The Golden Beach SLSC pleads for helpers

GOLDEN Beach Surf Life Saving Club is calling out for helpers to make sure the club stays afloat.

A meeting is scheduled for Saturday, and club member Greg Gilbert implored people to go along and become involved “before our dedicated coterie expires and the past 20 years is in vain”.

“The club is in dire need of dedicated younger members and families,” he said.

“A small coterie of older committee members maintain the status quo.”

Mr Gilbert conceded one of the difficulties was that the club shared a catchment for young life savers with nearby Seaspray.

“This and not having a clubhouse (but having plans) work against us, but should not,” he said.

“If some of our Melbourne temporary residents hop in and pull some weight, and Bronze Medallion youth would become involved, it would be surprisingly enjoyable and skill-generating for all.

“They could be leaders of our club in no time.”

Mr Gilbert said the club was set up by real estate agent Les Malins in 1997, on land provided by Wellington Shire Council for minimal cost.

The growth of the club was a community effort, with Ken Vine completing concrete work for a shed base, before the shed was built.

Mark Maybury supplied plumbing equipment and a tank.

Other equipment was obtained, and regular club meetings held.

An inflatable rescue boat with outboard motors and various other items were donated through Esso and the Seaspray Surf Lifesaving Club.

The club sought members and more equipment until 2004, when it went into hiatus for two years.

In 2007 retired nurse Sue Parratt became secretary with Les Malins president, and the club came out of its recess and established itself further with a dedicated first aid room and a club kitchen built largely thanks to retired woodwork teacher Steve Parratt.

An office was established, and regulatory needs diligently followed by Ms Parratt, which enabled Seaspray SLSC member and mentor for the Golden Beach club, Barrie Smith, to sign off on equipment, enabling affiliation with Life Saving Victoria.

The proviso was that surf patrols were run over four summer weekends.

Ms Parratt worked to recruit Bronze Medallion surf life savers, and for two years the club had 12 qualified participants.

A significant number of Nippers were also involved in beach activities.

With the added difficulties of distance and youth, the required patrol program was limited, and Life Saving Victoria cancelled the club’s affiliation.

But Mr Gilbert said this was not the end of the club, despite recent comments on social media.

President Tony Seals continues to make the effort to be at meetings, journeying from his home in Melbourne.

“He is the present person with the knowledge to push the club forward,” Mr Gilbert said.

“Volunteers continue on with practical needs of the club.”

He said Holden had donated money to allow the club to complete its toilets, which was currently underway with the help of volunteers.

Recently, a grant from Esso and some club funds enabled the club to obtain an all-terrain vehicle, which is to be used to move the inflatable rescue boat and equipment to the beach.

Beach access remains a problem, but Parks Victoria, the Wellington Shire Council and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation are working together on the issue.

Saturday’s meeting will begin at noon at the Golden Beach Surf Club shed.

For more information, phone Mr Seal on 0403 729 239 or email gblifesavers@outlook.com.au