A group of RMGC Captains visited John Earland at his residential home last Friday 17th January to celebrate his 96th birthday. Fondly nicknamed xellugi, the Maltese word for left hand due to his left-handed swing in golf, John served as RMGC Captain in the 1991-1992 season.
At 96 John is the oldest surviving member at the RMGC with Gustav Ricci and Cecil Bartoli coming in three years younger. He is also a founding member of the Society of Royal Malta Golf Club Captains. The other founding members present for the meeting which was held on 20th December 1996 were: Oreste (Leo) Ellul (Captain); Carmel (Kim) A Borg; Raymond Calleja; Gustav Ricci; John Lewis; Edward Vella; John Bonello; David Ellis; and Alex Mangion. Three of these founding members have departed this life since then. His name is also engraved in the John Earland plate according to the minutes from that first meeting when it was agreed that “Each year, preferably on the date of the Caucus to choose the new Vice-Captain, the Society shall hold a one round competition followed by luncheon or dinner. It shall be the responsibility of the new Captain to organise this event. John Earland generously agreed to donate an appropriate trophy.”
John does not play golf anymore but has left a legacy at the Club including the bridges that span across the penalty areas situated at the bottom holes of the course.