Greg Spence has been honoured with life membership.
Greg Spence has been honoured with life membership. ROB WRIGHT

Life membership for club chairman

RETIRING Coffs Harbour Leagues Club chairman Greg Spence has been honoured with life membership.

After 15 years as a board member – the last eight as chairman – it’s back to running his Sportspower business full time after making way for incoming supremo Warren Gilkinson.

“Only now am I starting to realise how much I’m probably going to miss it,” he revealed yesterday.

“The club industry is going through tough times and it’s been well-publicised we’ve had our own difficulties.

“But I’m proud to be leaving with nothing owing.

“The establishment loan from council has been completely paid off, there’s money in the bank and we’re totally debt free.

“With two clubs in New South Wales every week either going under or looking to amalgamate, to not only survive but to keep improving as you go along is worth something to the community.”

He stressed his desire to work full time business hours while paying tribute to the other members of the ‘team’.

“My wife Maureen, retiring club secretary Roy Dunn and his partner Yvonne Boyns are the real reason for me being honoured with a life membership,” he said.

“There were times I couldn’t get away from the shop but they were always there to do whatever was required.

“Every day the tedious and non-productive jobs have to be done and every day, one or all of them willingly turned up to keep the place firing.

“I’m sad to leave it behind and they will be as well.

“But the time for a break has arrived.”

Spence admits he feels regret whenever the public appears to be taking the Advocate Park sporting precinct for granted.

“Go back 20 years when it was a swamp and see how great a community asset it has become after we started out with nothing but imagination,” he added.

“Our new chairman ‘Gilko’ was one of those who worked on build

ing the original project as a volunteer.

“And I’m sure he’d know from his role with council how important the facility has become to the community.

“Because the Comets decided to set up on the site the provision of sporting facilities to every code and in every part of the city has been fast-tracked.”

On the subject of Gilkinson, Spence said once the new man gets a handle on all the new faces within the operation, his life will become much easier.

“We got together and he asked all the right questions but it’s no easy task trying to understand how everything runs and how it fits together.

“I’m urging him to delegate to responsible people.

“And don’t try to do everything yourself, otherwise it’ll do your head in.

“Getting a secretary-manager to replace Roy will be very important and while there are certain to be plenty of challenges ahead, I wish them well and promise to encourage and be a sounding board whenever they need me.”

Go back 20 years when it was a swamp and see how great a community asset it has become.



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