THE RECENT FLOODS AND CYCLONE
have been devastating for so many people and places in New Zealand and our heart goes out to all of those who lost loved ones, precious homes and their livelihoods.
For our Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Club, while we were aware that we were in a 50-year flood plain we weren’t anticipating that this would happen 49 years early!
Pictures tell a thousand words and the photos show the substantial damage to our treasured clubrooms (primarily to the deck & foundations to the lounge & bunkrooms) which left us with ‘Yellow Sticker’ status. In endeavours to keep what is left of our lawn area and to preserve the operational capability of the club for the next few months it is imperative that we deconstruct and remove the lounge & bunkrooms. While this has been a decision of necessity, it remains difficult and emotionally challenging to do however, given we are yet to experience winter and while we don’t wish to be doom merchants, it remains a fundamental risk we must manage to continue to provide our core service of life saving and continue as a local community hub.
From a beach rescue perspective, the beach remains closed (at this stage) to the general public until the 1st April and we do ask that everyone respects this please. However we do need to remain available for any possible emergency be it in the water or out and Council has helped with an access way to the tower as the stream (which remains full of debris) is only accessible to us at low tide.
Junior Surf again is impacted for another year however our hats go off to our Junior Surf Coordinator & his team for finding alternative training locations as well as still keeping that Bethells enthusiasm going strong through yet another obstacle. Our challenge is to continue to have an operational facility available to them all in the upcoming season.
So now to the future, we had been planning to rebuild the club over the next five years however our plans need to be fast tracked. We continue to work with both Council and Government to come to a speedy solution for both our new location and funds towards the rebuild. Funds are imperative as regrettably we no longer had insurance for flood cover due to the 50 year flood zone forecast so while we have some contingency for consents etc there remains gaps that we will need to fundraise for to do our stage 1 clubhouse demolition and recovery work to remain operational for this season, stage 2 any potential mid-term clubhouse solutions to operate effectively for at least two-three seasons while our new build is undertaken and stage 3 our new clubhouse build.
Thank you so much to everyone who has come to our aid during this immensely challenging time.
If you would like to help with our interim and long-term clubhouse solutions, please make a donation here or contact Sue Brewster, Funding Officer on 0275697777 or email@example.com.
In it for Life, Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Patrol.