The Queen Elizabeth Coronation Schools Tournament

This years Tournament will take place on Saturday 23rd September – Monday 25th September 2017

The Queen Elizabeth Coronation Schools Tournament was inaugurated in 1953 following the initial “discussions” between two Royal Burgess members, Frank Johnston (Watsonians) and C. Drummond Stevenson (Edinburgh Academicals), on their way back from their respective campaigns in the Halford-Hewitt tournament at Deal. By the time the train had drawn into Waverley Station the pair were firmly of the opinion that the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the following year would be an ideal time to launch such a venture.

The Society’s Council of the day approved the concept to mark the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation and duly sought, and graciously received, the permission of Buckingham Palace for the use of the Queen Elizabeth title. Members of our Society provided a fund for a trophy and to help in the running of the tournament in future years.

It was agreed that the first annual tournament would take place on Tuesday 29 September 1953 and as many days immediately following as were required by the number of teams entering. A circular letter was sent out to all known Former Pupil Golf Clubs in England and Scotland with 13 Scottish teams entering the first tournament. In 1954 the first two entries of Former Pupils from English Schools (Rossallians and Old Oundelians) were received.

And so the tournament was born. The first winners in 1953 were Watsonians, beating Old Lorettonians by 2 matches to 1 in the final. The tournament is now held every Autumn at Barnton in a format of teams of six playing in three couples of foursomes play.

Every year a pre-tournament dinner is held on the eve of the event, giving the Society and its members the opportunity to warmly welcome competitors, with the immediate past winners invited to propose the toast to the tournament. Such has been the success of the tournament that it is an annual feature in both local and national fixture cards.

To date, there have been 5 tournament Secretaries appointed by the Society to assume responsibility for the running of the event. The first was W G Rankin Smith (10 years), followed by Ron Saunders (9 years), Tom Innes (1 year), Hamish MacDonald (12 years), Andrew Forgan (22 years) and now Sandy Gray all ably assisted by enthusiastic fellow members.

The 2015 Event

The 63rd Queen Elizabeth Coronation Schools Tournament (QET) started on Saturday 19th September, after an excellent Pre-Tournament Dinner the night before. The weather was good and the course in excellent condition.
There were a few teams missing this year, all finding it harder and harder to raise a team. There seem to be many other golfing demands on players these days, but it is hoped that numbers will be back to their customary levels next year.
In the Top Half of the draw, Glasgow Academicals made steady progress, before winning a fine semi-final against George Heriots by 2 matches to 1. Surprisingly, the records show that Glasgow Academy had only won the Tournament once before, back in 2004. George Heriots were keen to add to their 3 previous victories, having progressed past Old Lorettonians, Old Glenalmond and Old Uppinghamians, but it was not to be.
In the Bottom Half, Old Fettesians had battled strongly against Old Oundellians, Glasgow High School (11 times winners) and Old Carthusians before meeting the fancied team of Stewarts Melville in the other semi-final. Stewarts Melville had seen off last year’s winners (Lenzie Academy) in the quarter final before inflicting a 2.5 to .5 win over Old Fettesians – one of these games barely getting in to the second 9!
So, Stewarts Melville (or is it ESMS!) were trying to add to their previous 5 wins (last winning the Tournament in 2013) against Glasgow Academy, who wanted to add to their only other win in 2004. The Edinburgh/Glasgow affair could not have been closer, with Stewarts Melville winning the first game, but the other two games being all square after 18 holes. The rules dictate that each match must be played out to a victory. So, the two halved matches progressed up the 19th, but it did not take long to reach a result, as Stewarts Melville’s second pair of Stuart MacLaren and David Donaldson combined to record a birdie, and a win, at the first extra hole.
The quality of The Tournament is such that it is no surprise that after an early start on Saturday morning, the Trophy was decided by the last match after extra holes early on Monday evening. Congratulations to Stewarts Melville on their 6th victory.
At the Prize Giving, our Captain, John Fraser, presented The Forgan Quaich to Glasgow Academy and the winning Trophy to Stewarts Melville. Their Captain, Kevin Cattenach (Bruntsfield) paid thanks to the Society for, yet again, putting another excellent tournament, much enjoyed by all. Special mention and thanks were given to the Green keeping staff and to all the backroom team for their contributions.
My particular thanks go to Douglas Morgan, who conducted all of the starting and photographic duties without the assistance of your Tournament Secretary, who dared to play in two rounds before (as Douglas would say) doing some work! My gratitude and thanks also go to both Donald Robertson and Tom Foggo for helping Douglas, as well as to Mark Russell for all his work behind the scenes.
A R (Sandy) Gray (Tournament Secretary).

Past Winners

1953 – Watsonian G.C. 1954 – Daniel Stewarts College F.P.
1955 – Watsonian G.C. 1956 – Watsonian G.C.
1957 – Hillhead High School F.P. 1958 – Watsonian G.C.
1959 – Glasgow High School F.P. 1960 – Glasgow High School F.P.
1961 – Watsonian G.C. 1962 – Glasgow High School F.P.
1963 – Glasgow High School F.P. 1964 – Dollar Academicals
1965 – Old Lorretonians 1966 – Merchistonians
1967 – Merchistonians 1968 – Hillhead High School F.P.
1969 – Kelvinside Academicals 1970 – Dollar Academicals
1971 – Merchistonians 1972 – Merchistonians
1973 – Merchistonians 1974 – Old Carthusians
1975 – Old Lorettonians 1976 – Watsonian G.C.
1977 – Glasgow High School F.P. 1978 – Old Lorettonians
1979 – Gordonians 1980 – George Heriot’s F.P.
1981 – Ayr Academicals 1982 – George Heriot’s F.P.
1983 – Perth Academy F.P. 1984 – Glasgow High School F.P.
1985 – Glasgow High School F.P. 1986 – Watsonian G.C.
1987 – Daniel Stewarts/Melville F.P. 1988 – Watsonian G.C.
1989 – Kelvinside Academicals 1990 – Hutcheson’s Grammar School
1991 – Glasgow High School F.P. 1992 – Daniel Stewarts/Melville F.P.
1993 – Merchistonians 1994 – Perth Academicals F.P.
1995 – Glasgow High School F.P. 1996 – Glasgow High School F.P.
1997 – Old Uppinghamians 1998 – Watsonian G.C.
1999 – Morrisonians 2000 – Breadalbane Academicals
2001 – Old Carthusians 2002 – Old Campbellians
2003 – Breadalbane Academicals 2004 – Glasgow Academicals
2005 – Watsonian G.C. 2006 – Old Fettesians
2007 – Daniel Stewarts/Melville F.P. 2008 – George Heriots F.P.
2009 – Madras College 2010 – Watsonians
2011 – Lenzie Academicals 2012 – Glasgow High
2013 -F.P.Daniel Stewarts/Melville F.P 2014 – Lenzie Academicals
2015 -F.P.Daniel Stewarts/Melville F.P


Comments are closed.