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By Mark Davey
Machrihanish Golf Club’s officials have praised the community and the golfing world for their support following last week’s devastating fire.
Captain Calum MacMillan and vice-captain William Ross told the Courier, on Monday, that there has been massive support both from Kintyre and round the globe.
They said messages have come from virtually every country such is Machrihanish’s reputation.
Insurance officials visited last Thursday and forensic examiners, who came on Friday, said an electrical fault is suspected of causing the fire which destroyed the clubhouse including the steward’s family home and possessions.
Mr MacMillan said: ‘We would like to thank many people including: Jim Martin for donating Portacabins and temporary toilets, Neil Bapty for getting the computers operational again and to various committee members who gave up their day to connect phone lines and meet with insurers.’
‘There has been so much support shown from members, non-members and local businesses with offers of accommodation and the support for Iain McLean and his family has been overwhelming.’
Mr MacMillan added that it is not just the steward who has effectively lost his job the cook, cleaners and bar staff are also affected.
‘There have also been offers of temporary office, storage and toilets facilities until the club gets facilities in place through its insurance.
‘Dunaverty Golf Club has offered four hire sets of clubs free of charge.
‘Staff at the Ugadale provided hot soup when the fire was raging.
‘All this help is very much appreciated.’
Mr Ross added that 250 members had lost equipment, stored in the building, including clubs and clothing from lockers which were burned in the blaze.
Mr Ross said: ‘After the next meeting with insurers we hope to be able to give members clarification about their equipment.’
It is emphasised that the course and pro-shop has remained open throughout and soon temporary facilities will be in place.
Thoughts are already turning to how the club rebuilds and the two men gave assurances that members will be consulted at every stage.
Mr Ross added: ‘The clubhouse was not a listed building and so there is quite a bit of scope for the redesign.
‘At the next meeting we expect to have surveyors and structural engineers.
‘Unbelievably, the only room not to be affected with fire is the office.
‘Although there is water damage, I am pleased to say there was memorabilia and records saved from this area, meaning about 90 per cent of the history of the club has been salvaged which is great news going forward.
‘At the new clubhouse every piece of memorabilia we have will be on display.
‘There is obviously a very long way to go on this journey but early signs are positive.
‘I assure members and visitors, myself and the committee will do our upmost to ensure Machrihanish Golf Club will come beck better and stronger than ever before.
‘Thanks again for the huge support shown from around the world, its so comforting to know this club means so much to so many people. ‘
Machrihanish Golf Club is in the process of setting up its own crowd funding page so that people can directly support the club.
The ruins of the Machrihanish clubhouse. 25_c52golfclubfire04