The Oliver Gobat Memorial Golf Tournament got underway at the Sandals Cap Estate Golf and Country Club on February 23, 2019. This year marked the fourth year the tournament was held, according to Theo and Helen Gobat, parents of the late Oliver Gobat. Their son was murdered in April 2014, and since then, Oliver’s family, well-wishers and sports aficionados have made a point of honouring his memory, according to Helen, “to make something positive out of something really evil.”
“There’s no way he should have been murdered,” she told the Voice, as Saturday’s Tournament got underway.
“He was much too young to leave us,” his father Theo added.
Oliver’s parents described him as a very determined young man, skilled at sports of all varieties. He was particularly skilled at golf and squash.
“When he was 13 he was diagnosed with cancer of the rib and he couldn’t do anything that year except play golf,” Helen said. “He had a year of treatment. He was 19 times in and out of hospital, so it’s particularly cruel that he’s actually had a shortened life when he survived cancer so successfully.
“He started playing golf then and he was nearly finished his treatment when he went to play at Wentworth which was a very prestigious course. He played with Nick Faldo, who was one of the British Open players that year. That was very exciting.”
Oliver Gobat was also on the brink of representing Saint Lucia in squash at the Commonwealth Games when he was killed. His father spoke fondly of his sporting prowess: “He was a top sportsman. He had a really high golf handicap, so he was in the elite. He was very keen to encourage other sportsmen too, that’s why we feel that this way to keep his memory alive is hugely relevant.”
The Oliver Gobat Sports Fund (TOGS) originated from a place of loss and distress but has since transitioned to something of hope. TOGS raises funds for applicants who need individual or group funding and has raised over $250,000 in recent years. This year’s event saw a donation coming from the Embassy of Taiwan in Saint Lucia to the tune of EC$10,000. The cheque was presented to Helen and Theo Gobat by Taiwanese Ambassador Douglas Chen.
Out on the green at this year’s Tournament top winners in Team Pairings were Dianne Chafe and Rae Atkinson (third), Victor Charles and Cuthbert Aurillien (second), and Amy Berglund and Mike Thom (first). Tying for third place was the pair Henix Joseph and Dylan Mauricette. The Tournament which proceeded with Shot Gun Start Times (either 8.30a.m. or 12.30p.m) was sponsored by the Landing Saint Lucia.
Every year it’s gotten better and better,” Helen said of the event. “We try not to sit on the funds generated for too long, but I like to keep something back for worthy causes.”
Helen and Theo will forever treasure memories of their son Oliver.
“He loved Saint Lucia,” his mother said. “He was very happy here. He was born here in 1975 at the Old St. Jude and he spent his initial four years in Saint Lucia and then went to school in England when we all moved back. We kept interests in hotels here. We spend part of the year here; we ended up creating Cap Maison.”
Oliver Gobat, or ‘Ollie’ as he’s fondly called would have been 44 this year. More information about the Oliver Gobat Sports Fund can be found via: www.olivergobatsportsfund.com.