LEGENDRY Lennox Head surfer Ron ‘Shorty’ Collins, who died of a brain tumour in 1976, was the centre of attention at the surfing reserve on Saturday.
Surfers, family, old mates and dignitaries turned out to honour the man whose name now graces the new stairs leading from The Coast Road car park to the famous point break.
Ron’s dad, Cyril Collins, had a tear in his eye as he cut the ‘ribbon’ (a leg rope) and declared the stairs open.
“It is wonderful they all still remember Ron,” he said.
“The stairs and the showers are terrific, I was amazed. “There’ll be no worries about it being used because they’ve been coming through all morning, young and old.”
Lennox Head National Surfing Reserve Association president Phil Myers said the work had taken a while to complete but would ensure easy access to the point without the erosion to the fragile coastal environment caused by previous trails.
“I always had in the back of my mind the idea to name this after Shorty,” he said.
“He was the best surfer in the area in the ’70s, but he was also a great bloke.
“We all wanted to be just like him.”
The project was a joint Ballina Shire Council and NSW Government project.