Stairs to honour late surfer
LENNOX Head’s new surfers’ stairs will be named in memory of Ron ‘Shorty’ Connors, a local surfing legend who died when he was just 26.
Shorty was well-known for his passion for surfing Ballina and Lennox Head beaches during the 1960s and 1970s, but he developed a brain tumour and died in April 1976.
Phil Myers, from the Lennox National Surfing Reserve Association, said it was great that the stairs would be named in Shorty’s honour.
“We are very happy about it,” he said.
“We just thought it would be very appropriate to have his name there. The family are also very excited.
“He was as good a surfer as anybody at the time. He was one of the first ones to walk down that path at the Point.
“Shorty made people realise a bit about life. Thatsomeone like him could die so young. He didn’t even know that he was sick until it was too late.
“All the older surfers around here have neverforgotten him.”
Ballina Shire Council, as reserve trust manager, this week agreed to name the stairs the Ron ‘Shorty’ Connors Memorial Stairs.
It is understood the Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Lands, Tony Kelly, will come to Lennox Head in January or February to officially open them.
Final touches are now being done, with the stairs expected to be finished in the near future. Plaques will be installed at the top and the bottom of the stairs.
Shorty was born in Lismore in 1950 and became an apprentice carpenter after leaving school, but surfing was his real passion.
“Shorty was a happy-go-lucky bloke, always joking around,” Mr Myers said.
“A great bloke and a great surfer, a bloke that all the other local surfers respected.
“Importantly too, he kept an eye out for the younger surfers and took them under his wing.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a bloke that meant more to the local surfing community in the 1960s and 1970s than Shorty.
“If Shorty was with us today, he would still be surfing, as keen as ever, and sharing the waves with his nephew, current Le-Ba champion, Marcus Aboody.”