Bob Kane Citation
Recommendation by the Executive committee to the meeting, that "Honorary Life Membership of the Association is accorded to Bob Kane."
Honorary life membership of this Association is not handed out without due thought and consideration, and we feel that Bob is a worthy candidate for this honour.
It is extraordinary that I have been asked to make this nomination. This is a man who, when our much loved and well read magazine 'The Follow On' was under the Editorship of the late Alan Waugh, wrote a 'Letter to the Editor' describing me as a 'carnaptious old git'.'
Naturally, I took the letter to my solicitor, certain that these comments were actionable. My solicitor read it carefully, looked up at me and said "I don`t think so - after all, which of those three words could you possibly take issue with ?'.
Bob Kane has been a long time member of NIACUS. He rose quickly through the ranks to become an Interprovincial umpire. Disappointingly for us, his career was cut short due to a 'dysfunctional knee joint'. Now this may have been because of his lightning movement at bowler`s end when umpiring, or perhaps, it was because of his stylish 'reverse turns' when indulging in his other great love - ballroom dancing. Either way, his premature departure from the umpires` list was a great loss to NIACUS.
He also became an ACU&S accredited 'Umpire instructor' and was a leading member of our umpire training team for many years. He was a natural teacher and many people benefited from his sage and well-delivered advice. I still remember to this day, a wonderful phrase he used at the end of an evening`s training session. He said "Remember when you are umpiring, that you are a part of the match, but you are apart from it". I`ll leave you all to think about that excellent piece of advice.
NIACUS was hugely fortunate that Bob became our Chairman back in 1998, for the usual two year term. Founded in 1949, our 50th Anniversary would be the following year. Our Golden Jubilee dinner proved to be a splendid affair. Greatly aided and abetted by people like Joy Muir, Robin Walsh and Jimmy E. McCall - all in their different ways - Bob fronted a magnificent evening with over 175 members and guests, who were regally entertained by celebrity speakers including Test cricketer Derek Underwood, TV star Henry Kelly and ACU&S Chair Sheila Hill. Bob`s speech was a 'piece de resistance' including welcoming two of my personal umpire guests from The Netherlands and Hong Kong, in their own native tongues !.
This was typical of the man who had earned a reputation as a comedian, after dinner speaker, singer - with his trademark rendition of 'Me and Bobby Magee' ) which I have heard, ad nauseum, at many umpires` and Masonic dinner dances - indeed I remember him at a North West Dinner Dance, keeping the star attraction off the stage for a good half hour while he and the band went through Bob`s complete repetoire !!.
Perhaps he learned about humour from his girl friend Dorothy - now his long suffering wife. A quite pathetic proposal of marriage from a naïve young Bob Kane went like this " Dot, perhaps we should get married or something". Dorothy replied " Bob, we will get married - or nothing !!".
A long, time served committee member of NIACUS, Bob`s retirement from umpiring did not mean he stepped away from NIACUS. Instead he took on the challenging post of Convenor of our Grading Committee. Not content with just going through the motions, he instituted a complete new system of grading. I`ll not bore you with the details, but suffice to say he devoted a huge amount of time and energy, scrutinising many hundreds of captains` reports each year, to ensure that we all got a fair and accurate assessment of the captains` views of our capabilities. More than that, he would make contact with the captains, to discuss matters of concern with them, where he deemed it appropriate. Now, in 2014, this burden has been lifted somewhat, from his shoulders, as an all -island on-line reporting system has been instituted by IACUS. This means that the same and equal method of reporting, by computer, now applies to every umpire officiating everywhere from Londonderry to Cork.
It is pleasing to record that Bob has been recognised by NIACUS recently, by being a recipient of the Chairman`s Award - "The George Archer Memorial Trophy".
In respect of all the foregoing, I would hope that your Executive Committee`s nomination of Bob Kane as an Honorary life member, will now be approved and passed by acclamation from the floor.
Paddy O`Hara October 2014.