Rebuild of surf club

WHEN Alan Schofield received the news on February 8 that his beloved Yamba Surf Life Saving Club had been engulfed in flames he was gutted.

“It was an absolutely terrible feeling. It's an historic old building and it's all timber,” he said.

But now, more than three months after fire tore through the boatshed of the North Coast's oldest surf club, he is elated with the $250,000 renovations and new equipment, the club will soon be restored to its former glory.

The club president said during the next six weeks tradesmen would transform the boatshed and exterior of the building.

“Insurance is covering all of the building repairs and most of the equipment,” he said.

“Some of the equipment like the IRBs (inflatable rescue boats) had depreciated because they were a couple of years old, but the insurance has covered the bulk of it.”

Mr Schofield said local builder Tony McFarlane had employed Lower Clarence-based subcontractors to work on the restoration.

“The boatshed area has to be gutted and a new retaining wall built at the back,” he said.

“There will be all new fire-rated ceilings installed, all new wiring throughout the club, all the board and ski racks have to be rebuilt, and new roller doors on the boatshed.”

“The area that was damaged by fire will be repainted and we are planning on repainting the whole club.

“Plus all new equipment is on order.”

He said rewiring the club was a requirement to comply with the insurance.

“With the fire getting into the electrical circuits it could recur down the track,” he said.

To repaint the inside of the upstairs of the club they need to raise around $5000.

The club hoped money raised at Saturday night's 000 ball and the Tooheys New Crew competition will get the money they need.

Mr Schofield said they were lucky in some respects as the blaze, which started near a compressor, was contained to the boatshed by the fire-rated ceiling.

“We were also fortunate that the nearby surf lifesaving clubs were supportive and helped us with the lifesaving gear because we lost all of ours,” he said.

“Because of that, we were able to continue patrolling the beach until the end of the season with the boatshed area sealed off.”

He said the club lost three inflatable rescue boats, four outboard motors, 28 rescue boards, nine skis and signs, flags, a compressor and miscellaneous gear.

To support Yamba Surf Club in the Tooheys New Crew competition, search for them on Facebook or email submissions to contact

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