Three newly-appointed characters will join this year’s celebration of St Andrews’ history in the Kate Kennedy Procession. They are golfing heroes, Allan Robertson and Tom Morris Junior, and Keeper of the Green, David Anderson.
Allan Robertson, left, (1815-1859) was a talented golfer. He also greatly contributed to the town and the epitaph on his gravestone in the Cathedral ruins credits him as a man of great ‘personal worth’.
Robertson was considered to be one of the first and best golfers from St Andrews. He was also one of the first people to score below 80 on the Old Course.
Whilst playing professionally Robertson remained undefeated and was known as “The Champion Golfer”. The Open Championship emerged after his death, following the town’s search for a golfer to follow in Robertson’s footsteps.
One such figure was Tom Morris Junior, left, (1851-1875). Like Robertson, ‘Thommy’ was a popular figure in the town and enjoyed a successful golfing career at a very young age. He still holds the record for being the youngest to win an Open, aged seventeen, and won four consecutive Opens when he was only 21.
Sadly, Thommy success was not to last. He died three months after his wife and still-born son when he was 24 years old. His father said of his son that “People say Thommy died of a broken heart, but if it was true, I wouldn’t be here either.” His grave can also be found in the Cathedral graveyard.
David Anderson, left sitting (1821-1901), also known as “Old Daw”, was Keeper of the Green at St Andrews for sixteen years between 1840 and 1856. When he retired, he set up a refreshment stand by the Fourth Hole, known today as “Ginger Beer”. Rumour has it that he also kept a secret stash of whisky for players who wanted something stronger!
These local heroes have been chosen by the Kate Kennedy Club, as the Marshall of the Parade Edward Battle has stated, because they “demonstrate unity, tradition, history, and example”.
The Kate Kennedy Procession will depart from St Salvator’s Quad at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 14April.