GERALD SYKES is the new president of the Huddersfield Bowling Association.
The Slaithwaite CBC member stepped up at the annual meeting and will be supported by Steve Tattersall, of Paddock CBC, who takes the office of deputy president.
In a heartfelt speech, outgoing president Dougie Mellor, who served as president from 1991 to 1993 and then again for four years from 2003, the greatest number of years of any president, said: "I step down now after having served seven years which have provided me with wonderful memories and enjoyment.
"We should all support Gerald (Sykes) now as he steps into the role. In fact, I believe it is the first time someone has taken on the top job without having previously been a deputy and I wish him all the very best.
"Gerald has been a vice president for a number of years and has been very reliable and a very, very generous supporter of this association and bowling in general, and his organisational skills are superb."
Seconding the move, Derrick Radley, added: "Gerald Sykes' heart and soul is in crown green bowling."
As Tattersall accepted the post of deputy, after being proposed by Tony Emerson, Mellor added: "Here we have two very big-hearted people who, I am sure, will continue to ensure that Huddersfield maintains the best and strongest association and League in Yorkshire."
Another key change is that after four years, Robert Beaumont steps down as competition secretary and Andrew Wadsworth, who is currently secretary of the Griffin Bowling Club, begins his first year on the Huddersfield Association's top-table.
Fortunately for the new officials, they will be able to call on help from two stalwarts who are staying in their positions.
After serving 19 years in the role of secretary/treasurer, JeanWrathall continues and, after 11 years, Neil Hinchliffe will provide plenty of experience continuing as league secretary.
In giving a vote of thanks to the retiring officers, club rep of the year, John Carstairs of Primrose Hill Lib, thanked Mellor and Beaumont for their work.
"Through his excellent computer skills, Robert really has brought the role of competition secretary into the 21st century," he said.
Also at the meeting, sponsors past and present were thanked as Hills Supplies concluded their sponsorship after many years while Armitage Leisure Services have stepped in to offer £900 to the association for use as they wish, in a three-year deal.
The new season begins on Saturday, April 14, for teams in the Drayton, Bamforth, Ingham and Beaumont Cups, followed by a full League programme on April 21.
Clubs are reminded the deadline for entries for the Spring Handicap and the A and S Hirst four-person team knockout (reduced from the previous six-person format), is Monday, March 26.
* Geoff Lunn, of Waterloo BC, has reported there is a green available for a team to play in this season's Thursday night Works League.
Contact Geoff on 01484 348437.