A new era at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs has begun this week after the Reform group swept to power in a boardroom coup winning six of the seven spots on the board of directors at the football club's 83rd Annual General Meeting on Sunday morning at Canterbury League Club in Belmore.
Lynne Anderson, the new Bulldogs Chair, topped the poll with 471 votes, John Ballesty was second with 448, Steve Price was third on 415, Chris Anderson was fourth on 397, Paul Dunn was fifth on 395, Steve Mortimer – the only previous director to retain his seat – was sixth on 392 and John Khoury was seventh on 382. Arthur Coorey, former Chairman Ray Dib, Joanne Farr, Anter Isaac, Peter McMahon and Anne Sinclair were voted off the board.
Back to Belmore also sought representation on the Bulldogs board. Patron and former President Luke Brailey, who contested a seat preferencing Mr Coorey and five members of the Reform ticket, conceded defeat after polling in third-last spot in a field of 18 candidates.
"The result is emphatically clear and I accept the result. Although I fell short on this occasion, the result changes nothing in terms of the strength of Back to Belmore and the dedication of our team. We will continue to fight to make Belmore Sports Ground stronger for this generation and the next," Mr Brailey said.
"Our campaign was all about respect, courtesy and acknowledging Back to Belmore's pivotal role as the peak body for advocating the preservation and restoration of Belmore Sports Ground. It was unequivocally clear that the Bulldogs placed little value in our organisation's important work so I took a chance with the noblest of motives, something I considered with all due gravity. Back to Belmore will never be taken for granted again."
Mr Brailey thanked Mr Dib for his service to the Bulldogs and also took the opportunity to pay a glowing tribute to Ms Anderson.
"I want to thank Ray for his leadership and his years of service to the football club and to wish him all the best as he goes into the next phase of his life. My respect and admiration for Ray is as profound as his love for the Bulldogs," he said.
"I would also like to extend my best wishes to his successor Lynne Anderson. I congratulate Lynne on her election to the Chair. This is a time of great challenges for the Bulldogs and I know that as Chair, she will be successful in guiding the club. Lynne has been a friend of mine for over 25 years and I know that her compassion, intellect, hard work and commitment to principle will contribute significantly to the greater good of Canterbury."
Back to Belmore President Luke Cevolani sent Ms Anderson a direct message congratulating her on the Reform team's emphatic victory and her election as Bulldogs Chair.
"I look forward to meeting Lynne and working with the new board to make a fresh start with the Bulldogs and to discuss how we can strengthen the relationship between the club and Back to Belmore," Mr Cevolani said.