On behalf of the LMEGA, I welcome each of you to 2017 annual dinner. It’s so nice to see some new friends as well as old friends… Just for those may not know – the LME Annual Dinner in October, which is well attended by almost 2000 guests from around the world, was originally started by the old LMEGA annual dinner in the 1960s. What a legacy!
In 2015, when our Honorary Secretary Steven Spencer approached me to ask if I would like to stand for the 2017 captaincy of LMEGA, I was utterly, utterly terrified. This moment has been in my mind for so long, standing in front of you to deliver this speech. The fact is I am not as nervous as I thought I would be. Because in the last few years, I have developed good relationships with many of you here. I know I am just with friends who share the same interest, and I always have your support.
First of all, I would like to thank to all members and committee members; thank you for entrusting and endorsing the captaincy to me and I promise to represent you and our Association with humility and integrity. I am very very privileged to be captain of such a wonderful golf association, the oldest association in the world, as the first Chinese captain and the first lady captain in its history.
Many thanks to ex-Captain – Ashok, who set such a high standard by participating in every single match during his year, even bringing along his wife and entire family to join our dinner last year.
Special thanks to LME ex-CEO Garry Jones and current interim CEO Matt Chamberlain, who signed off on sponsorship money to support our association financially. On Garry’s last day at the LME, he gave me many pieces of advice about the job and my career in general, so I concluded at the end, ‘Yes, boss, I understand... just keep my head down and concentrate… and I’ll do the same in the office too’.
When starting out playing golf in 2006, I had no idea the game of golf would take me down so many wonderful paths, in fact it was almost the main reason I got the job at the LME; yeah.. nothing to do with my previous 15 years work and good relationship with many member firms. Meeting up with this wonderful group of people who have great personality on a given sunny day is a great fun!
I would like to thank Jan Rommer for his patience in helping me with chats about the rules of golf and just as importantly the etiquette of the game which is just as important. I swear that Jan had more hair when we first started talking about the rules but I can’t be sure. Thank you very much Rommer and Richard O'Neill who introduced me to the LMEGA. I am sure you never foresaw this day, and I do hope you haven’t regretted taking me on board.
The last but the most importantly, I would like to thank our Honorary Secretary – Steven Spencer – who has done so much work behind the scenes; without him, the LMEGA may not have survived to today. Thank you Steven.
[Yang then announced the winners of all the trophies from 2016]
As a great person once said ‘Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.’ And ‘Golf is a game of confidence and a challenge to yourself and an attitude to life’.
I would like to welcome all new joiners. However, as many say, quantity is more important than quality. We expect to see many of you at our matches and meetings this year; come to support me and the Association. For the same reason, I stated earlier – don’t worry if your score does not always reflect your natural God-given talent, the most important golf shot is the next one, and be sure that you are ready for it! I look forward to seeing you all on the fairways in 2017 and beyond.
Now would all members please stand and raise your glasses in a toast to our guests.