ANGLING: West Bay honour late president

Dorset Echo: AWARD WINNERS: West Bay members AWARD WINNERS: West Bay members

AROUND 50 members attended West Bay Sea Angling Club’s annual presentation night at Highlands End at Eype.

They all enjoyed a three-course meal at the venue before the trophies and awards were handed out to the top performers over the course of the past year.

Chairman Rob Barr started proceedings by thanking secretary Roger Guppy for organising the event, cup custodian Lynn Mudford for a great job in preparing all the trophies, and the staff at Highlands for their excellent service.

PJ Wheeler, Simon Bowditch, Paul House, Gerry Reed, Frances Kitchin and Ollie Mears all picked up major silverware on the night, while the late Fred Bowditch was the winner of the inaugural Ralph Probert Memorial Trophy – the shield was presented by Ralph’s wife Babs Probert and received by Vera Bowditch, Fred’s wife.

The presentation finally closed with two awards that are highly valued by club members – the Clubman Shield and the President’s Cup, which recognises the outstanding work carried out by a particular individual at the club.

Steve Fowles picked up the Clubman Shield before new club president Dave Cornick took to the floor to present the President’s Cup – an award that was started by Fred Bowditch and is to become a memorial trophy in his honour.

Cornick said: “Without doubt, Fred will be a difficult act to follow because he was extremely reliable and, after approximately 50 years of involvement with our club, very experienced.

“I can see him now in August, presenting the prizes to the winners of the Species and Specimen Hunt Festival – he was always there and I am sure we will all miss Fred.

“I would like to thank you for putting your trust in me, and I will do my best to follow in Fred’s illustrious footsteps, which brings me on to the President’s Cup.

“I have given considerable thought to who will be the person to receive this award, and I must say this was not easy.

“However, if ever a man deserved the award he introduced, it was Fred Bowditch. Therefore I request Vera to join me and receive the President’s Cup on Fred’s behalf.’’ That announcement was met by an extended round of applause, which further demonstrated the respect and affection that was held for the late president by members present.

During his speech, Cornick also praised the fantastic work of Roger Guppy, Simon Bowditch, Steve Fowles, Richard Daw, James Barr and Fred Batten.

The evening finished off with a raffle and the committee would like to thank all those individuals who donated prizes, including Morrisons of Bridport and West Bay Water Sports.

They would also like to say a special thank you to Tom Marley for acquiring prizes and the selling of tickets.

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