Continuing the discussion from my last blog about the 10th anniversary of the Canadian Open at Angus Glen, my former place of employment, one thing that stands out in my mind was the way it brought together the community back in 2002.
We needed about 1,500 volunteers. We weren’t a private club, so we couldn’t go to a membership, but people who played Angus Glen regularly and the community at large responded well in our call for volunteers.
The great thing is that the mayor at the time, Don Cousens, was totally in favour of having the Canadian Open in Markham, as was Bill Fisch, the chairman of York Region.
We worked with the town and the region very closely. Needless to say, the Open is a big event and we have to shut down main roads such as Major Mackenzie, which runs east and west just south of the Angus Glen property.
We did have some parking onsite, which was a great plus for us because there aren’t many events at which you can pull your car in and be walking the golf course in three minutes.
Not only did the community come together in preparing us for the Open, but so did an energetic staff. Bless the late Ernie Amsler, who passed away just before the 2007 Open at Angus Glen. In 2002, he and Doug Taylor built new tees.
I still have fond memories of Ernie and other staff members no longer with us, such as our food and beverage ace Bain Arnold and my right hand person Michelle Hobor. They played key roles in the success of the 2002 Open and were foundations for that energetic crew that I mentioned.
So, we needed changes to the course. We needed a parking lot. We needed local business people to help out chairing committees and we were blessed. We got a lot of help from the town, the region, citizens and our golfers.
The 2002 Open was a time to pull together and everybody did just that to make sure it was a success.