BY ROMULUS HUTA
A new President was voted in on Monday to lead Honiara Rugby Union Association (HRUA) for the reminder of the year.
Derek Pongi, who is also the owner of Islanders Rugby Club, was voted in during the association’s special annual general meeting held at Coral Sea Resort in Honiara.
During the voting process, Pongi polled five votes ahead of fellow contestant Corey Chapman of Henderson HammerHeads who received three votes in the second round, after both candidates were equal by four votes each in the first round.
Apart from that, two new executive members were also voted in during the sitting.
They are Golden Kiloko and Patterson Vakavai.
President-elect Pongi will replace former president Carlwyn Tengemoana who resigned earlier this month.
Tengemoana tendered his resignation on May 4 amidst his recent ongoing dispute over rugby-related matters with the national governing rugby union body, Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF).
Upon receiving his immediate resignation notice, the remaining executive members of HRUA had a series of meetings over the past weeks before opening up a 14 days’ notice for a special Annual General Meeting beginning on May 13 was put up by placing priority on the presidential election as required under the HRUA constitution where an election was finally held on Monday.
Pongi’s reign will only be for the remainder of this year before his tenure lapses, making way for another Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held to elect new office bearers to lead HRUA from the beginning of 2019 and beyond.
The meeting on Monday was attended by all eight HRUA affiliates namely Avaiki, Matangiki, Luapel, Diesel Services, Realas, Henderson HammerHeads, Islanders and TIA Warriors.
Meanwhile, clubs have taken the opportunity to congratulate Pongi upon his election.
Posting on their official facebook page, Henderson HammerHeads congratulated the new president-elect and have strongly vowed to work with him.
“From the Hammerheads President, committee and club members, congrats to newly-elected HRUA President Derek Pongi.
“Henderson HammerHeads Rugby Club is in support of you and your executives. And we are looking forward to work together to develop rugby in Honiara.”
On similar note, TIA Warriors Team Manager Brian Taupiri said: “Congratulations Derek Pongi the newly elected president of HRUA, on behalf of TIA Rugby Club, we pledge our support behind you and will work with you and your executive in developing rugby in our country.”
See below is the executive line-up of HRUA.
President: Derek Pongi
Vice-President: James Billy
Secretary: Nollan Teika
Treasurer: Joe Au Ramosaea
Members: Golden Kiloko and Patterson Vakavai