One of Longford Golf Club’s most prestigious trophies is now back in its possession after it was last awarded 56 years ago.
The President’s Cup was first awarded in 1948 after it was presented to the club by Joseph King, a local businessman and club member who also served as its President.
However, it went missing 11 years later and was thought to be lost forever until it appeared at an auction of antiques and collectibles in late April.
“A friend of one of the members spotted it in the auction catalogue and texted them,” explained Matt Farrell of Longford Golf Club. “The committee then decided that we would buy it back.”
A reserve of €300 was placed on the cup by Sheppard’s Irish Auction House, and though there was interest in it, no rival bids were placed once the reserve price was reached.
“Our Vice Captain, Declan Rowley, placed the bid by phone,” Mr Farrell continued. “It’ll return to the club next week.”
The first winner of the President’s Cup was Harold Turner, who claimed it in 1948, and the last name engraved on the trophy is that of Dr P McGarry, who won the President’s Prize competition in 1958.
It was awarded again one year later, although the winner’s name was not added to the cup, and it subsequently went missing.
Outlining the trophy’s background, Mr Farrell revealed it had been specially commissioned by Joseph King from famous Dublin-based silversmiths, Weir & Sons.
“Joseph King was a leading businessman in Longford at the time and he became President of Longford Golf Club in 1949. The cup was created into meet his own special design.”
Even though the cup went missing in 1959, the President’s Prize has remained one of the club’s four major annual competitions, along with the Captain’s Prize, The Hanley Match Play Competition, and the Ulster Bank Free Sub. And after its 56-year absence, the cup will once again be awarded to the winner of the competition when it takes place in July.
“It will be played for again in 2015 and the cup will presented by the club’s captain, Patrick V Fallon,” Mr Farrell explained.