Les’s long association with the Surf Life Saving movement commenced in 1984 when he joined the Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club (WSLSC) as a result of his daughter showing a keen interest in becoming a Nipper in the junior ranks. Like many parents of Nippers, he quickly became involved in the Club himself and gained his Bronze Medallion in December 1986. The next award he gained was the IRB Driver in November 1989 before going on to complete a myriad of other awards including IRB Assessor/Trainer, Bronze Medallion Assessor/Trainer, First Aid, Advanced Resuscitation Certificate (ARC), Rescue Water Craft (RWC) Assessor/Trainer (2011/12) and UAV Pilot (2019).
Some of Les’s other achievements within the Surf Life Saving movement include:
1989: Commenced as a Committee Member of WSLSC;
1989: Took on the position of IRB Captain, which Les has continuously served in to date;
1998: Commenced as President of the WSLSC, a position which Les has held (uninterrupted) for the past 22 years.
1999: Began a long history of officiating at Surf Sports Carnivals;
2007: Awarded with a National Medal;
2015: Obtained 20-year Assessing Certificate;
2019: Received NSW Government Community Service Award for services to Surf Life Saving.
Throughout the years, Les’s passion has been firmly with the IRB’s and he has a long history of competing in this area from 1989 through to the mid 2000’s.
Nowadays, Les is still just as active as ever in all areas of the Club. His involvement with the Junior Club has come full circle with Les fulfilling the role of Water Safety Officer now that he has a grand-daughter in Nippers.
One of Les’s greatest achievements as the long-serving President of the Woolgoolga SLSC is championing the building of the new Clubhouse from inception to completion (in 2020), an eight-year labour of love which involved rallying for $3.9 million of Local, State and Federal government funding.
He is the current Branch Duty Officer (and has been for over 20 years), overseeing the coordination of countless Branch-wide rescues.
Les’s service has been widely recognised within the movement and he has been awarded Life Membership of the WSLSC as well as the North Coast Branch.