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Northern NSW : Rescue Spring 2017
A fond farewell When did you start with the Service? Itwasinthewinterof1975–Iwas one of the original volunteer lifesaver crewmen when the Service first started, and we had to do a 10-week St John first aid course as a prerequisite. The Service was launched at Merewether Beach on 6 December 1975 – I remained a crewman until the end of the 1978-79 summer season. I then served on the Board as Treasurer from 1986-93, and commenced full-time as the Accountant on 13 April 1993. I was appointed as Company Secretary in September 1994. How did you get involved? I was in Merewether Surf Club at the time that my clubmate Evan Walton was looking for a group of surf lifesavers to start the Service, and he suggested that I become part of it. The rest is history. You have witnessed a lot of change, what milestone stands out to you? Probably the launch of the Bell 412 SP in September 1993 – we didn’t know it then but that aircraft would become the backbone of the Service for another 24 years until we introduced the state-of- the-art AW139s in March 2017. Most memorable moment (if you can choose)? I’d have to select three such moments. First the Pasha Bulker storms of June 2007 – starting with the winch rescue of its entire crew by the crews of our BK-117 and Bell 412SP in atrocious conditions off Nobbys Beach, the flooding of much of inner-city Newcastle and the Broadmeadow Base overnight, and the ensuing clean-up and eventual construction of the new admin/ operations building that was opened in November 2008. Second, the opening of our own base facilities at Tamworth Airport in November 2010, and last, the signing of the current NSWA Contract for the northern sector of NSW in December 2014 at the end of a comprehensive open tender process. What do you love most about the WRHS? The passion and commitment of the staff, the Board of Directors, and our wonderful volunteers, which in turn generates an enviable level of support from our wider community. What’s next? A fair bit of travel I think – starting with an overseas holiday to Italy, Sicily and Croatia in October this year and hopefully a trip to Canada and Alaska next year. Plus I’m looking to get a caravan and hook it up behind the silver beast (my Pajero) and see a lot more of Australia at a leisurely pace. Add in my annual trip to the SCG for the New Year’s cricket Test, watching Merewether Carlton rugby teams play at Townson Oval in winter, and converting my late mother’s filing cabinet of family history onto Ancestry. com, I think I’ll have plenty of interests to keep me busy. After 42 years of loyal dedication, the Service is saying goodbye to one of its longest-serving employees. We had a chat to retiring Company Secretary, Peter Alcock. Chairman John Davis with retiring Com- pany Secretary Peter Alcock 21 Rescue Magazine SPRING 2017
Rescue Winter 2017