It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Margaret Ashton from Muirfield Golf Club. Margaret served as one of the inaugural Golf NSW Council Members from Zone A in 2010-2011. She was heavily involved with Women’s Golf NSW (WGNSW) as a Council Delegate for the Metro West region from 2006-2010. She served in numerous roles with WGNSW which included member of the Tournament Panel (2007-2008), Juniors Committee (2008-2009) and Match Committee (2008-2010).
Margaret loved sport. Fortunately for us, golf prevailed. She was very competitive and over her life she was an accomplished tennis player, netballer, basketball player, squash player and golfer. In competition she was tenacious and never knew when to give in. For Margaret and her family, being involved in sport helped them transition whenever they relocated to a new area. They were able to connect with the community and meet wonderful people making lasting friendships.
She was originally more into squash until the mid-90’s reaching A grade status before she retired due to the wear and tear from the sport on her knees. Her husband Bill persuaded her to take up golf and join the Muirfield Golf Club. As with all her previous sporting ventures, Margaret had natural talent for the game and soon became one of the better lady golfers.
Margaret loved her membership at the Muirfield Golf Club and made numerous friends there. She and Bill were regulars in the Sunday competitions. Such was her love of the game that she nominated for and became Lady Vice Captain. After undertaking this role for three years, she went on to become Captain for another three years. This was a particular busy and rewarding time for her.
When she finished her term as Captain Margaret joined Women’s Golf NSW as a Councillor. She went on the Match Committee where she officiated at tournaments and was involved with the Junior Committee. When Women’s Golf NSW merged with NSW Golf Association, she stayed on as a Council Member only resigning when her illness became too much for her to stay on.
Although the disease had a devastating effect on her life, Margaret tried to turn it into a positive by firstly seeking out other people in the same situation. This led her to become a member of the Sydney Adventist Hospital Cancer Support Group. This group not only helped her cope with her problems, but also allowed Margaret to support other sufferers. Such was her nature to still serve others.
She also tried to make the community more aware of ovarian cancer by participating in three media publicity campaigns. It was her undying spirit and positive attitude that made her an ideal role model for these campaigns. In typical Margaret fashion during her time in the support group and at the Day Infusion Clinic where she received her treatment, she made many new friends who remember her cheerful demeanour despite the discomfort she continually went through.
Margaret’s outstanding characteristic was her infectious and unique laughter. This was illustrated on her last overseas trip when one of the men on the trip approached Bill to ask if he indeed was Bill Ashton. The man in question had worked with Bill during the 70’s and wasn’t sure it was him until he heard Margaret laugh. He then knew for sure it was Bill and Margaret Ashton.
Finally and most importantly Margaret was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was always available to help people out and listen to their problems often at great cost to her own wellbeing. She was always more concerned about others than about herself even in the last period of her life when she often had moments of deep despair with her illness. Through her battle with her disease where she often endured great pain and discomfort she always only showed a cheerful smile and demeanour to family and friends. In her own words she did not want to be a burden to anyone.
Margaret has gone but she will always be remembered by those who came in contact with her. Perhaps this was best illustrated when after the mens’ competition on Wednesday the members stood for a minute’s silence in her honour. No one remembers this happening before.
Her spirit, inner strength, courage and cheerful disposition will be an example to many forever.
Rest in peace Margaret Ashton…our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.