The MGA TMA Timber Industry Golf Day farewelled a good friend and welcomed a lot of fun.

Sixty players wheeled their golf bags onto the greens of Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club in early October for the MGA TMA Timber Industry Golf Day.

As well as the traditional aims of playing 18 holes and catching up with friends and colleagues, this year glasses were raised in fond memory of Martin Pretty, who had for many years run the event on behalf of the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo before his death in May.

Though, as Richard Hill from Hazelwood & Hill comments, “Technically, it was the Hoo-Hoo Golf Day, but really it was just Martin running the golf day. He didn’t play golf, but he loved the socialising and loved the people in the timber industry, so it was all about catching up with everyone.”

The day had been in the process of transitioning to MGA TMA management over the past couple of years, so this year’s event went smoothly, but Pretty’s absence was definitely felt. “We spoke a few words about Martin,” Hill says, “which was lovely. Everybody had a good cheer for him and hopefully he heard it up there. Everyone missed him, because he was the lynch pin of the Golf Day for so long.

“Martin was fantastic at knowing everybody. I missed him particularly on the day, because I’m one of those people who’s good at faces, hopeless at names. I’d say ‘Martin!’ and he’d look up and tell me the name of the person walking towards us.”

His legacy was in good hands as Ann Sanfey and the rest of the MGA TMA team ran a smooth event that featured awards, a raffle and a lot of laughter over the prize giving. Money was raised for two charities: Reach, a youth-led organisation that helps build resilience skills in young people, and the Australian Terminal Cancer Foundation.

The team from Bayswood Timber Wholesalers were the winners on the day, with Dahlsens Building Centres coming second and National Forest Products third. The Mathews Timber team were given the NAGA award which stands for… let’s just say it was the team that had the worst luck but possibly the most fun on the day. Three Nearest The Pin awards were handed out: to George Kovits for the 10th hole, Mark Glover for the 15th and Doug Maxwell on the 19th. Similarly, the three Longest Drive prizes went to Goran Runje for the 4th hole and Rohan Lane for the 14th and 18th.

AB Phillips sponsored the $40,000 hole in one prize on the 19th hole, which sadly wasn’t won. The major raffle prize was a $500 Drummond Golf gift voucher, won by Simon Surridge from Dahlsens.

Sponsors AB Phillips General Insurance, Lonza Wood Protection, Britton Timbers and Bowens Timber & Hardware as well as corporate partners First Super, Flexi Capital and One Forty One were integral to the success of the day. Plans are already afoot for next year’s event to be bigger and better.

The Golf Day isn’t the last of Pretty’s legacy to the Victorian timber industry, he also bequeathed an extensive archive.

“He was a great history buff,” says Hill. “He kept all the old files and his wife, Heather, has passed it on to me. There’s boxes and boxes and it’s like a dossier of every timber yard there ever was over the last 70 years in Victoria, it’s incredible.

“We’re in the middle of deciding where things are going: it might be archived at TMA or Hoo-Hoo, some of it’s being sent up to Canberra to the University so they can keep hold of it properly.

“It’s worth something to the industry, so we’re figuring out which is the best home for it. We’ll let everyone know once we’ve made some decisions.”

Image: the Bayswood Timber Wholesalers team were overall winners