History of the Dunany Country Club
Dunany must be one of the very few Canadian courses that owes its inception to the imagination and enterprise of a woman. It was in 1914 - during the summer that saw the First World War begin - that Miss Katherine McRobie, then an ardent member of The Country Club of Montreal, first dropped a golf ball in the hamlet of Dunany and commenced playing there over a crudely fashioned three holes. Her best friend, Miss Catherine Campbell, later Mrs. R. H. Dumbrille, at once challenged her to a game. So golf was introduced to a section of Quebec that had been sparsely settled by emigrés from the Dunany district in what is now the Republic of Ireland. The first Trophy was competed for in 1918 and was won by Charlie Culross. The Culross Cup, now the Parkes Culross Trophy is still competed for today on Labour Day weekend – almost 100 years later!
In 1921, the property known as the Smith Farm came on to the market and was quickly purchased by an enthusiastic syndicate of twenty golfers. These were the Founding Members of The Dunany Country Club, each of whom subscribed about $50 each towards the $950 purchase price. It was an excellent buy although the Crown had sold the same land in 1870 for $76!
The Founding Members of The Dunany Country Club
G. E. Brennan
I. H. Laidley
O. C. Martin
G. C. Davis
E. H. Maw
R. H. Dumbrille
L. M. McCoy
J. A. Fish
T. D. McRobie
F. W. Hamilton
J. S. Parkes
G. K. Hodges
W. J. Patterson
J. H. Hodges
W. H. Sutherland
J. H. Kearns
E. H. Wilson
The terrain of the proposed course was well wooded, hilly and strewn with rocks, but it had enough turf for grazing animals and which held promise as potential fairways. Further there was a meandering stream and, here and there, depressions held water even in mid-summer. Thus the site appeared suitable for the founder’s purpose.
The Club was incorporated in 1922 and construction was started with trees being felled, rocks removed and fairways mowed. All was accomplished by hand with the occasional use of a team of horses. Soon it became obvious that a clubhouse, power mowers, and a watering system for the grass greens that were to replace the 'sand' greens, originally installed for economy and ease of upkeep, were essential. Raising funds became important in the 1920's, through the great depression of 1929 onwards and during the Second World War years. Dollars were found through the sales of lumber and firewood. Since then, the Club has recovered the price paid for its land several times over and thus has been able to erect various buildings including, in 1939, the present clubhouse. During this stage of development an adequate watering system was also installed and power equipment purchased.
Over the years, additional land was purchased from Melvin Boyd, the School Commissioners of the Municipality of Dunany, Leonard Gain and his wife Minnie Clifford, Blanche Janet Smith and Doug Percy and land was also donated by C. E. Richardson and Catherine McGibbon and Tony and Arlette Straessle. An anonymous member even paid for the construction of the upper parking lot – all making the DCC what it is today.
From the 1950’s on, as more cottages were built in Dunany, the membership continued to grow and many improvements to the course and facilities were undertaken. The course continues to represent the accumulated efforts and dedication of many past and present members. Extensive upgrades have been made to the club house making it a comfortable, efficient facility to enjoy our many social events. The golf course now boasts an irrigation system, larger tee areas, new greens and sand traps and continues to intrigue and challenge beginners and low handicappers alike.
The quality of the current course and facilities are due, in large part, to the vision and dedication of honourary Greens Committee Chairs and members, as well as the hard work and dedication of Dunany Golf Course Superintendents: Nat Boyd and Jim Morrison worked from 1922 to 1930, Clarence Neill for the next 46 years, a descendent of a colonizing family from Ireland, then John Cleary who was Superintendent into the late 1990’s and David Armitage who started in 1980 and became Superintendent in 1999.