Anne Gluckstein, the youngest of five children, was born in Parry Sound in 1916. She and her family lived above Gluckstein Store located at 111 James Street. Her father, Jacob, bought the store in 1915, and operated it as a general
store, gradually changing it over to ladies wear and a furrier. He made quality fur coats, hats and stoles, selling them to local residents as well as to tourists who traveled to Parry Sound from as far away as South America and Europe. Anne left high school at age seventeen to work with her father at the store. She learned all phases of the retail business, eventually becoming a full partner in the business and finally owning it in 1963. For a time she was the only female fur buyer in the province and like her father bought raw fur pelts directly from local trappers. Gluckstein’s Store earned a reputation for quality women’s clothes, a reputation that lasted until Anne sold the business in 1979.
Anne Gluckstein began serious golfing in 1938 at 22 years of age. She bought her first set of golf clubs from Herb Jackson for $12.50 paying off the account at $0.50 per week. She took to the game immediately. The next year she won her first, the Parry Sound Ladies Club Championship eventually capturing it an amazing 37 more times. She was a student of the game and honed her skills by reading books and caddying for men, not for money but just to get tips on the game. She served on the Executive Board of the Parry Sound Golf and Country Club and as Captain organized an ambitious schedule of tournaments and events for all levels of ability.
She thrived on competition and was adamant that the rules of golf were to be adhered to at all times. She would quickly produce a rule book if there was any question about procedure. Concerned that the Club did not have a teaching professional, Anne initiated a program of free lessons for young golfers which became the junior development program. She wanted to teach others to be good golfers and out of respect for her fellow players she would not correct golf swings while playing. She shared her golf expertise by writing Golf Tips, in the local North Star. These tips were very much appreciated by those trying to improve their game. Due to an appetite for more golf lessons in the community she taught golf classes at Parry Sound High School night school.
In recognition of her tremendous contribution to golf in Parry Sound she was made a Life Member of the Parry Sound Golf & Country Club in 1972 and given the title, “First Lady of Golf”. Anne was a permanent fixture on the old course
and probably played there longer than any other woman golfer. She was so well known that she once received a letter simply addressed to: “Anne, The Golfer, Parry Sound”.
No doubt about it, golf was her ultimate passion. Anne, like most competitive golfers was not immune to using very descriptive language that only golfers use when missing a short putt or shanking one in the bush. In spite of her colorful language and some might say because of it, Anne won many tournaments and championships. She was held in very high regard by her opponents.
She won the prestigious Northern Ontario Golf Association Championship in 1956 and in 1958. She won the North Bay Trophy so many times during her career that it was finally given to her. She won the French River Invitational in
each year from 1953 to 1956 when the trophy was retired in her honour. She won the Port Carling Championship about twenty-five times. She accumulated more than 60 trophies and numerous plates and trays many of which she
displayed in her store which attested to her excellence in the game of golf.
Anne was recognized nationally for her positive approach in promoting golf by Ada Mackenzie, a six time Canadian Ladies Champion. Ada visited Parry Sound to pay tribute to Anne. Anne’s skills as an ambassador for women’s golf contributed to the positive development for all Women’s Golf Associations.
Even though Anne was passionate about golf she had many other interests. Anne was a multi dimensional person. She was a very astute and clever business woman working Gluckstein Ladies Wear from about 1933 until it closed in 1979, a span of forty-six years.
In 1953 she was a driving force in organizing the Parry Sound Chamber of Commerce and was the only female director, a position she held for ten years. She was instrumental in organizing the Smelt Jamboree and Beautification Week for the Town of Parry Sound.
She Chaired the Parry Sound District Centennial in 1967. In 1954, with Anne’s perseverance and leadership a local Women’s Business group was formed in Parry Sound. She served on the Provincial Women’s Advisory Committee. She had a pilot’s license and loved the thrill of flying. She loved travel and traveled much of the world. She loved to play bridge and was an accomplished player and would join bridge clubs when she traveled.
She loved her nieces and nephews who would come to Parry Sound by train to visit her. They all referred to her affectionately, as Aunt Babe. She loved the Georgian Bay almost as much as she loved golf, spending many hours fishing and cruising on the Georgian Bay. It was one of her favourite places, whether the fish were biting or not. While she enjoyed fishing she would not put a worm on a hook and had others like Jane Croswell serve as hook-baiter. Her one regret was that she never managed to hook a muskie. As one to enjoy the exhilaration of a fast boat, some of her friends who wish to remain nameless, tell of an island somewhere on Georgian referred to as “Anne’s Island” in recognition of her colliding with it on her fishing trips.
Anne was highly respected and admired for her golfing and business accomplishments. She was a strong and caring person of great integrity, a woman ahead of her time in a man’s world.
Anne passed away in 1991, leaving a legacy of remarkable achievements in the wake of her life.
The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame is very proud to welcome Anne Gluckstein as a 2005 Inductee. A most deserving honour for a most deserving woman.