After more than 25 years in total at the Smithers Golf & Country Club, the Greens Superintendent is moving on.
Stephen Kerbrat has taken a new position in Campbell River and is moving to Vancouver Island with his wife to be closer to their children.
His career in the industry started at the Hirsch Creek Golf Club in Kitimat. After college he moved to Alberta before returning to B.C. and taking a job in Smithers.
He would eventually move to Prince George for 6 years before coming back to the Smithers Golf & Country Club in 1999.
Kerbrat said he will miss the people the most when he leaves next week.
“Smithers is a great community,” he added.
Club President Andrew L’Orsa said Kerbrat will be greatly missed.
“As I progressed in this position and learned it more, it become very evident that Steve is the life blood of this course,” he said. “He was the one who was showing up early and staying late. This was his baby. He made sure he did everything he could to make the season the best for the members. Always going above and beyond.”
L’Orsa added Kerbrat was very supportive of the course.
“He was instrumental in various aspects, not only just the grounds,” he added. “He also has a huge family and they all come in for tournaments, they are all very good golfers. He and his wife Fiona have been very involved in creating a culture at the course.”
Tim Veenstra has been a member since he was 15 years old and agreed Kerbrat will be missed.
“He has been a real benefit to our golf course. My boys have worked for him and he treated them really well,” he said. “There have been times he’s been out at 4 a.m. watering the greens and fixing equipment. He has spent a lot of extra hours making sure that the golf course was in immaculate shape. He would play in the Northern Open, have a few beers with the boys after and the next morning … I don’t know what time he’d be here but the pins would be out and the greens would be mowed with his work clothes on and then a few hours later he is teeing off in the tournament.”
The Club has recently hired someone from Mackenzie who will work with Kerbrat for a week to learn the ropes before he leaves next week. L’Orsa said he has big shoes to fill.
“Steve was a part of the fabric that is the golf course. It is a huge loss for him to go.”
Kerbrat has plans to come back to play and said he feels he needs to win the Northern Open one more time.