TWO stalwarts of the Woking District Angling Society are stepping down after a combined 78 years of service.

Jo and Ron Buss have played central roles during their time at the society, Jo as treasurer for 33 years and Ron as chief bailiff for the past 45 years.

They will bow out together for the last time at the society’s AGM next Wednesday (15 February).

Ron has always been a “mad for it” angler, and his exploits over 60 years of fishing include a near-continuous angling session of 12 months, and having a lakeside Christmas dinner on the bank with wife Jo.

His successes include a carp which weighed-in at 43lb, and his largest catch abroad was a 230lb arapaima hooked in Thailand.

But it was in his role as chief bailiff, in collaboration with other committee members and past-president John Cobbett, that Ron developed Woking District Angling Society into one of the best-run fishing clubs in the south east.

“I learnt on the job and helped to grow the club over the long term to bring it up to where it is today,” said Ron.

Several hundred members of the society now enjoy access to specialist or pleasure angling on four fish-filled lakes in a secure location with parking, toilets and showers just off Potters Lane in Send, as well as access to the River Wey and its tributaries.

Ron with a 30lb carp, nicknamed the Armadillo, caught at the lakes in Send. (Ron Buss)

There are many aspects to the role of chief bailiff, according to Ron. One of the most important is environmental.

“We work with the Environmental Agency at many levels, taking their advice on keeping our waters clean or combating the spread of invasive species such as knotweed, Himalayan balsam and pennywort.”

Ron and Jo took positions with national fundraising group Anglers Against Cancer, and worked to make a difference as patron and secretary, raising an impressive £500,000 for cancer charities.

More recently, New Haw-born Ron has written his autobiography, A Bit Here And There, which will be available this month, and he will return for the occasional “fishing holiday” in Send to keep his hand in.

Graham Bounds, chairman and membership secretary of the society, also known as the Woking and District Angling Association, said: “Ron and Jo have always made things happen. Together they have notched up a staggering number of years of service and during that time they have helped to transform the club and its facilities into a very impressive organisation.

“Clubs need people to get involved and to get things done and without question that is exactly what both have achieved.

“They will be a hard act to follow and the club will always be grateful for their commitment.”