Leonard LeDrew has a lot of free time on his hands now that his 30 years of life of keeping Blomidon neat and tidy are behind him.
Not surprising, LeDrew’s retirement plan isn’t going to be much of a change for him.
He’s still going to make Blomidon Golf Course his second home, only now he’s going to spend more time playing golf and let others worry about keeping the Corner Brook golf course in shape for members to enjoy.
LeDrew, a Corner Brook native, spent three decades employed as a member of the groundskeeping crew at Blomidon. His attention to detail as he carried out his daily duties came to a close on July 25 when he retired.
He had celebrated his 65th birthday one month before his final day of work.
He and wife Judie celebrated 29 years of marriage this year on July 27.
LeDrew became a fixture at the local golf facility, starting when he was only 13 years old as a caddy for former Western Star publisher Wallace McKay.
He would walk from his home on Country Road to the golf course daily, although there were times he caught a ride with a friend going his way.
It seems he found peace on the golf course.
The sport is one of his loves in life, and that really shone through when he was presented with a lifetime membership at Blomidon from the executive and a new set of golf clubs, compliments of an anonymous member.
“I had a little cry at the end of it because we were all sitting around having a little livation,” LeDrew said, when friends and family shared in the presentation during the annual charity golf tournament in memory of his brother, John LeDrew. “They couldn’t have presented me with anything better. I’m very happy with that.”
LeDrew has never claimed to be the world’s best golfer, but nobody looked forward to a game of golf like him when it comes to the social aspect. Yes, he was a lot like the competitive athletes in his family — seven brothers and one sister — who liked to give it their best effort, but it was the comraderie that attracted him to the sport.
He never really cared about his scores, but he can be proud to say he had a hole-in-one. It came a few years back on No. 6.
There were so many good laughs to recall, he said, and stories to be told, but probably too many to single out a specific event or person that stood out.
One of the saddest days during his tenure at Blomidon happened on Aug. 31, 1973 when the original Blomidon golf and curling facility burned to the ground.
“I just paid for my golf clubs through caddying and they went up in smoke that night,” said LeDrew.
He has many friends to call upon if he ever needed them, and one of the guys who got to see all sides of him was Wayne Green. For 30 of his 33 years of service, Green worked side by side with LeDrew as a member of the groundskeeping crew at the 18-hole facility.
Polite and honest were just some of the words Green used to describe his friend when asked to give insight into working with LeDrew.
More importantly, Green believes his friend has a great work ethic.
He said LeDrew made sure there were smiles and laughs to help get through a busy day and was pretty handy at what he did each day starting daily at 6 a.m. before golfers hit the course.
“You knew it was going to be done right when Leonard did it ... let’s put it that way,” Green said.
Spending so much of your life alongside of somebody else on the job can sometimes be a roller-coaster ride with different personalties bound to clash over this or that.
It can be expected that there be a disagreement or two over a major issue or even the silliest thing on a bad day.
It appears being a friendly caring soul was the way LeDrew preferred to present himself and he was appreciated for his kind personality, according to a co-worker who also saw some funny things in his days work with Leonard, but opted not to talk about them in public.
“In all our time working together Leonard and I never had an argument,” Green said.
Andrew Margeson spent the past five years as LeDrew’s boss in the role of general manager and superintendent. He got to really see the dedication from his employee and appreciated the many times he went beyond expectations.
It’s safe to say LeDrew’s touch will certainly be missed because he was adept at what he did. And, his infectious smile really served as a reflection on the caring individual he really is and members embraced him for being so.
The boss is going to miss him because he knows the gem he had in this particular employee.
“One of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. Very loyal and never late,” Margeson said.
A lifetime membership at Blomidon, a new set of golf clubs and all the time in the world to hang out at the course.
That smile of his has gotten bigger, no doubt, but he also wants people to know he’s grateful to Blomidon for hiring him so many moons ago.
“It put bread and butter on the table,” he said.“It kept my family going over the years.”