Chairman Collin introduced Ray Cooknell, Chairman of the Board of Directors of City Memorial Bowls Club. Ray said that he had left school at 15 and had farmed at Timboon through the 70s, 80s and into the 90s. At 44, he had gone back to school and earned a Diploma of Management, after which he worked for Heinz at Kyabram.
In 2010, he and his wife retired to Warrnambool and took up bowls. In 2014, Ray joined the Board of City Memorial, at which time the club carried a very significant debt. He went on to speak about the cover on the greens, some of the challenges along the way, and its opening in October 2019 – the contribution of volunteers to the success of the project received special mention.
Ray spoke frankly about some of the management and financial issues facing the Club and steps being taken to protect a very successful operation against external pressures.
He opted to give his “speaker’s fee” to the Leila Rose Foundation.