Tributes paid to late barrier-breaking golfer Conrad Henry
The legacy of late barrier-breaking golfer Conrad Henry was honoured during the Ocean View Golf and Country Club’s annual memorial service on Sunday.
Tributes were paid to Henry who was largely instrumental in bringing about significant change in the policy of the Bermuda Golf Association.
The association was originally made up of clubs, which Ocean View was excluded from at the time.
As a result, Henry was denied the opportunity to compete in the Eisenhower Invitational Tournament after his request for invitation was turned down.
“Conrad went to the Bank of Bermuda to see a lawyer by the name of Mr James Pearman who was president of the BGA to ask him for an invitation to play in the tournament,” Cheryl-Lynne Thompson, the Ocean View president, said.
“He said that we were not members of the association and he could not give him an invite.
“About a year went by and the BGA had a tournament which Butch Lindo won.
“Butch was a member of Riddell’s Bay then. It was a publicised event, which infuriated Conrad.”
Lindo was declared as Bermuda’s best golfer, which Henry disagreed with as he felt that a large percentage of the best golfers were at Ocean View and were not allowed to compete.
Along with late golfer Eardley Jones, Henry voiced his concerns publicly during a live debate broadcast over the radio airwaves. The BGA later recognised the separation and conceded that it was not right for the association to be represented by clubs.
The BGA subsequently called a special meeting, which Ocean View was invited to attend.
“Sometime later the club received an invitation from the BGA stating that they wanted to revamp the structure and would like to have two representatives from Ocean View attend their meeting,” Thompson added.
Late Ocean View president Hubert Smith and Henry attended on the club’s behalf.
“While Ocean View were only allowed to bring two representatives, the other clubs; Belmont, Riddell’s Bay, Castle Harbour and Mid Ocean, had a host of people representing their clubs,” Thompson said.
“He [Henry] still did not feel comfortable with the direction of the situation.
“However, he listened to the intent, which was for BGA to include Ocean View to become BGA members and invite them to sit on various committees.
“The club members were pleased with the progress. Some of the members became very involved in the committees and subsequently were able to contribute to the development of the BGA.
“That was the beginning of the BGA including Ocean View Golf Club and changing the structure of the club membership from club to individual affiliation.
“Henry stated that if people knew the origin of Ocean View and the struggles, it would not only compliment the former member, but help us to want to continue and to be a part of the improvements.”
Late golfer Gilbert “Butch” Lindo later became one of the first Portuguese members of Ocean View after the club was integrated.
Henry passed away in January in his 85th year.