Our club like all others depends almost totally on volunteers to provide services etc for all members’ benefit. People who volunteer to act as committee members and then take on specific tasks both at zone and central locations keep this organisation alive and vibrant.

Many years ago a former President , the late Bob Yates decided he would like to recognise some of these people who gave ‘Conspicuous’ service to the Association, by presenting an Annual President’s Award.

Upon being elected President last year, but at the same time acting as an interim Chairman, I have been able to study at close hand the work being carried out by some officers that I have not worked with before, and have been impressed by the devotion of a number of them.

Trying to make a decision on who I would honour this year, I was stuck between two committee members who met the ‘conspicuous’ tag. I therefore took the cowards way out and decided to make two awards this year.

I therefore gave recognition to Gary Lewis and Paul Bright, both of whom met the criteria set by Bob many decades ago.

Gary took over the general secretary job 2 to 3 years ago and has proved equally proficient and approachable as his long serving predecessor. He did however inherit a computer programme that was somewhat outdated. It was announced at the 2015 AGM that it needed to be replaced and bids we received were in the region of £4000 to £5000 with annual fees also applying. Gary decided, that he could complete the job himself if we purchased an up market version of Microsoft Office ( circa £300) , and did so. We now have an efficient modern database that offers everything we need to record the many facets of our operation. Apart from specific skills this also took many hours inputting information manually from the old system to the new. Add to that him taking over the Treasurers job, on a hopefully short time base from Mike Vokes, on his resignation, and the Webmasters job when that fell vacant, he certainly meets the ‘conspicuous ‘ criteria.

Paul Bright first came to my attention when he took over the general running of the West Midland Zone after the demise of Malkie , a hard act to follow. He subsequently took over the show secretarie’s job at the National, then the joint position as Show secretary of the ACS and latterly the show secretaries position of the Joint Midlands Zone Young Stock Show, held in conjunction with the Judges Convention. All these jobs need   a considerable amount of time to get the planning right so as to ensure a smooth running of the various events. Paul has achieved this to perfection.

I am therefore privileged to be around when two such people are prepared to give such excellent service to the Association and am happy to jointly award them the President’s Award for 2016.


Geoff Walker