Tribute paid to PE golfing ace Alan Jackson
Port Elizabeth golfer Alan Jackson will be remembered for his fascination with footwear, but more so for the passion and skill he displayed on numerous golf courses in his career.
Aged 92 at the time of his death in Cape Town on September 2, Jackson was for many years a popular name in golfing circles across the country.
Described as “one of the finest amateur golfers I have ever come across” in his book, fellow golfer and friend Sid Spilkin said Jackson had been a legend of his time.
“Alan was a great sportsman and always one of the most respected and valuable members of the EP golf team for many years,” Spilkin said.
“It was my privilege to be his foursome partner for EP for several years at provincial golf tournaments.
“He was a member of our 1961 EP team that won the A-Section at the interprovincial at Humewood [Golf Club],” Spilkin said.
Educated at Grey High, Jackson was 12 years old when he became a member of PE Golf Club, where he crafted his undeniable talent under the tutelage of his uncle, Graham Packer, Alan Rycroft, professor emeritus, faculty of law at the University of Cape Town, wrote in a tribute to Jackson.
Already showing heaps of promise by his early twenties, Jackson won the Burt Stirk Cup in 1948, followed by the PE Club Championships two years later.
In 1950, Jackson finished third in the SA Open, taking home the Freddie Tait Cup for the leading amateur of the year.
Becoming the SA Amateur champion in 1954, Jackson gained national attention after claiming a thrilling 37th-hole victory in the final in East London.
A multiple EP and later Border champion between 1952 and 1956, Jackson was also a winner of the Proudfoot Trophy in 1955.
He earned national colours in 1954 and participated in the Commonwealth Tournament at St Andrews and again later in 1957 and 1958.
His wife Gail was instrumental in helping him set up his import business in 1958.
His fascination for and vast knowledge of footwear saw Jackson start his own business in importing leather for local shoemaking businesses.
A member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club from 1988, he was a guest speaker at the club’s 250th anniversary celebrations in 2004 and a year later was given honorary life membership at the Humewood Golf Club.
His daughter, Donna, said he had been “the most generous, decent man I have ever known.
“He was so happy with his lot in life, my mom, our ever-expanding family and of course, his golf.”
He is survived by Gail, Donna and three grandchildren.
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