Rankin hosts his final Governor’s Cup
The Governor's Cup Challenge at the first golf course on the island to desegregate went ahead without a hitch despite the threat of Hurricane Paulette.
The tournament at Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire last Sunday was the last round for John Rankin, the Governor, who will leave the post at the end of the year.
Organisers said the historic event, which dates back to 1964, was “both exciting and suspense-filled — as the Governor's team had not been successful in winning the challenge since his arrival in Bermuda”.
The Ocean View team defended their title with a closely contested 11-point victory, racking up 131.5 points to Mr Rankin's team's 120.5 points, under the 21-point partner best ball format.
The Governor's Cup has close links with the downfall of racial segregation in Bermuda.
Sir Alexander Hood, Bermuda's Governor from 1949 to 1955, threw his support behind integration of the sport and presented Ocean View with the Hood trophy for an annual competition among its members.
The first competition was played in 1955 and forged close links between later governors and the club.
Sir Julian Gascoigne in 1964 started the Governor's Cup, played for by Ocean View members and a Governor's select team. Mr Rankin presented the club with a copy of Sir Julian's memoirs in 2018 in honour of the milestone in desegregation.
Mr Rankin held a cocktail party at Government House before last week's competition with a presentation of the event's history and its impact on Bermuda — highlighting the importance of passing on the torch of tradition.
Despite increased winds as Paulette loomed 230 miles southeast of Bermuda, an undaunted 48 players turned out for the match.
Fostering racial harmony was the goal behind the Hood trophy and its successor — with Ocean View the first club to allow black and Portuguese players on to its fairways.
In its early days, non-white members would play before dawn because they were expected to be off the course by daybreak.
Mr Rankin, who will leave in December, will be succeeded by Rena Lalgie, whose appointment as Bermuda's first woman and first black governor will be another turning point in the island's history.
Ocean View's members thanked Mr Rankin for “being so supportive, for the relationship that has been formed over the last four years, and more importantly, for proactively keeping the spirit of Ocean View alive”.