Revered for his contributions to the game of golf in British Columbia as both a club professional and a player, Alvin (Alvie) Thompson received the PGA of BC Lifetime Achievement Award during a ceremonial dinner at North Vancouver's Seymour Golf & Country Club.
Longtime friend and associate Pat Dunn acted as master of ceremonies - guiding the room of friends, family, and golf industry peers through a celebration of Thompson's career and life. Attendees shared their memories and experiences of Alvie and his impact on their lives, including touching words from fellow professional Bill Wright, golf partner Barrie Reeves, former student Kira Meixner (via video recording), and BC golf luminary Richard Zokol.
Derek Thornley of Fraserview Golf Course and Jim Pringle of Sunshine Coast Golf & Country Club - both PGA of British Columbia leaders who benefitted from Thompson's mentorship - alternated the reading of a prepared statement.
"I am proud of my tournament playing career, but the feeling of being a mentor and giving back is even better," Thompson says. "There is just so much that you get in return. It is wonderful and humbling, a real thrill."
Thompson was an outstanding player for many seasons, winning the PGA of Canada Championship on multiple occasions, representing Canada internationally with George Knudson, and competing in The Masters. His career as a club professional was equally impressive, spanning more than thirty years, most notably as Head Professional at McCleery Golf Course from 1976-1994.
This highest level of honour has only been awarded seven times in the history of the PGA of BC, most recently to former Victoria Golf Club Head Professional Mike Parker, recognized in 2012. Other recipients include Herb Paterson (2001), Gerry Chatelain (2006), Stan Leonard (2006), Jack McLaughlin (2007), Dick Munn (2010), and Jim Gibson (2011).
The event was hosted by Seymour Golf & Country Club, in conjunction with the 2014 Cleveland Golf / Srixon Canada PGA of British Columbia Club Professional Championship - presented by Club Car. Seymour hosted the British Columbia Amateur Championship earlier this summer, and is a nominee for 2014 PGA of British Columbia Facility of the Year.
Alvin Thompson's life and career were profiled earlier this year in Inside Golf Magazine by the PGA of BC's Travis McLean. Read that story here.