Club shines a light on history
THE Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club has a long and proud history in Ballina, and is keen to pay tribute to that in the new Lighthouse Beach clubhouse.
Club president Kris Beavis said construction of the clubhouse was expected to be completed in June and the club wants to gather significant items of memorabilia to put on display.
Of particular importance is the surf club's World War II honour roll with the names of 17 local lifesavers who didn't come home.
It was lent to the Ballina RSL Sub-Branch Museum in the Ballina RSL Club when the previous surf clubhouse was demolished in 2005 and will take pride of place in the new clubhouse.
Mr Beavis said the club was about to start a new chapter in its history and wanted to pay tribute to its past.
The Ballina surf club has its roots at South Ballina, which was one of the first surf clubs in the state and ferries would take bathers across the Richmond River to Mobbs Bay.
The South Ballina club operated for 30 years from 1908.
At the time, Lighthouse Beach - once known as Tomki Beach - was not considered safe as the Richmond River mouth changed position.
But breakwalls changed that and the Ballina Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1933, with Lismore added to the name in 1934 to attract membership and sponsorship from the larger inland town.
Mr Beavis said the club has three national Hall of Fame inductees - Bob Newbiggin, Con Asmussen and the 1960s Ballina Surf rowing crew of Max Sidney, Brian Sidney, Cec Denny, Lance Goldsmith and Warren Tulk.
The club was recently named state and national Club of the Year.
The club is keen to enlist a volunteer with experience in collating historical documents.