SMERGS Hall of Fame
Oration for Induction of Second Member (Click for 05 Oration)
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
3 November 2006
Ladies and fellows
You may recall that at last year’s annual dinner a new institution in the history of SMERGS was created by the self appointed Phil Stabback. That institution was the SMERGS Hall of Fame. Its sole purpose, Phil decreed, was to “recognise outstanding contributions to SMERGery”!
In founding the Hall of Fame, Phil established three criteria in determining membership, and I quote:
Participation in ordinary events, tour events and special occasions. We don’t want part timers to be in the HoF. We want committed members.
Outstanding contribution to a range of aspects of SMERGS life.
Righteousness and virtue.
Phil appointed me as the first member. Now ladies and fellows, as you can imagine I was incredibly flattered, overwhelmed, and of course humbled, by the honour bestowed upon me.
However, Phil then totally abdicated himself from any further involvement in the HoF by decreeing that only members of the HoF may induct future members. Now, as you can imagine, that has placed an almost intolerable burden upon me. I have had sleepless nights for most of the last twelve months while I ponder how to manage such an enormous responsibility. Many questions continued to race through my mind
Should an appointment me made this year? Pavlov’s Dog Theory would say that an appointment every year could lessen the reward and the incentive to strive for high achievement! But on the other hand I cannot continue to live with the burden alone so I decided a further appointment (or appointments – as the charter does not preclude multiple appointments in one year) – a further appointment will be made this year.
But then who? – for there are a number of deserving SMERGs.
You may recall that when Phil said nice things about me last year, not one mention was made of my golfing ability - now its pretty obvious why, but let’s not go there. So I thought the second inductee should be selected mainly on his ability to master the modern game.
Now of course that narrows the field markedly. Should the next member be the greatest tournament winner in SMERG history, the great Bruce Rowe, or our lowest handicapper and determined player whenever he is in Sydney, Alan O’Donovan?
No, I have picked the fellow who, right from the beginning, has inspired us most to believe that the stupid game is possible – I refer of course to Phil Stabback.
Now you might think there is an element of tit for tat or if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours in this – well of course that’s true BUT I truly believe that we would not be here tonight if it wasn’t for Phil. As a founding SMERG he would put up with idiots like me and even encourage us to keep coming back week after week. We could only admire his swing which has been copied by other great golfers like Greg Norman and Adam Scott. I still try to copy his swing but for some strange reason only end up on my back foot! In addition to his golfing prowess Phil easily meets the criteria that he set up for this prestigious award.
Phil, we will now have to decide together whether we let any other bastards in!! As is the tradition, the new appointment will be formally proclaimed on the web site.
It is now my honour to welcome Phil into the SMERGS Hall of Fame.