 24, 2012

DEVOTED HUSBAND, FATHER AND GRANDFATHER.

SERVED ON THE GOLF CLUB EXECUTIVE FROM 1988 TO 1995

HOLE #9 GREEN

GORDON STUART HETHERINGTON

1923-2017

LIFETIME SMITHERS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB MEMBER

‘COME, SIT AND REST AWHILE WITH ME’

HOLE #10 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 285 yards, 16th handicap

Ladies’ Par 4, 267 yards, 10th handicap

AGNES ADOMEIT (MATHEWS) 1924-2016

ALTHOUGH A PAST WINNER OF NUMEROUS GOLF TOURNAMENTS

INCLUDING THE NORTHERN OPEN AND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

SHE REFERRED TO THE GAME SHE LOVED AS “OH SHIT”!

HOLE #11 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 3, 181 yards, 8th handicap

Ladies’ Par 3, 129 yards, 18th handicap

In Loving Memory of Harold Edward Palmer

April 28, 1934 – March 18, 2020

“Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the

universe is unfolding as it should” -Desiderata

HOLE #13 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 375 yards, 10th handicap

Ladies’ Par 4, 365 yards, 8th handicap

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

CARL AND SALLY SANDBERG

ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER IN OUR THOUGHTS

HOLE #15 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 5, 527 yards, 6th handicap

Ladie’s Par 5 403 yards, 14th handicap

IN MEMORY OF JIM GOODACRE

1925 – 2010

HOLE #16 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 3, 196 yards, 12th handicap

Ladies’ Par 3, 175 yards, 12th handicap

In Memory of George Anderson

October 24th, 1930

August 21st, 2011

“Fairway George”

HOLE #17 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 5, 540 yards, 4th handicap

Ladies’ Par 5, 511 yards, 4th handicap

In loving memory of Andy Malbeuf

1967 – 2017

Always Loved Never Forgotten Forever Missed

Go Habs Go

HOLE #18 TEE BOX

Men’s Par 4, 335 yards, 18th handicap

Ladies’ Par 4, 308 yards, 16th handicap

IN LOVING MEMORY OF MANSON KENNEDY 1953-2014

BELOVED HUSBAND AND FATHER, DEAR FRIEND

AND GOLF COMPANION. ALL HE WANTED WAS A BENCH,

HAVE A SEAT AND ENJOY THE MOMENT

HOLE #19 (CLUBHOUSE)

In memory of our friend

Ken “Zippy” Zimmer

Member of the Chicken Creek Gang

and long time member of the SGCC