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Mayor's Message - 20 September

Mayor's Message - 20 September

Published:
Tuesday 20 September 2022
Categories:
Mayor's Message
Cr Michael Whelan

It may not seem like it as we shiver through a chilly start to spring, but soon the weather will warm up and our minds will once again turn to the beach.

Here on Bass Coast we are blessed with a beautiful rugged coastline, but danger lurks not far below the surface.

When I was growing up it seemed everyone knew how to swim well. It was just part of our DNA. These days however the statistics tells us there is a significant – and growing - percentage of the population who can’t swim.

Swimming lessons are of course vital and we have talked in the past about our need for new pools at Wonthaggi and Cowes.

Our last line of defence are the army of volunteers at our surf life saving clubs. On Bass Coast we are fortunate to have four: Cape Paterson SLSC, Woolamai Beach SLSC, Inverloch SLSC and Wonthaggi Lifesaving Club.

I recently attended the Cape Paterson SLSC annual general meeting where I was reminded of the important social role that Clubs play.

The Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club was formed at a public meeting in the Wonthaggi RSL Clubrooms on 22 March 1960. The first clubhouse, a three metre by 10 metre fibro shed, was built near the site of the present boat ramp by the members in readiness for 1960/61 season.

The season began with five active members and conducted its first carnival on 7 January 1962. More than 60 years later, Cape Paterson SLSC boasts more than 1,200 passionate members. The Nippers program caters for children aged five to 13 and is a source of many life-long friendships for locals and holiday-makers.

When you’re lying on the sand over summer, playing beach cricket or simply watching the kids or grandkids splash around, do the right thing and stay between the flags, but please take the time to go and wander over and say thank you to the members in the yellow and red caps keeping our community safe.

You might be the next person they save.