Signing Up for the Quiet Life

Managing Mollymook’s Golf Club and Guest House

Mollymook’s fresh, salty breezes and relaxed atmosphere must have constantly reminded Joy Crewes why she and her husband John had moved there in the early 1950s. These keen amateur golfers had left Sydney behind to manage the Molly Moke Country Club, with its guesthouse and golf course overlooking the town’s popular beach. So, it must have been a time of great sadness when Joy had this sign professionally painted by local signwriter Peter Williams. She hung it at the club, introducing herself as the sole manager after her husband died there in 1956. 

The club was named Molly Moke after the area’s first dairy and orchard, which was possibly named after the black-browed mollymawk, a local sea bird. The developing town also became known as Molly Moke, until the 1960s when the name Mollymoke was more commonly used. It was a popular destination for beachgoers and golfers, who played at the sand-green (oiled sand) course.  

In 1934, Joy Kate Cluett (born 1909) married John Stewart Crewes (1908-1956) and they lived in Bankstown, where John worked as a storekeeper. He was also a keen golfer, playing regularly in local competitions, but in 1941, as World War II continued, John enlisted to serve with the Royal Australian Air Force.  

On returning to Australia, moving to Mollymook to live the quiet life must have seemed a natural decision for John. Initially, he and Joy managed the club together and hosted golf competitions and monthly dances. But in 1955, John advertised for a new club manager, perhaps unable to continue working due to war injuries or chronic illness, which lead to his death the following year, at just 47 years old.