Aquatic centre open after 18 years
THE community of Evans Head and surrounds turned out in force on Saturday morning to witness the opening of the aquatic centre, 18 years in the making.
All ages were represented as an estimated 500 to 600 people waited eagerly for the ribbon to be cut, signalling the opening of the much-needed facility for the town.
Evans Head mother Jacki Flaherty was thrilled to finally see the aquatic centre opened.
“It’s the best thing to have happened to Evans Head, and I’ve been here 11 years,” she said.
“I’ll be bringing the kids for swimming lessons and I will use the gym.”
Next door neighbours Marie Kilmurray, 71, and Nola Spong, 69, said they would definitely be bringing their grandchildren to use the play area.
“We were looking at the exercise machines,” Ms Spong laughed.
“And although we probably need to use them I think they would kill us.”
“We might break out and go for a swim though,” Ms Kilmurray said.
Evans Head Bombers rugby league players Tom Martin and Aaron Scelss were trying out the gym equipment and were impressed with what they saw.
“We will definitely be here training in the off-season,” Mr Scelss said.
Broadwater Public School principal Steve Curtin said swimming carnivals at the pool would be good.
“It may come down to cost,” he said.
President of the Evans Head Olympic Pool Committee, Steve Drake, thanked the greedy American bankers for starting the Global Financial Crisis.
“Because without them we wouldn’t have had the government stimulus package,” he said.
“And Janelle Saffin wouldn’t have taken up the cause for our project.”
He outlined the number of lamingtons baked, barbecues held and even a house built and sold, all to raise money for the project.
“On September 2, 1992, a group of Evans Head mothers met to discuss raising money for a pool where their children could learn to swim,” Mr Drake continued.
“Today we realise that dream and the irony is that some of those children are here today with their children.”
First to make a splash in the 25-metre-heated pool were committee members Sandy Robertson, Shirley Alderson and Fred Moss, along with Federal MP for Page Janelle Saffin.