Golfers defend ?men only? night



NEVILLE JOHNSTON has no objection to birds ? especially eagles and albatrosses.

But when it comes to women, the 77-year-old has no qualms about them being banned from a 'men only' awards presentation at the Ballina Golf Club.

"In the 50 years I've been here the men have had their night and the women have had theirs," Mr Johnston said.

Male members of the Ballina Golf Club have rushed to the defence of the exclusive presentation nights for men and women.

Ian Byrne, of Ballina, said the 'male only' rule was perfectly reasonable.

"It comes down to whether you consider it a social event or part of the competition," he said.

"I see it as part of the competition, which means people who play in the competition should attend. If men play in the men's competition they should attend the men's presentation."

On the weekend a board decision to stage exclusive men's and women's awards nights has led to a row.

The club's 'men only' rule came under fire when two women protested about not being able to attend Saturday night's presentation dinner to see their sons collect their prizes.

Women were barred from attending the President and Captain's Presentation Dinner, despite the fact some had sons as young as 12 who had played in the competition.

A similar 'women only' awards night will be held on December 8.

Ted Richardson, of Ballina, said women should have been allowed to attend for the presentation part of the evening, but perhaps asked to leave when the entertainment began.

"It depends what sort of night it is," he said.

"If it's something like a buck's night, where it's designed for men, then the women could leave before that started," he said.

"I don't know how it works up here. I came from a Sydney club where everyone went to the presentation, but there was no extra entertainment."

Neville Johnston joined the club 50 years ago when he moved to Ballina. On the weekend he got an award at the presentation ceremony for his dedication to the sport.

"In the 50 years I've been here the men have had their night and the women have had theirs," Mr Johnston said.

"There are men's competitions and there are women's competitions ? that's why there are men's presentation nights and women's presentation nights.

"They have plenty of mixed events here as well."



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