Returned navy serviceman Phil Cheek has been welcomed as the new president of the Merimbula RSL Club board.
The board unanimously voted Mr Cheek in for the president's position after Graeme Williams stepped down after 13 years in the role.
Mr Williams remained on the board as vice-president and also on the executive committee of the Merimbula RSL Club sub-branch.
The other board members are Allan Browning, John Finn, Dave Rankin, Ian Powell and Hannah Rossi.
Mr Cheek moved to Merimbula in 2006 after 35 years in the navy. He joined the board in 2012 as a way to give back to the RSL community.
"I had retired from the navy but I wanted to keep my mind active. What most interested me was in getting involved in the business side of the club," he said.
"It is a rewarding role which has included time on the finance and catering committees and vice-president for the past eight years."
Mr Cheek said the sense of community within the Merimbula RSL Club "family" was what made him so passionate about being involved.
"We have a great club which is run very well. We have terrific staff and great premises - all of which are testament to current and past board members and the club's secretary manager Michael Mutsch," he said.
The board played a corporate governance role while supporting the work of the Merimbula RSL sub-branch.
Mr Cheek paid tribute to Mr Williams, commending him for his steady and fair approach as president.
Mr Williams joined the board in October 1999. He was vice-president for nine years from 2002-2010 before stepping into the president's role in 2011. The club awarded him life membership in 2012.
Mr Cheek said Mr Williams had been at the helm during important milestones including two major extensions in 2003 and 2007, an extensive refurbishment in 2016 and the most recent renovation of the Ross Jones Sports Lounge and exterior.
"One of the projects the board is most proud of, which Graeme presided over, is the renovation of the Ross Jones Sports Lounge," Mr Cheek said.
"Not only is this new area of immense benefit to our members and guests, it is also a tribute to one of the board's long-serving members Ross Jones who was on the board with Graeme for many years."
Mr Cheek said during his time as president, Mr Williams attended 175 out of 179 meetings. He didn't miss a single meeting when he was vice-president.
"Graeme has run the board as a consensus board and would always let everyone have their say. He always welcomed robust discussions until the decision was made.
"He also led the club through many challenging times including the proposed amalgamation with Club Sapphire, the 2019-20 summer bushfires and COVID."
Merimbula RSL sub-branch president and board member Allan Browning said he first met Mr Williams when he came into his nursery to purchase a tomato plant.
Their friendship continued when Mr Browning joined the board in 2010.
"Being of an accounting background, Graeme is very particular which is a great asset in his roles on the board and the sub-branch," Mr Browning said.
"Graeme loves Merimbula and loves the Merimbula RSL Club. With the sub-branch and the board working closely together, he has made and continues to make a wonderful contribution to the RSL club family."