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Local man takes over the helm at Island Bowling Festivals 11 January 2006

    The Isle of Man’s June and September Bowling Festivals now have a local organiser, succeeding long-serving official Kieron McPartland from Widnes who stepped down last year after a connection with the events spanning 20 years.

    Derek Killey (Left) & John Ruscoe Island Bowling FestivalsNew Festival Director is Derek Killey from Laureston Terrace in Douglas who is already actively involved with bowls as both player and official. He is secretary of the Onchan Club and serves on the executive of the Isle of Man County Crown Green Bowling Association as well as running the outdoor winter league.

    It is fitting that Derek should take over the reins of the Festivals as he and his family have made a major contribution to the world of bowls. In addition to his work for the game at club level Derek has acted as one of the eight Festival co-ordinators since 2001; wife Eileen is a former Island ladies champion while their son, Michael – who now lives in Coventry – was at one time the youngest bowls referee in the UK.

    Tourism Minister David Cretney said:

    ‘I am delighted to welcome Derek on board as Festival Director. He has helped with the organisation for several years but the Department is pleased he is now taking on even greater responsibilities as the main organiser.
    ‘I feel sure Derek will help us maintain our position as the number one bowls event of its kind in the British Isles. Interest in bowls shows no sign of diminishing and in fact the 2005 September Festival attracted 448 bowlers in the men’s event which was the largest number at either of the festivals for thirteen years. ‘With Kieron’s help the transition will be a seamless one and we wish Derek every success in his new role.’

    The appointment of Derek Killey, a retired bus garage storekeeper, means there will be a local organiser for the first time in recent memory. Don Lyons from the Liverpool area ran the events for many years and was followed by Kieron who acted as Festival Director for four years and before that was one of the co-ordinators.

    Paul Moore, Events Manager for the Department of Tourism and Leisure – which gives financial back-up for the Isle of Man Bowls Festivals – said he was pleased a local person had come forward to take the position. Mr. Moore appealed to all Island bowlers to give Derek as much support as possible by volunteering to act as referees or to carry out other official duties.

    • The June Bowls Festival dates back to 1921 with the September event followed in the late 1960s.

    Picture caption: Derek Killey (left) is congratulated on his appointment as Festival Director by John Ruscoe, President of the Isle of Man County Crown Green Bowling Association.

    11th January 2006

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