Teeing off for a good cause

Bishop Dooley tees off

by Jeff Dillon

What more could a person ask for? Mass on Sunday morning and a round of golf in the afternoon, supporting a great cause that is promoted by the Nano Nagle Charitable Trust (NNCT) in Dunedin.

So it proved to be on the first Sunday in March, when the Dunedin Catholic parishes golf event, sponsored by Bishop Michael Dooley, was held at the St Clair golf course on a cloudy but pleasant afternoon.

The event was organised by LeeAnn Henry, a member of the Nano Nagle Fund Raising Group (NNFRG), and was advertised as an Ambrose, with teams of four with handicaps added together and then divided by 8 to get the team handicap.

Bishop Michael Dooley (centre, standing) at the ’19th hole’.

The clergy was represented by Bishop Dooley and by vicar general Fr Gerard Aynsley. The rest of the field was made up of interested parishioners from throughout the Dunedin area. There was a choice of playing 18 holes or just 9 holes. There were 28, mainly handicap players, who chose to play the full round, while about 12 players, who mainly had limited experience of golf, played just 9 holes.

The afternoon was an enjoyable experience. While there were certainly a few Irish names in the field, no one was prepared to say there were any Mulligans (a stroke replayed from the original spot without penalty). At least no one was prepared to confess officially to having committed the cardinal sin in golf.

NNCT committee members were on hand to ensure that participants had the opportunity to partake in a number of raffles once they returned to the clubhouse and sat down at the 19th.

Bishop Dooley officiated at the drawing of the raffles and in presenting the prizes.

The afternoon proved to be a very successful money-raiser, with just on $1300 raised through the golf and the raffles. This has been a useful boost to finances in a year where the normal NNCT fund-raising efforts have been affected by complications to do with the pandemic.

This year, and in future years, the money raised by this event will go to further the work of the NNCT, which helps to support some students in the Catholic school system who face financial challenges.

The NNCT has its financial year from April to March. As an example of what the trust support means, during this last difficult year they had distributions in July and December, 2020, which supported 55 children who met the criteria throughout New Zealand, with grants totalling $38,499 to help them stay at, and receive an education at, a Catholic school.

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