By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Northborough – On any given Friday afternoon, during golf season, members of the Gillis Gauvin Memorial Golf League can be found at the Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough. It is more about camaraderie and friendship than it is about golf when the league gathers for an afternoon of socializing, a beer or two and maybe a couple of cigars.
The group is planning a tournament to commemorate their anniversary Sept. 14 at Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge and Sept. 15 at Juniper Hill.
“It’s a two-day tournament celebrating our 60th year,” league member Jay Berglund said, adding that the tournament will be followed by an awards banquet.
The all-male league officially began in the 1950s with several of the current members’ fathers as original members. Of the league’s current 28 members, Bob and Jay Berglund, Rick Gauvin, Jim Martin and Alan St. Jean are sons of the original group.
“It started, I believe, with Angus Gillis, in 1954, but it was official in 1959,” explained Berglund, who has been in the league since 1975. “It’s just a fun league; it’s not about the golf.”
It was originally a golf league with the local American Legion Post in Northborough. No one really knows when it became the Gillis Gauvin Memorial Golf League; however, it was named such sometime after original members Gillis and Walter Gauvin passed away.
When asked if all of the current members were active, St. Jean remarked in jest, “Not at our age!”
The mood when the league gets together is jovial and they enjoy swapping stories and reminiscing while enjoying their beverages.
St. Jean shared that they were mostly retired so every day is a Saturday and every once in a while you throw a Sunday in. Another member declared that they are a drinking club with a golfing problem.
Despite the light-hearted nature of the group, they have participated in some serious fundraising for a variety of causes such as the Make a Wish Foundation and organizations that support cancer research.
Berglund and fellow member Bob Nadalin noted league’s commemorative bench that was placed near the putting green at Juniper Hill. It has been in existence for over 10 years to memorialize members who have passed away.
“Any former member that passes away we have a little ceremony and we add a brick,” Berglund explained.
Nadalin added that they are always looking for new members and if anyone is wishing more information about the league, they can leave their name and phone number at the Juniper Hill Pro Shop to the attention of the Gillis Gauvin Memorial Golf League or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.