Recognition for a lifetime of surf lifesaving

Ross, front right, and his family were welcomed to the club with a guard of honour created with paddles. A second guard of honour stretched across the
deck, and a third was inside the clubrooms. Photos, Jug Price

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Surf lifesaving stalwart Ross Malyon has been recognised for 60 years of service to both the Red Beach Surf Club and the surf lifesaving movement.

To celebrate the occasion, the club sprang a surprise function at the clubrooms to mark the 60th anniversary of Ross’s membership – he joined the club as a teenager in December 1959. The club had been formed just six years earlier.

The function was attended by a large gathering of club members, young and old, past and present – including several who were also teenagers during the early years of Ross’s membership.

He began doing volunteer surf patrols and competing in surf carnivals soon after becoming a qualified lifeguard.

“It was an honour to compete alongside fellow Red Beach athlete Reg Harker who was regarded through the 1960s and 1970s as the ironman of surf lifesaving in New Zealand, such was his talent. He was an outstanding competitor, a legend in his time and a great inspiration to me,” Ross says.

Ross became heavily involved in club administration from an early age; the positions he held include secretary and/or executive officer for 51 years, historian for 43 years, fundraising committee member for 17 years and webmaster for the past 11 years.

He has just notched up 49 years as the coordinator of the Owen Chapman Cup surf carnival.

Ross is not only a Life Member of Red Beach Surf Club, but also of Surf Lifesaving Northern Region and Surf Lifesaving NZ. For his services to surf lifesaving he was awarded the Queens Service Medal in 1992.

“The function organised by the club was a very humbling occasion. I had no idea it was to take place and I was totally blown away. My passion for all things surf lifesaving is as strong as ever,” Ross says.

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