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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1349

Mr MARTIN(10.30) —On several occasions during the last 2 1/2 years I have spoken about the contribution which has been made to Australian society by the Surf Lifesaving Association of Australia. Tonight I would like to put on record some words of praise for one such surf lifesaving club that operates within my electorate. It is the Fairy Meadow Surf Lifesaving Club of which I happen to be not only the patron but also an active member.

On 15 March this year a very significant event took place involving a number of members of that particular club. The veterans squad of people who have been tied up with the surf lifesaving movement for some time were subjected to the rigours of going for their Surf Lifesaving Association bronze medal. I am very pleased to be able to report that that veterans squad was most successful and was commended by the Surf Lifesaving Association as being a well drilled outfit, one which performed all the tasks necessary for a Surf Lifesaving Association bronze holder. That squad spent some two months in training. It is interesting that these people all had an active interest in surf lifesaving, both through junior and senior associations with the Fairy Meadow club. But because of one reason or another they had never attempted the surf bronze medal which is, of course, a prerequisite for anybody wishing to participate as a surf lifesaver on the beaches of Australia.

Those five gentlemen as I indicated trained extremely hard and were very successful. It is important that this contribution to the surf lifesaving movement should go on record because those same people have continued an active interest in the surf lifesaving movement over many years. In fact, they have put their children through the Fairy Meadow Junior Surf Lifesaving Club or still have their children going through the surf lifesaving club. Those five gentlemen were Bruce Allen, Ray Camilleri, Jim Milne, Peter Patterson and, dare I say it, the erstwhile member for Macarthur, Stephen Martin. The honourable member for Throsby (Mr Hollis) indicated that he did his bronze in Bellambi in 1956. He must have been a very young man--

Mr Lee —The test was rigged.

Mr MARTIN —The test was rigged, as the honourable member for Dobell said. In my era when one was growing up on the beaches of Wollongong, one either went into the surf lifesaving movement when one reached the age of 13, or went surfboard riding. I chose the latter rather than the former and consequently I never had the opportunity to go through the bronze medallion test. I was very pleased to participate because it gives one first hand experience in what is necessary in surf lifesaving, which I am sure every member of this House agrees is a very important community activity and contributes a very worthwhile service to the public of Australia.

With respect to the Fairy Meadow club I would also like to pay tribute to a number of those gentleman who participated in the bronze test this year; I refer in particular, to Bruce Allen and Peter Patterson. Both of those gentlemen have had a long association with the Fairy Meadow junior club. In fact, Bruce Allen was the President over the last couple of seasons of the junior surf lifesaving club and has indicated that he will not be standing for re-election in the coming year. He, along with the secretary, Ashley Neil, have done a magnificent job in bringing the young people of the Fairy Meadow- Balgownie area into the surf lifesaving movement. They have spent many valuable hours coaching and taking these children to surf carnivals and participating in a range of activities associated with surf lifesaving in the Illawarra region. They, along with the rest of the committee from the 1986-87 season, are to be congratulated. They have left a wealth of talent to go into the senior ranks, not only in the Fairy Meadow Surf Lifesaving Club but also, I am sure, to represent the Illawarra district in the not too distant future. My congratulations go to them. I thank the examiners and the coach of the Fairy Meadow senior squad for taking us through our surf bronze. He had to put up with a lot. It was not easy to swim around those buoys three times in the one day, and I was the youngest and the fittest of them all.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.