From Pambula to Batemans Bay, lifesavers and surf club members were congratulated at the annual Far South Coast Branch presentation on Saturday, June 15.
The Far South Coast Branch is the reigning New South Wales branch of the year and covers one of the largest most isolated stretches of coastline.
More than 120 members of the several surf clubs in the branch got together for the presentation evening at the Tomakin Sports and Social Club.
Branch president Tony Rettke wore a fitting green suit (the branch colours) and thanked all volunteers for their efforts.
"Surf clubs are so important in the community in so many ways, they are such great volunteer organisations which offer a friendly club atmosphere for ages five to 95," branch president Tony Rettke said.
Mr Rettke mentioned the benefits of the new drone (UAV) technology throughout the season as well as the numerous successful development programs and skills training carried out at each club.
"I am pleased to announce the ALBERT program will be back again, after Tathra successfully hosted it for the first time, they will host the program for a further two years," he said.
The combined volunteer patrol hours of the branch was a total of 22,360 over the 2018/19 season. There were 57 rescues, reduced from 71 recorded in the 2017/18 season and 55 call-outs to un-patrolled locations.
A number of awards were presented to contributing members at the presentation night.
Pambula surf club's Andrew Holt was again named, branch lifesaver of the year. Junior lifesavers of the year were, Tasman McKenzie of Bermagui and Oliver Meaker of Tathra.
Throughout the night, each speaker mentioned their appreciation for youth involvement in the branch - "they are the future of surf lifesaving".
On behalf of the branch, Mr Rettke gave a special gift as a kind gesture. He invited Fran Elliot up on stage to collect a replacement of her deceased husband's 2014 club person of the year award which had been destroyed by the Tathra fires.
"40-years of my marriage was destroyed in the Tathra fire, it was the memories and all of his things - gone," Ms Elliot said with tears.
"This really means a lot to me, thank you very much," she said.
List of the 2018/19 award winners
- Junior Lifesaver of the Year - Female Tasman McKenzie Bermagui
- Junior Lifesaver of the Year - Male Oliver Meaker Tathra
- Junior Lifesaver of the Year - Highly Commended Hannah Campbell Broulee Surfers
- Junior Lifesaver of the Year - Highly Commended Ruby Coppin Moruya
- Presidents Award Cheryl McCarthy Bermagui
- Official of the Year Glenn Bywater Narooma
- Coach of the Year Neil Innes Batemans Bay
- Team of the Year Phoenix Womens Boat Crew Batemans Bay
- Carnival of the Year Tathra Combined Carnival
- Training Officer of the Year Sharon George Tathra
- Administrator of the Year - Myril Bunt Award Sue Hunt Bermagui
- Services Team of the Year Bermagui Call Out Team
- Rookie Lifesaver of the Year Jai Curven Bermagui
- Lifesaver of the Year Andrew Holt Pambula
- Young Branch Person of the Year - Fergus Thomson Award Connor Leayr Pambula
- Branch person of the Year - Volunteer Wendy Law Broulee
- Dave Pheeney Patrol Efficiency Award Tathra SLSC
- Rescue of the Year - Batemans Bay
- Pointscore Champ at Batemans Bay Enduro carnival Nick Huggins Tathra
- Pointscore Champ at Tathra carnival Scott Senior Broulee Surfers
- Pointscore Champ at Broulee carnival Gab Smith Broulee Surfers
- Overall Male Open Pointscore Scott Senior Broulee Surfers
- Overall Female Open Pointscore Rachel Duczynski Tathra
- U15 Pointscore Champ Aiden Miles Narooma
- U17 Pointscore Champ Luella Boulton Tathra
- U19 Pointscore Champ Scott Senior Broulee Surfers
- Masters Pointscore Champ Dan Beby Broulee Surfers
- Best & Fairest Nick Huggins Tathra
- Competitor of the Year Elli Beecham Narooma
- Jack Beale Overall Pointscore 2018-19 Broulee Surfers