Memorial plan for surf club

JACK Trevan is pleased moves are being made to register the proposed new Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Club at Lighthouse Beach as a war memorial.

Mr Trevan, who now lives in Ballina but was living in Lismore when he joined the surf club as a teenager in 1945, remembers the ‘torment’ that mothers particularly at home went through as all eligible surf lifesavers from the club enlisted for service in World War II.

Of the 139 club members who served, 18 didn’t come home – 17 were from the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore club and one from the South Ballina club.

Those men’s names are listed on an honour roll which is currently on display at the Ballina RSL Sub-Branch museum within the Ballina RSL Club, with plans to put it back in the new clubhouse, the DA for which is currently with Ballina Shire Council.

Club president, Kris Beavis, said the club was currently tracking down the war records of those men, to be sent to the NSW State Library so the planned new clubhouse can be listed on a register as a war memorial.

He said a memorial garden also was proposed in the plans for the new building.

The previous clubhouse at Lighthouse Beach, opened in 1961 and demolished in 2005, was built as a memorial to those members who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Then club president, Mr AG ‘Pop’ Denison, announced that decision on September 25, 1946.

Mr Trevan said the club was having troubles tracking down the war records of four of the 18 men on the honour roll: Tuss Ellis; Phil Phillips, both possibly from Lismore; Norm Kobelke, from Lismore; and Eric Johnson, from Ballina. If anyone has information on those men, contact Mr Trevan on 6686 8686.

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