Friday, May 26, 2006

Golden Triangle Golf Community Mourns Durham's Passing

The lead item in Tom Halliburton's weekly local golf column in the Port Arthur News brings the sad news of the passing of Henry Durham, one of the top amateurs from this part of the state and a great benefactor of the junior golf community.

Halliburton writes:

For more than 40 years, Henry Durham's special shadow made its way around
Southeast Texas golf courses.

The first African American to capture a major city tournament in the Port Arthur area, Durham lived virtually all of his adult life in the Golden Triangle.

Area golfers mourned the death of the 71-year-old former refinery worker, who passed away from injuries sustained in an auto accident on Texas 105 last week.

Around the start of this decade, the Lufkin native became instrumental in forming the Henry Durham Foundation to help provide youths with facilities where they could play golf.

One of those area golf dignitaries to attend Durham's services on Tuesday morning was Babe Zaharias golf professional Ed Campbell. A co-founder of the First Tee junior golf program in Port Arthur, Durham was recognized by Campbell for his outstanding and rich contribution to the sport.

"Henry was one of the best amateurs in this area for years and years," Campbell said. "He really was one of the greatest players to ever come out of this part of the country.

"He was a perfect gentleman, a real good player and a great asset to our golf community. One of his main purposes later in life was to get the First Tee (junior golf program) to Port Arthur. He was not the only force by any means but he certainly was the driving force behind making that happen."

Henry Durham lived a special life and lived it to the fullest. To all of his friends and family, the golf community in Port Arthur has lost a guy who definitely deserved to step into that tee box and hit first. Henry was a champ. He will be greatly missed ...

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