The event, held at the Sir Dawda Jawara-Fajara club Golf Course in Fajara coincided with the late president’s 97th birthday anniversary.
The inaugural unveiling of a memorial bust of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara also witnessed a Memorial Golf Tournament for caddies, professional golfers and amateur with prizes awarded to deserving winners.
Dawda Jawara junior, son of the late Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara in his remarks described the day as an extraordinary occasion for multiple grounds.
He added that it was also very appropriate to use the symbolic day, (16th of May 2021), the day in which his father was born 97 years ago at Barajaly in the Niani District, to honour his life.
Mr. Jawara congratulated the Fajara Club for choosing to rename the golf course after his father, and for the commissioning of his bust.
“The Jawara Family is indeed grateful to the various ministries, departments and agencies of the Barrow Administration, that were instrumental in the approval process of renaming the course in honour of my late father,” he stated.
He highlighted that the gestures to name his father after several places are the fruits of the legacy of his respect for human rights and the dignity of the person, and the importance he always attached to the respect for the Rule of Law.
He further said that he the gestures amongst other institutions will ensure that future generations remember our founding fathers, enabling us to learn from their values, sacrifices and successes, for a better Gambia, better Africa and a better world.
He thanked President Barrow through Vice President Touray for accepting to be the Chief Guest of Honour for the ceremony.
He also thanked the Fajara Club for initiating and embarking on the laudable project, at a time when most institutions in The Gambia and around the world are finding it almost impossible to operate as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Fajara Club is the oldest members sporting and leisure club in The Gambia and owns the only 18 Hole Golf Course in The Gambia.
Established in the 1950s as the Bathurst Cub, it was moved to Fajara and an 18 Hole Golf Course was established in 1971, with the encouragement and blessings of the First President of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara.
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, GGA’s first Chief Patron, died peacefully aged 95 at his home in Fajara, on Tuesday 27 August 2019.
Sir Dawda’s personal contribution and that of his government to the game of golf in The Gambia is unparalleled.
The late Sir Dawda was a keen golfer and used to compete regularly in the Hassan II Golf Trophy in Rabat, Morocco.
In his autobiography KAIRABA, Sir Dawda stated that he was introduced to the game of golf in 1962, thanks to the persistence of J P Bray, the last British holder of the post of superintendent of the then Gambia Police, also known as the Gambia Constabulary.
Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara was a trained veterinary surgeon and Gambian politician, who served as the first Prime Minister from 1965 to 1970, and then as the first President of The Gambia, from 1970 to 1994.
Both of Sir Dawda’s surviving wives, a few of his children and some of his grandchildren also took up the game of golf. One of his sons Ebrima, is a founding member of the GGA and is currently the association’s president.
For in 1963, honorary membership of the Bathurst Club was extended to him, when he was then Premier. Thus began his 56-year association with the Fajara Club.
In 1971, one year after becoming the first president of the Republic of The Gambia, his Government donated £3,400 (app. £43,000 today) towards the development of the golf course.
In 1975, the Gambia Golf Federation was formed with the Minister of External Affairs, The Hon. A. B. Njie as its first chairman. The first Pro/Am organised by the federation took place in March 1977, under the patronage of my father who also took part in the tournament.
He was instrumental in the selection of one of the caddies who would go overseas for golf coaching in the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Nigeria – to become the country’s first golf professional, in the person of Mr Bakary Samateh.
One of the highlights of the Gambia’s golfing calendar used to be the President’s Trophy, a two-day tournament played at both the Fajara Club and the State House Golf Course, under Sir Dawda’s sponsorship and patronage.
In 1990, during The Gambia’s Silver Jubilee Independence Anniversary Celebrations, the Fajara Club bestowed Honourary Life Membership on President Jawara and his family.