Bill Stephens tees off for the last time in the John and Celia Stephens Memorial Tournament at Smithers Golf and Country Club June 8. (Thom Barker photo)

Bill Stephens says goodbye to parents’ memorial tourney

The John and Celia Stephens Memorial Tournament has been played for 42 years

It was with mixed feelings that Bill Stephens teed off for the last time at the John and Celia Stephens Memorial Tournament June 8.

Named in memory of Bill’s parents, the Ladies Night event, inaugurated in 1980 after John passed away unexpectedly in 1979 at the age of 54, has been played annually for 42 years.

It was renamed to include Celia when she passed away in 1993 at age 65.

Bill said on the one hand the tournament means everything to him, but on the other hand, since he is moving away it will be his last.

The nine-hole 2021 edition of the tournament was a stroke-play event. Rhonda Ward took home the top prize of a $100 gift certificate at the pro shop courtesy of the Stephens family for her field-topping low net score of 30.

READ MORE: Guide to the memorial benches at the Smithers Golf and Country Club

The overall low gross winner was Trudy Schatz with a score of 44. She received a $60 gift certificate at Alpine Plant World.

John Stephens was an accomplished golfer, who won numerous tournaments including two Northern Men’s Opens and multiple Club Championships. He is credited with bringing grass greens to the Smithers Golf and Country Club, served as president and taught the juniors.

Celia also became heavily involved in the golf club serving as treasurer for many years. Until her own death, she awarded the trophy, a tradition that was taken over by the kids, Bill, Jim and/or Sarah.



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Bill Stephens tees off for the last time in the John and Celia Stephens Memorial Tournament at Smithers Golf and Country Club June 8. (Thom Barker photo)

Bill Stephens tees off for the last time in the John and Celia Stephens Memorial Tournament at Smithers Golf and Country Club June 8. (Thom Barker photo)