Red Rock to the rescue
By RODNEY STEVENS and CRAIG McTEAR
AFTER 15 long years of campaigning, reality set in for Leane McLachlan yesterday.
A sense of achievement overcame the Red Rock-Corindi Surf Club secretary and club members who proudly witnessed the turning of the first sod in the construction of their new surf club.
An excited Mrs McLachlan said their hard work was now becoming real for members of the tight-knit club.
"It it actually happening ... we are getting to build a clubhouse," she said.
Since the club's establishment in 1991 members have formed close relationships and endured the limited space provided by a shed at Red Rock caravan park to produce an outstanding patrol record on a dangerous section of coastline.
"We have had no loss of life on the beach since forming in 1991," she said.
The small size of the Red Rock premises has forced the undue expense of two contents insurance policies after the club began leasing a shed at South Grafton to store some of its equipment.
"The rest of our equipment is stored in members houses between Grafton and Toormina," she said.
"We can't even boil the kettle and have a cuppa because it blows the fuse."
Mrs McLachlan said perseverance with these difficult conditions for the past 15 years had created a loyal, dedicated bunch of club members.
"We are a big happy surf family."
The new, two-storey clubhouse is earmarked for a July, 2008 completion, and it will cost almost $343,000 to build.
The NSW Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation in conjunction with Surf Lifesaving NSW has allocated $233,574 for the project, with the rest coming from community fundraising, donations of materials, and the support of Coffs Harbour City Council.
"We're still asking for people to chip in," Mrs McLachlan said.
"The ground floor will house all of our equipment, a patrol room, a first-aid room, shower and toilet facilities, and a dedicated nippers' section. What the members are looking forward to is having on-site toilet facilities and not having to walk across the caravan park to go to the public toilets."