History of Norfolk Island Golf Club
Correspondence regarding the construction of a golf course began in 1926, however there must have been an earlier course as it was reported to be “Practically on the same course as those of the former club”. The previous course was possibly constructed in the 1910’s or early 1920’s.
Golf on Kingston Links Course (known as Garrison Farm during the convict days) first commenced in 1913 when Lottie Stephenson drove a golf ball down the first fairway on what was then called Elliot Links, named after Captain C.S. Elliot who was born in 1854 and appointed Chief Magistrate 1907. He had served with the Royal Navy, from which he retired with the rank of Captain, and the Coast Guards, where he ranked as Commander. Captain Elliot was in charge of the island when evictions took place on Quality Row and as feelings ran high at this time, his popularity suffered accordingly. His successor was Mr M Vincent Murphy J.P. who had long been associated with the island as Government Surveyor and had been Officer in Charge of Norfolk Affairs since 1906.
In 1913 the office of Chief Magistrate was combined with that of Administrator and Mr. Murphy was the first person to serve in both capacities. He was appointed to office by the Governor of New South Wales and continued after the island was accepted into the Commonwealth in 1914.
Lottie Stephenson on the first fairway circa 1913 Golf on Norfolk Island in the 1940's
Norfolk pine plantation occurred during the early 1950’s in order to “beautify and prevent sand from encroaching on the Pasturage Reserve”, according to the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Conservation Management Plan 1988.
From 1913, during the First World War, golf ceased to be played and it wasn’t played again until 1927 when Mr. Alex Carr played a major role in it’s recommencement. This is when the first official records were recorded. Alex was also associated with a golf course laid out in the Longridge area of the Island at the time. Golf again ceased on Norfolk during the Second World War from 1942 to 1945.
The area of the golf course is also known as the Point Hunter Reserve. So unique are the Island’s customs and laws that the golf course is classified as a “common area”. This meant that livestock were permitted to roam freely on the course necessitating protective fences around each green so cattle could not enter and destroy those areas. On 17th September 1986 approval was finally obtained from local Government to remove livestock from this “common area”.
Golf Course Site and Structures
Norfolk Island Golf Club is located within the World Heritage Listed KAVHA (Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historical Area). The clubhouse and Pro Shop are situated within the original Stipendiary Magistrate’s Residence on the Northern Side of the property. The following is based from a KAVHA Archaeological report describes the history of the building:
1897: Pro Shop and Clubhouse
Phase 1. 1845 – 1855
The site was cleared for building from July to September 1845. No detailed records of its construction have come to light to date. It was ready for occupation by the Stipendiary Magistrate in 1847. The building was built as a first class quarters befitting a stipendiary magistrate. It has a wide frontage and its view is not interfered with by the street. The outbuilding, or annex, was given separate rooms for cooking and for baking.
Phase 2. 1856 – 1908
In 1856 the Pitcairn Islanders took possession of the various habitable
structures at Kingston. The Stipendiary Magistrate’s Quarters fell by
lot to William Quintal, and his thrice married wife, Maria Christian.
On the 26th of September 1895, Sarah Harriet Selwyn Quintal, the
second youngest daughter of William and Maria Quintal, married
Fairfax Moresby Mitchell Quintal. Evidently, they set up house here
with the aged William Quintal.
During the infamous Evictions of 1908, contemporary accounts report
that Fairfax Quintal’s family had been evicted. The licence records
show that Sarah was considered the rightful candidate to hold the
licence for the house, being the “daughter of William Quintal, an
original Pitcairner”. Sarah, no doubt with the full approval of Fairfax,
refused to sign the lease and as a result were evicted. The outcome
of this conflict was that the whole structure, along with other buildings
along Quality Row, were burned to the ground one night in 1908.
Phase 3. 1908 – 1930
The structure and site during this period was suffered to remain unimproved.
Phase 4. 1931 – 1973
The first lease was made out on 1/1/1931 for a term of ten years at five pounds per annum. The lease was renewed after expiry but from 31/8/1944 to 31/12/1946 the rent was suspended by Administration “for Military Affairs”. After this the Golf Club held an exclusive lease. The main building and the annex remained as ruins until 1973.
Phase 5. 1974 – Present
Plans for rebuilding the Golf Club were made in 1971 and the raising of
funds was commenced. The reconstruction of the ruin was largely
modeled on the recent reconstructions of No’s 5 and 8 Quality Row.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second along with Prince Philip,
Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips visited the restored clubhouse
in February 1974 and there is a plaque and framed signed guest book
commemorating this occasion located in the clubhouse today.
The Golf Pro Shop located in the northern section of the building has
recently (2013) undergone renovations which included removing the
plaster board and exposing the original stone walls.
1897 - William Quintal's residence which is now the clubhouse and pro shop
Plaque located on surrounding wall of Norfolk Island Golf Clubhouse
Plaque located in clubhouse commemorating Queen Elizabeth's visit to the Norfolk Island Golf Club in 1974