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WAS president, still great

Saturday, 3rd March, 2018

Bob Groves, with his signature red hat, at his most recent art exhibit in October last year at the Regional Art Gallery. PICTURE: Andrew Robertson Bob Groves, with his signature red hat, at his most recent art exhibit in October last year at the Regional Art Gallery. PICTURE: Andrew Robertson

By Kara de Groot

Local artist Bob Groves is stepping down as president of the Willyama Art Society after more than 23 years in the role.

Bob has been a part of the Willyama Art Society (WAS) since the 60s, joining only a few years after it first began, and this year would have marked his 24th year as president.

He won’t be leaving the Society completely, just stepping back from the work that comes with being president to spend more time with his family.

WAS Secretary, Michele Stephens, said Bob has been an integral part of the WAS, organising exhibitions and keeping the Society going.

“Every year when we have meetings it’s been a standard thing that Bob would ask who was interested in being president this year, and no one would put their hand up so he’d ask if they wanted him to do the role again, and everyone would say yes,” Ms Stephens said.

“We’re going to vote on who will be president now at the Annual General Meeting on March 18.

“While Bob’s in charge, he’s never dictated, he just puts a final stamp on things, we’re all a group.”

The WAS will be celebrating Bob’s time as president with a special members’ only morning tea at the Sturt Club from 10.30 today.

Ms Stephens said she organised the morning tea to recognise his dedication to the society over the years.

“I thought, he’s been involved for so long, it needed some sort of recognition and he did such a wonderful job so he shouldn’t fade into the background,” she said.

“If he was leaving the Society it would be a bigger get together but he’ll still be here so I thought a smaller morning tea would be nice.”

Bob Groves said it’s a little sad to hand the role over, but it’s time. He said he’ll still attend meetings when he can, but his family commitments and health will now take priority.

“I’m 74 and maybe it’d be a good idea to hand it over to someone else with fresh ideas, maybe a younger person who’s more energetic,” Bob said.

“There’s no way I’m leaving the Society, it’s something close to my heart and there’s some exciting developments going on,” he said.

“My role in the Society developed from a love of art, and I care about it not only because of what I’ve done in the Society but what the Society’s done for me, it raises my profile as an artist.

“It’s nice of them to make the effort to set up the morning tea, I’m really happy to go along and catch up with everybody, it’ll be great.”

Bob said there’s still more art for him to create, and he’ll continue to be involved with art projects and exhibitions hosted by the WAS.

His last exhibit was in October last year at the Regional Art Gallery.

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