The Apex Invitational Golf Association was founded in 1974 by a young Black resident of Truro named Darrell Maxwell. At the time, Darrell was not only a member of the Truro Golf Club but was considered one of the best young golfers in Nova Scotia.
Darrell’s idea was to promote Black golf in Truro, Nova Scotia by putting on a competitive golf tournament with some of the Black golfers residing there, as well as former Black golfers and caddies who had moved away to the larger cities to find work. This gathering would present an opportunity for these former Truro residents to return home after some time apart and get together to reminisce about old times.
Darrell pursued this idea with his brother, Stan “Chook” Maxwell, who was the caddy master at that time. With the help of the Truro Golf Club professional and some prominent club members, the plan went ahead to organize this tournament which was initially called the Black Golf Tournament.
The first tournament was a one-day event consisting of approximately 10 golfers. The members of the Truro Golf Club were quite thrilled to see the young Black golfers, some of whom had caddied for them some years ago, return home to take part in the match.
In 1975, Darrell moved to Ottawa after accepting a new position and asked his brother, Stan, and uncle, Arthur Jordan, to take over the golf tournament. Stan and Arthur agreed and renamed the golf tournament the Apex Black Invitational Golf Tournament; the name was associated with their local Black business called Apex Cleaners Limited.
After a couple of years, the tournament grew to an average of 20-30 golfers (men and women). It was suggested, at that time, by the golf professional (Jim Amirault), caddy master (Stan “Chook” Maxwell), and various members of the Truro Golf Club, that the tournament be turned into a two-day event. The golf tournament was also opened to all golfers and non-golfers, not just Black golfers.
The word spread quickly with participants and friends starting to plan their vacations around the occasion, which quickly turned into more of an annual homecoming. The dates scheduled for this tournament were the first Friday and Saturday in August; these dates remain today.
Years had passed and the tournament committee took on new members. They began to build on the foundation of their predecessors by making some positive changes to the traditional activities of the golf tournament.
The first change pursued by the committee was a request to have a practice round on the day prior to the start of the tournament. This was approved by the Truro Golf Club in the 20th year and remains unchanged to this day.
In 1997, the tournament was incorporated under the name of Apex Invitational Golf Association and set forth to put further focus on community involvement.
Since Apex Invitational Golf Association was a non-profit organization, excess funds were directed to the community church building fund over the years, with additional financial support directed to less fortunate students in our community to provide them with the opportunity to participate and excel in sports.
The third change resulted from a request from the female non-golfers who wanted to participate but on a smaller scale. Soon the committee began accepting 9-hole registrants, and now, every year, we have between 10-20 female golfers playing 9 or 18 holes. This same invitation for 9-hole play was extended to senior men in 2011.
Now in its 47th year, Apex is bigger and better than ever. We see about 110 golfers participating year over year – plus with an overflow on standby waiting to see if they can get in.
Golfers come from all across Canada (including Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), as well as the United States (Alabama, New Jersey, Boston (Mass.), Michigan, and Texas). Some of them aren’t even necessarily known to the community but have somehow found out about Apex.
Various sport greats have also graced the Truro Club links during the annual tournament: John Hannah, Bill Riley, Art Dorrington, Stan “Chook” Maxwell, Willie O’Ree, Bob “Cook” Mentis, John Mentis, Gordie Maxwell and Denny Clyke.
The weekend has also evolved over time into a four-day event that includes a practice round and two-day tournament, two dances, a banquet, a memorial baseball game and a bbq, plus many unofficial gatherings taking place from the Island to the Hill to the Marsh!
We also have our very own scholarship fund, easily our greatest accomplishment.
The Apex Invitational Golf Association – Scholarship Fund in partnership with Investors Group Financial Services, was established in 1998 with the intention of providing financial assistance to the young Black students from Colchester County going on to pursue post-secondary education.
To date 116 scholarships totaling $88,700 have been issued. This would not be possible if it was not for the donations from our golfers, community, Investors Financial Group and Pye Chevrolet Buick GMC in Truro. It is important that we continue this initiative and support the future of our students.
Though the tournament started out as a way for the guys to come together for a round, a few laughs, and maybe a few more drinks, what this weekend has turned into is a celebration that the entire community cherishes and looks forward to year after year.
Thank you for being a part of it!