It was a little while before her wedding day that Andreea Rogers got clarification that there was, in fact, two e’s in her first name.
She was about to wed the love of her life, Peter, and it wasn’t until they attended the registrar that she realised she would legally have to spell her name that way in future.
A spelling error on her birth cert led to the mix-up but it was the only hiccup as she tied the knot way back in 1963.
Now, having turned 81 on 5 February, Rogers has devoted over six decades to the game of golf and she shows no sign of stopping.
It’s a game that has given her so much from a social perspective, and the odd win here or there – including a fantastic victory just last year – and she is determined to remain on in her voluntary capacity at Abbeyleix Golf Club.
“I love volunteering, you get to meet people. They are in and out. The catering end of things is up and running again and people are coming up from town. It’s all go. It’s good to see. I love to see the place thriving, that’s the way I look at it,” said Rogers.
“I still play too and I was thrilled to win last year. I really didn’t think I would win any competition ever again. But it all clicked that day as somebody told me. My putting saved me a lot over the years, it’s the main part of my game.”
Many of Rogers’ roots are in Ireland but she grew up in England where her father, William Moorcroft, was from. Her mother Elizabeth Callaghan was Irish, though, and on one trip back to visit her relations she met her husband-to-be.
She was in her late-teens when she met Peter Rogers and he would eventually return to England with her where they got married. However, they couldn’t settle there and headed for County Laois again in 1964.
It was there, in Abbeyleix, that Rogers followed her husband out golfing one day. And from that chance experience she fell in love with the game too.
It wasn’t the competitive aspect that drew her in but the chance to go out and play against people of all levels while challenging her own skillset, and one part of her game really stood tall against the rest.
“Slowly but surely I got into the club and became a member then and just kept playing. I enjoyed it, times were a lot simpler in those days,” said Rogers.
“I just liked the fresh air, being out, and I always liked a challenge. I played a lot of tennis in my time in England and I loved that. I enjoyed the golf and the challenge of it.
“I was always a very good putter and that saved me a lot. I was never a long hitter of the ball. If you played in the mixed, the men would say: “if you played with Rogers you would never be in trouble.”
Her love affinity with the game extended far beyond the 18 holes, Rogers was a very well-respected figure in Abbeyleix and she was Women’s President on three separate occasions, in 1979, 1993 and 2006. She was also Women’s Captain in 1981 and as recently as 2018.
Away from golf, she was a carer. She worked in a children’s nursery as a nurse when she lived in England. When she returned to Ireland she looked after children and the elderly.
She retired when she was 66 but definitely didn’t step back from her duties in the golf club and she has remained at the forefront of things there ever since.
“It was a very small club when I joined 60 years ago, there was a very small Women’s section but it was nice,” said Rogers.
“They were welcoming and I just moved in and blended in. I enjoyed the company and that sort of thing. I loved being on teams and going to different clubs and playing for the club. I enjoyed that and it has always been a very friendly club.
“People have always treated me with great respect and I hope I treat them the very same. It has been a pleasure to have been involved as Women’s President and Women’s Captain. And you learn so much, there is no doubt about it. You learn a lot about people in a club. It has been a great experience.”
Rogers has become a staple of Abbeyleix Golf Club and her volunteering extends across all facets of the day-to-day running of the club.
She has also held the position of secretary, of bar manager, she has acted as a cook and server. She cleans the locker rooms, the front and entrance halls. But she loves contributing in any way she can.
“I am a very early riser. I’m up around 5.30am or 6am every morning. I love that part of the day,” said Rogers.
“I am a great tea drinker and the first thing I do in the morning is make my pot of tea and sit down and drink that. And I finish the paper from the day before, that’s my routine.
“Peter is still working, he does three days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so I make sure I have him up and running. Then I just potter around and get things done around my own house.
“I check the golf club again. I play golf on Tuesdays and I might play again another day, during the summer especially. I do a lot of walking and work around in my garden.
“I keep an eye on my grandchildren. If they need to be taken here, there and everywhere I take care of that for my daughter.”
Together with Peter (82) they form a remarkable team and Rogers saw her wonderful dedication to Abbeyleix recognised when she won the Leinster Club Volunteer of the Year award.
She is now in the running for the inaugural Golf Ireland Volunteer of the Year which will be handed out at this weekend’s AGM but Rogers is just delighted to be dedicating her time to her beloved club.
“I have been volunteering from the very start. Everybody had to pull their weight in the early days,” said Rogers.
“I kept on, anything that needed to be done, I just do it and carry on like that. You need to be able to turn your hat at an awful lot working as a volunteer.
“I do all of that. I ran up there this morning to make sure everything is okay for the day. I enjoy it. I love to see the place kept well. It’s a strange thing. Everybody thinks I have a touch of craziness in me because I like house work.”
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