VBL administration is led by a Management Committee, There is also a 6-man Competitions Committee, all its members are on the Management Committee. All of the men you elected have many years of experience and are well known in Northern Ireland’s bowling circles. Some have already given in excess of 15 years of continuous service each on your behalf.

The administration is in a transition stage. This is due, in large measure, to the increasing scope of the programmes now available for the members. And although it is probably undeniable that in days gone by the pen was mightier than the sword, things have moved on. When presenting possible new men for the Executive, VBL tries to ensure they meet three main criteria. (1) They are at the lower end of the age group, (2) they have computer literacy, and (3) they love the game we all play, share in a vision of progressing VBL forward, and wish to contribute something.

VBL is fortunate that these men are prepared to give their time for the sport.

Office-bearers and Committees for 2019

Robert McCullough (Antrim lawn) President 2019

Our new President is no stranger to Office in the world of Bowling! He came to the game in 1980 and, very quickly, became involved in both Playing and administration. He served as Secretary of his local Church League and the Six Mile Water League before being appointed Convenor for the all-conquering Mid Antrim Zone which won the Boomer Cup and the British Isles team championship during his time in office.
Robert began his “Outdoor” career with Langford, before moving to Antrim Lawn – his current “home”.
Once again he became involved in the management of his club and, of course, the Veterans’ section when he “became of age”. He is a Qualified Umpire for Short Mat, Indoor and outdoor.
In the winter season Robert plays at the Baker Stadium where he is also Honorary Secretary.
Robert is determined to bring the same dedication and enthusiasm to The Veterans’ Bowling League in support of Players, Clubs and the Committee.

Ken McCord Immediate Past President

Ken served with great distinction as our President in 2018 and has been playing for Larne Bowling Club for ten years. Before that, he was an avid snooker player. In fact, he started playing bowls because he was advised that it would help control a severe attack of “Snookeritis” which was damaging his game. Of course, he was soon hooked on this new sport and now wishes he had started playing much sooner!
Ken is a family man, proud of his three children and two great-grandchildren. A retired engineer, he is ambitious to add to the honours he has already won at Larne. Safely in his locker are at least two Veterans’ League Section A winner’s Medals while he helped steer Larne to a Private Greens Mid-Week Cup triumph.

Dessie Simpson (Past President, Secretary Section A1, A1a & A2.

Dessie plays his bowls at Ulster Transport but, many years ago, has been President of Shorts. An Executive Member since 2009, he was elected VBL President in 2010.
He has led teams to victory in both the VBL v NIPBVL game and the NIBA v PGL Veterans’ Challenge. A keen singer, he entertained both teams at the 2015 Challenge match in Coleraine!
Dessie, though modest by nature remains fiercely competitive. A true Bowling enthusiast, he plays Outdoors, Short Mat and at both Stadiums!

Paul McIlreavy (Assistant Webmaster)

Paul was brought onto the Management Committee at our recent AGM to assist with Webmaster duties. He replaces George Morrow who has done a sterling job in helping create our current website and has diligently maintained it for several years as well as most importantly updated league and cup results and league tables.
Although Paul hasn't quite reached the age of 60 which would allow him to play in the Veterans League he is keen to provide any assistance to improve our website. Paul plays his outdoor bowls at Londonderry Park, where he has been a member for 30+ years.

Harry Sloan (Honorary Treasurer)

Elected at our last A.G.M. Harry is a long-serving member of Willowfield Bowling Club, where he has been in office as President, Treasurer and member of the Management Board.
A financial Accountant since 1972 and Part-time Lecturer in Business Studies since 1976, he surely has all the attributes and experience to qualify him to fill Billy Murdie’s boots.
Harry’s big interest outside bowling has been the Boys’ Brigade; an Officer and Captain since 1957 he was President of Route Battalion in 1983.

Derek McCann (Section Secretary B4 & B4A)

Derek made his name on the cricket pitch before converting to Bowls!! “Genius” has quickly established himself as a formidable foe, winning our Singles title as well as guiding Downpatrick to numerous honours.During the winter he is a Short Mat specialist winning the Champions of Champions Triples and representing Ireland at the World Short Mat Bowls in 2016.
Derek also played Senior Table Tennis for City YMCA, winning the Belfast & District Division 1.
Derek is our current Vice President and has been an Executive Committee Member since 2014.

Michael Bunting (Senior Webmaster)

Michael started playing Bowls with Lurgan in 2002. He has been President of his club as well as MatchSecretary and Selector. He plays Short Mat Bowls as well as playing in Leagues in the Baker Stadium and at Belfast Indoor Bowling Club.
Prior to that Michael was involved in Darts, running Leagues and competitions at County and National Level for over 30 Years. He is a former N.I.D.O Secretary and has refereed Darts at International Level.
Michael was employed as a Plumber and Works Officer at Craigavon Hospital for over 39 year until his retirement in December 2012.

Brian Connor: Past President and Honorary Secretary.

Brian is proud and honoured to have served as President of the Veterans’ Bowling League in 2013. This was a special year for his home club, Whitehead as they also provided the Presidents of N.I.B.A. and of N.I.W.B.A. Brian came into office as Acting Secretary in 2010 and was elected officially in 2011. He won the V.B.L. Singles in 2008, the Fours in 2011, the Triples in 2012 and the Pairs in 2015. He has led fours to victory in both the VBL v NIPBVL game and the NIBA v PGL Veterans’ Challenge.

Arvon Bickerstaff ( Assistant Secretary, Past President and Section Secretary B5 & B5a)

An enthusiastic member of Balmoral Bowling Club, his name betrays his Welsh roots! Arvon plays for his club ‘B’ team as well as representing the Veterans. He is Balmoral’s Veterans’ Section Secretary and this year has again assumed the Office of Assistant Secretary of the Veterans’ Bowling League.
President in 2011, Arvon’s proudest moment came when he unfurled our new Flag at his home green – a truly historic moment! He doubles up as Section Secretary for Leagues B5 and B5A

Jim Flynn ( Past President and Competitions Secretary.)

Past President of Divis Bowling Club, Jim handles the massive Cup and Championships entry from our 66 member clubs. There are no finer spectacles in Irish Bowling than his Festival of Bowls and the Grand Finals, held this year at Willowfield and Forth River. Though his phone is red hot during the season, he has never been known to panic – much! By the way, Jim also serves as senior Presiding Officer in Local and Westminster elections.

John McCoy (Assistant Treasurer)

John is the latest recruit to our Executive. In the past he has served as one of our auditors but now he has assumed the role of Assistant to Harold Sloan.
John is from the world of sales and marketing and finished his career as MD of a major company based in Nottingham.
John started to play bowls at Pickie in 2008 and has helped them to win the P.G.L. Junior Cup, Mid-Week Cup (2) and the Veterans League as recently as 2016.

Harold Gilmour ( Past President, Secretary Sections B1, B1a, B2, B2a and B3 )

Harold Gilmour has been serving on the VBL Executive since 2004 and controls no fewer than five sections with a firm hand! He took major responsibility for the extensive restructuring of our leagues in recent years and remains our League Supremo.
In real life, Harold worked for a major airline for 35 years and only converted to bowling after his early retirement. He is Treasurer for Shaftesbury Veterans.