New president and Life Member announced at Bowls WA AGM

by Aaron Delaporte

The Bowls WA AGM was held at 10am on Saturday 29th August at the Manning Memorial Bowling Club with a good crowd with over 40 clubs represented.

Photo: Kerry Andersen (retiring President), Norma Samuel (Life Member) and Larry Bandy (New Bowls WA President)

The retirements of President Kerry Andersen and Board member Hendy Cowan who have both contributed 10 years of service to the Association were recognised and applauded by those at the meeting. Both will be further recognised at the Bowls WA Awards Night on October 2nd.

President Kerry read her final report as her last official duty as President and in doing so thanked sponsors, supporting partners, fellow board members, staff, clubs, volunteers and members for their support of the Association during her time. Kerry remarked that she leaves the Association in good hands and would continue to follow the progress of Bowls WA into the future.

Finance Director Lisa Featherby’s report was also tabled at the meeting as she outlined the financial position of the Association. A forecast deficit of $40,000 for the year was able to be turned into a $150,000 surplus due to good financial management along with a decrease in expenses plus an increase in revenues created by Covid 19. The major expense items included the cancellation of the National Championships with increased revenue coming from sponsors and the state government plus some Covid 19 business stimulus revenue. The important result of this was that Bowls WA will pass this surplus onto the clubs in the form of fee relief for the 2020/21 season. A predicted deficit for 2020/21 of $100,000 is largely due to a conservative budget position and comes with a large degree of uncertainty in the current climate, however the good financial management of the current board and those previous means Bowls WA is still in a strong financial position overall.

The highlight of the AGM was undoubtedly the awarding of Life Membership to former Bowls WA President (2006-08) Norma Samuel who was also the Ladies Association President and instrumental in the unification of the Men’s and Ladies’ bodies in 2004. Norma who served in other roles prior to becoming President, was unanimously awarded the highest honour to the strong applause of those attending. In a very humble and gracious acceptance speech Norma was very eager to point out that despite the work involved in holding many voluntary positions the rewards to her in meeting so many wonderful people in the sport of bowls far outweighed any commitment and service she provided to the Association. Norma was also conferred as the Vice Patron for the Association for another season along with reappointment of the Governor General the Honourable Kim Beazley AC as Patron.

Bowls WA CEO Ken Pride as returning officer read the results of the Election of Office Bearers. The new Bowls WA President being Larry Bandy from South Perth whilst Marc Abonnell (Kardinya) and Ross Warburton (Brunswick Districts) along with new board member Glenda Cooper (North Beach) were elected unopposed. Doug Kelly (Meckering) will move into the vacated Vice President position for the remainder of the term which is one year.

The meeting took questions from the floor on a number of issues including those around the instability of teams (forfeits) in lower grades and some changes to playing conditions which had already been circulated to clubs.

Incoming President Larry Bandy then provided the clubs in attendance a brief presentation on the priorities of the Association for the next twelve months. One key focus of the Association being to provide support to clubs as we continue to work through the unknown effects on participation from Covid 19.

Bowls WA thanks all the club and their representatives for their attendance at the AGM and again passes on its congratulation to Norma Samuel for her achievements in being awarded Life Membership.

Full minutes of the 2020 Bowls WA AGM and the presentation of Operational Priorities will be provided to clubs very soon.