And so we conclude another year of golf, laughter, dance and song! This year’s Apex took place over Natal Day weekend and it was another one for the books. The tournament brought out 114 golfers and hundreds more who crowded the legion dance floor, the Best Western dance floor, the Engine Room dance floor and the streets of the Island, the Hill and the Marsh all weekend long!
The Meet & Greet at the T.A.A.C. Grounds was, once again, a great opener to the weekend. Golfers and their spouses gathered for the informal socializer late Thursday afternoon with many seeking refuge from the heat after finishing up their practice rounds in the blazing sun.
The real action started on Friday as groups of three and four took to the course to compete. After two beautiful days of golfing, the tournament came down to a 3-hole match playoff Saturday afternoon featuring Braxton Maxwell vs. Paul Clarke. Clarke, one of the owners of Inglis Jewellers, took the trophy in the end, winning on the 3rd playoff hole. The winner of the Women’s 18-hole and Women’s 9-hole, both for the second year in a row, were Heather Maxwell and Tina Skier, respectively. John Mentis won the Men’s 9-hole and Jared Talbot was the Juniors’ champ.
The banquet at the Best Western Glengarry hotel concluded the tournament portion of the weekend. Attendees gathered to enjoy a warm meal, listen to some speeches, witness the scholarship presentations and receive their prizes.
The dinner kicked off with Angel Jordan adding a new ceremony to the mix—an African Libation during which the crowd was encouraged to shout out names of loved ones no longer with us, calling upon them to lend thanks and praise. Ase! Darrell Maxwell offered up the blessing of the meal before the hungry guests took to the buffet tables.
After dessert came the scholarship presentation. This year’s scholarship recipients included: Noah Desmond (NSCC, Criminal Justice), Bryson Fitzgerald (Bachelor of Arts, Mount Allison University), Zachary Parris (Psychology, Saint Mary’s University), Jaydan Smith (Business, Saint Francis Xavier University), Jalen Talbot (NSCC, Business), and Tylisha Upshaw (Saint Francis Xavier, Nursing). Nicole Jackson, a past recipient of the scholarship, spoke to the new graduates on her experiences in university and how she’s approaching life after graduation.
Apex has given out scholarships 101 scholarships since 2000 totaling $70,300! Many of these funds are attributed to donations that come in from across the country throughout the year; even more come from fundraising efforts in the community—this year, Ardith Jordan-Simmonds raised $1,000 for the Apex Scholarship Fund from tickets sold for her goody basket, all in honour of her late father, Arthur Jordan; and Jamie Paris, who runs the Sunday night karaoke in honour of his late mother, Kimber Lee, has used the event to raise $11,813 for the Fund since 2004 (this year’s donation was $1,280).
Zachary Parris, one of the scholarship recipients mentioned above, was also presented with the Robbie Jones Memorial Community Achievement Award. Some other notable awards given out during the evening include the Arthur Jordan Memorial Award, which went to the late Al Saunders and was accepted on his behalf by wife, Gail Saunders, and sons (and Apex golfers) Dwayne and Travis, and the Arthur Jordan Honour Roll Award which went to surprised Apex Committee member, Jude Clyke.
Lance Sparks was back on the turntables this year Friday and Saturday night and, while not affiliated with Apex directly, Chance Simmonds and Chad Smith kept the parties going at the Engine Room Friday and Saturday night, respectively.
Unfortunately, some unpredictable weather (hello, Nova Scotia) prevented the ball game from moving forward on Sunday, so the Old Timers have another 365 days to rest up and make a big comeback for year 45!
As always, it was a busy weekend but an enjoyable one. It truly means a lot when loved ones travel from near and far to attend Apex year after year. There’s nothing better than catching up with family and friends, whether you see them every day or only once a year. Sitting back, sharing stories, trading torments and laughing until it hurts… that’s what it’s about.