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Residential Real Estate

Aug. 16 – Board of The Landings at Skidaway to rename Plantation Club and course due to employee objections

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

August 16, 2017 – As major cities in the U.S. move to remove statues and other landmarks that honor the history of the Confederacy and the Civil War in the South, the issue is on the minds of many in Savannah.

The Board of Governors of The Landings has informed residents in this month’s newsletter that the name of The Plantation Clubhouse will be changed.

According to Executive Director Steven Freund, speaking for the Board, “Our Club welcomes members from every walk of life and background more so than most clubs of our type. We’re multi-generational, regionally, nationally and ethnically diverse with a unifying desire to share the rewards of a life well-lived with nice people. Consequently, we’ve taken time to walk in the shoes of members and staff and believe it’s time for a change. With the impetus for the decision noted below, we have proposed a change to the name of our Plantation Clubhouse and possibly the golf course.”  

“This has been an issue of consequence for many of our staff for a long time. Although it has never been a flashpoint, it has come up periodically even though team members with the courage to express their feelings have pointed out that our Club is “not that way” meaning that we are a good and fair employer, a meritocracy providing growth opportunities for all based on talent and effort, not skin color. However, we have heard firsthand accounts that staff is challenged from time to time by family and friends for working at a “Plantation.” Further, I have had a chance to meet with African American members, members who love our community and Club but are questioned by their family and friends about calling a place with the moniker “Plantation” home. I have also heard from staff and members that they are troubled by the accompanying ties to that part of our country’s history,” according to Freund. 

“One member was particularly persuasive on this point and recognized that change of this sort can take time. Our promise was to bring this idea for consideration to our House Committee and our Board of Governors for reaction and guidance. We have also talked to staff of all backgrounds about a name change, and the strong response was that this is the right time and circumstance to take this step. A better way to say it is that we are considering this change because we believe now is the right time rather than changing due to compulsion or pressure,” he explained.

As with the name of the restaurant, The Landings Association’s House Committee will work with the community’s Golf and Green Committee to determine options on the name for the Board to consider. “The easy solution would be to name the Clubhouse “Palmetto” but we believe it best to consider this and other creative options,” Freund wrote the residents in the almost 4,000 home community.

The goal is to have the name change resolved before the upcoming ribbon-cutting on the new restaurant at The Plantation clubhouse.

He added that the Board’s intention is to change the name of the golf course, as well, through a similar process. “The Plantation Golf Course is our only true links course – links being defined as a course routing that is out and back without returning to the clubhouse until the 18th hole. There are many possibilities to combine names tied to the southern end of our island with “links” such as “Delegal Links”, “Ossabaw Links” or something similar. Again, our members will deliberate and develop ideas for consideration by our Board of Governors.”

Freund also explained that the membership of the club is “more racially and ethnically diverse, is younger and looks ever increasingly like the rest of our country. So far, this proposal has been positively supported in all member and staff meetings,” he stated.  

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