Grande Meadows lost a true friend with the passing of Clayton Welsh on Friday April 29.
Condolences on behalf of all the members of Grande Meadows go out to Clayton’s wife Marjorie, his daughters Cawley and Kelli and their families.
Clayton spent his working career as a Recreation and Sports Consultant with the Provincial Government where he oversaw different aspects of sports and recreation in the province including Coaching Development and the NL contingent for the Canada Games. Sports was in his blood – he grew up with soccer in Grand Bank but when the arena opened in Marystown he began playing hockey and once Grande Meadows Golf Course opened he became a member there. As a life long Detroit Red Wings fan he loved sharng his opinion about hockey as well as other sports.
Clayton was a founding member of Grande Meadows Golf Course and volunteered in some way right from the outset of the course. He could always be called on to lend a hand. He served on the Board of Directors for over 10 years, many of which he was Chairperson of the Board.
Clayton was a family man and his family came first – most of the time! He would always juggle around his schedule so that he would be able to make every commitment. Poor Marge had the patience of Job sometimes but she did it with a smile. I think the past few years she went with the old adage, “If you can’t beat em join em!” And she came to the golf course with Clayton for every tournament since her retirement and volunteered beside him doing the scoring, helping in the kitchen or doing anything that needed to be done. For our bigger tournaments Clayton could be found on the first tee getting golfers ready to begin their round while Marje could be found on Hole # 3 as a spotter for a Hole-in-one.
Clayton was a fierce competitor in whatever sport he was playing. He gave his all every time he stepped on the soccer field or the ice surface. It didn’t matter if he was playing soccer against Bow Collier of Fortune, hockey against Kevin Brenton of Marystown or golf against me – he didn’t give an inch and he asked for none either. He didn’t hold back and he wore his heart on his sleeve so to speak.
On a personal note I first met Clayton back in the late 1970’s when he played hockey with the Grand Bank team in the BP Senior Hockey League and I was a referee at the time. I’m sure we had a few differences of opinions during those games but once the game was over he didn’t hold any grudges or bad feelings. We have had many conversations over the years regarding those times.
Throughout the years I had the privilege to work with Clayton on a couple of Newfoundland Summer Games as well as one Burin Peninsula Summer Games. He was the consummate professional with a wealth of knowledge which he was more than happy to share to ensure the Games were successful.
As well since the opening of Grande Meadows Golf course I have had the privilege of working closely with Clayton organizing and running many different golf tournaments. Once he retired Clayton became a member of the Board of Directors at Grande Meadows and he worked tirelessly in many capacities including Chairperson and Tournament Committee Chairperson. Clayton wasn’t one to sign on in name only – he put himself fully into whatever he chose to do. He always volunteered in some capacity for every tournament over the years. In the past few years after he became sick even, Marge couldn’t keep him from coming to the course to volunteer so she came along with him to make sure he took care of himself. As a result they both became fixtures at our Annual Invitational Golf Tournament, Burin Peninsula Open Golf Tournament as well as the Annual Members Club Championship. If he wasn’t playing in those tournaments he would be there first thing in the morning as a starter and both Clayton & Marge wouldn’t leave the course until the last score was posted on the scoreboard.
You knew that if Clayton signed on to help out for a tournament he would be there earlier than needed. Clayton made an impression on everyone who played at the GM Annual Invitational Golf Tournament. As Harold Porter of Stephenville recalls, “He was the starter for the last few years and I know he always had a great laugh at our golf ⛳️ swings.” Carl Hill of Bally Haly relates that “Every year we went down Clayton had his hand out to greet us and always had a smile on his face.”
Clayton loved playing golf at Grande Meadows and went every chance he got. He could be found on Sunday mornings in a group with his friends Bill Buffett, Roy Hillier, Bill Lee or Richard Kelly playing for a toonie. He won more than his fair share as Richard attests, “Clayt has a golf bag full of toonies he took of me!”
The members of Grande Meadows are very thankful of the efforts of Clayton & Marjorie Welsh for the valuable role they played in ensuring our golf events were so successful.
Rest in Peace Clayton✝
P. S. As we all know Clayton isn’t one to be idle for too long so I am sure that it wasn’t long after he got through the Pearly Gates he had a tee time booked with his Grand Bank buddies Randy Douglas, Wilf Miller and Wally Stone. I am equally sure he has hooked up with Ray Warren of Burin and Dave Brenton of Marystown to organize a Burin Peninsula town challenge where each of them are trying to manipulate the rules a little in his favor. They will need Don MacBeath to mediate this for sure. Have at er boys! We miss you all.