Freemasonry is

Surf Life Saving and Masonry share similar core values of service to the community and a thriving, long-term partnership between the lodges of the Central Coast and Surf Life Saving has developed.

On 11 December 2011, a donation to the value of $25,000 by District 18 lodges Wyong Tuggerah Lakes 247, Toukley 933, Lakehaven Daylight 1017, Albert Josephson Royal Arch Chapter 119 and Gosford Royal Arch Chapter 173, enabled the presentation by RW Bro Walid Mehanna (AGM), to the Soldiers Beach SLSC of a surf boat named The Freemason (see page 43 of Autumn 2012 Freemason magazine) and a new inflatable rescue boat (IRB) with outboard motor. These presen­tations followed an earlier donation by Lodge Toukley to assist junior members of the Club participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme – something the Club strongly encourages.

The Freemason is now the 'face' of the Club and brings Freemasonry into the public eye in a most positive manner. It is the latest technology in surf boats and far superior to any boat the Club has previously owned. Over the years it will compete in local, State and National carnivals. More importantly, it is a valuable recruitment tool – young men love to race fast boats!!

OarsThe Freemason competed in the Peter's Surfboat Series on 28 October, placing in the heats and going on to win the final. Ladies of Terrigal SLSC also competed at the same series and used the competition rowing oars complete with square and compasses logo donated by the Freemasons of the Central Coast. They finished a credible third in the final. The Club was also the recipient of a surf boat cover featuring the square and compasses logo, and a BBQ was donated by Lodge James Kibble Daylight No 985 to The Entrance SLSC.

The inflatable rescue boat (IRB) is now the workhorse of the Soldiers Beach Club and expected to be involved in some of the 150 rescues anticipated on the Coast this season. It featured prominently at the IRB National Championships held at Ocean Beach in cold, wet, wild conditions in July.

Surf Life Saving Central Coast will also benefit from the donation of two water rescue craft (jet skis) which are extremely successful as rescue craft as they can travel swiftly between all Central Coast beaches to quickly reach an emergency.

These craft were presented at the Nippers Carnival held at Terrigal on 4 November by RW Bro Lynden Norgate (RGC Region 1) and VW Bro David Williams (DGIW District 18). Surf Life Saving Central Coast's President Stuart Harvey, CO Chris Parker, Administrator Marie Ward were present, together with Federal MP Deborah O'Neill and some 30 Freemasons with their families and friends. Following the welcome and speeches in the Terrigal Clubhouse, the group moved to the promenade for the official presentation and launching. Lynden Norgate and David Williams performed the usual champagne routine and the jet skis were then launched with W Bro Roger Whitehead volunteering for a test run through the surf on a safety board towed by one of the vessels.

Following recent tragic deaths of surf life savers at events and the resulting recommendations and trials of clothing colours to make them more visible in the water, the Freemasons of the Central Coast have donated 1,100 pink rash vests to be worn at carnivals by all 'nippers'. These too were presented at Terrigal on 4 November and saw plenty of action on the day. The vests feature the square and compasses logo in black on both front and back with space to include the Surf Club name and the name of an individual nipper.

Surf Life Saving Central Coast has 15 clubs across the region from The Lakes Beach at Budgewoi in the north to Umina Beach in the south. During the surf season there are four Central Coast Area Nipper Carnivals and three Nipper Iron Person Carnivals. There are two sections to each carnival – Under 8 Years and Under 14 Years. The pink rash vests are to be compulsory wear for nippers at all these carnivals and at all training sessions. They may also be worn at carnivals outside the Central Coast area. Hundreds of nippers participate in the carnivals so the square and compasses will feature constantly at beaches across the Central Coast and perhaps beyond.

The contribution made by local Freemasons to Surf Life Saving Central Coast has, and continues to be substantial and attests to a flourishing relationship between the two – an excellent effort by the Central Coast lodges.


Proudly supporting

GallipoliSoldiers Beach SLSC has entered a 53km surf boat race to take place around the Gallipoli Peninsula on 23-24 April 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the original landing at Gallipoli. The square and compasses features prominently on the bow and all promotional material used by the Club for fundraising will feature 'Proudly supported by the Freemasons of the Central Coast'. Some 60 boats from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey have submitted entries so far. Following the event the boat will be donated to a club in Turkey where surf boat racing is becoming a popular event at universities.

Article extracted from Freemason magazine, December 2012, pages 6 & 7.


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