The year was 1963, Kennedy was president, Martin Luther King was standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, The Beatles were about to take America by storm and a quiet kid from Candia, NH began work on a golf course that would turn into a lifelong passion. These days Richard Weeks is synonymous with Candia Woods.
Those that have remained part of the community through the years consider Richard the original care taker of this golf course; others that have left and returned to their roots ask “Is Dick still around!?” Of course, the answer is yes, Dick is still here; diligently working away, preserving the land and business he has nourished for so many years. For my part, I am simply passing through Dick’s historic reign.
Dick began his journey at Candia Woods at age sixteen. Knowing the local farmers that were using this land as pasture, he inquired about the construction of the golf course and wound up with a job. From there Dick graduated high school and high tailed it to college to study mechanics and turf, all the while working away at the newly constructed golf course in the town he grew up in.
After finishing his schooling, Dick’s role at Candia Woods quickly changed from working summers at the course to a full time position of leadership as he took on the role of Asst. Superintendent/Mechanic in 1968.
It wasn’t long after that, when it was clear that Dick had all the tools in his belt to get the job done, that he was offered the position of Superintendent, which he accepted in 1973. Twenty years would go by before his next transition within the business.
It was 1993 when Dick decided to hand the reigns over to another worthy green thumb and continued his work once again as the Asst Superintendent/Mechanic.
By the mid 90’s the golf course had gone through some changes. It had been bought and sold a handful of times, with changes made to the land and business model along the way. Even the name of the course changed from its original title of Charmingfare to Candia Woods Golf Links, but one thing remained the same…Dick was still here. In 2001 Dick took on the role of Head Mechanic and still holds that title today.
Along the way Dick somehow found time to be an influential force within the state chapter for Golf Course Superintendents and within his community. As a member of the NHGCSA he served on the board, as the vice president and president, and has been a member since 1968.
Dick received the outstanding Superintendents award in 1994 and was given the life time achievement award for his service within the chapter. Within his community, Dick was a member of the volunteer fire department for 32 years. He also served as a member of the Candia Conservation Commission and served as the Deputy Forest Fire Warden.
Dick’s story is one of rarity. How many people can say they’ve worked at the same business for fifty four years? How many can say they’ve held every position within their branch? Dick can. There is a reverence that is hidden within those questions; a sort of veneration that only one that has put the time in can understand.
Since the very birth of Candia Woods, Dick has been directly involved in its success. He was one of the original shapers of the land and the most loyal of all its employees. He has maintained its buildings, equipment and supplies all the while providing insight from the past with an eye on the future. Dick has seen it all; he has been both at the head of the helm and the man behind the curtain. Candia Woods owes Richard Weeks a debt of gratitude and then some.
This year Dick will turn the page to another new chapter, he will retire from full time work at Candia Woods. Chances are you will still see him on the course, keeping that proverbial watchful eye on everyday operations, and continuing his service as steward of this golf course. Dick has laid the ground work that has contributed to the success of so many.
He has persisted through good times and bad, loyal to his work, his fellow employees and to his land. Yes, in many ways this is Dick’s land; he knows its history, its habits and its secrets. I want Dick to know that I am honored to be part of his story.
I want him to know that I will do my best to preserve this land that he has so tirelessly cared for. Most of all, I know I speak for many when I say, Dick will always have a home at Candia Woods.
Ted Bishop, PGA
General Manager of Candia Woods Golf Links
“When I first arrived at CW decades ago one of the first staff members to greet and welcome me was “Dickie” Weeks. Dick and I had met on occasions over the years so it was nice to see a familiar face to make me feel at home.
I soon came to realize Dick’s vast knowledge of our golf course; the machinery used to keep it in great condition and of course his tireless work ethic. If I ever had a question about something related to the golf course Dick was usually my first contact. I know our superintendents over the years relied heavily on Dick’s knowledge and input especially with irrigation issues as he knew where every buried line, junction box and sprinkler head was located!
Dick’s unwavering positive attitude with all of our staff members as well as our customers is something I will always remember. Dick was quick to ask how things were going or just add to any conversation particularly if it was about Candia Woods. On occasions I would be treated to some of Dick’s home grown veggies and if the timing was right Dick might have received a couple of Rainbow trout!
It has been a privilege and honor to work with “Dickie” Weeks and I appreciate everything he did for Candia Woods over the years. I wish Dick and Loraine all the best in their retirement and look forward to always calling “Dickie” a friend.”
Matt what a well written story on what I have just learned is a very special man. There are few of his kind left in this world and I never knew until now what a treasure we have. Thank you for sharing.
You and your people have obviously listened and learned along the way because our course is always in fantastic shape. Thank you all for bringing so much pleasure and enjoyment to our lives. Think about that statement, thank you for bringing us all so much pleasure. You are appreciated, respected and thanked for your day in and day out efforts.
A very grateful member!