Aussie Hero Celebrates 70 Years of Service to Surf Life Saving

Neville Warwick from Mylestom celebrates 70 years of service to Surf Life Saving with wife Thel and the North Beach Surf Life Saving Club.


LOCAL hero Neville Warwick from Mylestom celebrated 70 years of service to Surf Life Saving last Saturday as the club, family and community gathered together to pay tribute.

Nick Young, a long-time member of North Beach Surf Life Saving Club, drove 91-year-old Neville to the Surf Club on Saturday morning, where he was greeted and cheered by Club members, family and the community.

Neville joined the Bellinger Valley North Beach (BVNB) Surf Life Saving Club in 1951 at the age of 21 where he has accumulated 26 awards over a distinguished 62 years of active service saving lives and training others.

At age 83 Neville retired from active service but remains a valued volunteer of the Club as treasurer Bob Smith explained to News Of The Area.

“Neville has remained a critical member of our Club, attending club and North Coast Branch meetings and providing insights and knowledge to help us make better decisions.

“Neville attends our weekly Tuesday meeting and committee meetings, his knowledge of surf life saving is second to none, he has seen so many things over his distinguished career and his insights are extremely valuable to our Surf Club.

“Neville is immensely respected, he has a very non-aggressive approach to sharing ideas and working as a team, which at the remarkable age of 91-years-old is still making a difference in both our Club and the community,” said Bob.

Neville married his wife Thel at age 21, coinciding with his first year at the Surf Club.

On Saturday, seven decades later, the couple shared an emotional moment sitting under the Boat Shed that was named after them, ‘Nev and Thel’s Boatshed’.

Nick Young is one of the many surf life savers who Neville has trained for their Bronze medallion over the years.

He paid a moving tribute explaining how his mentor had saved hundreds of lives and trained hundreds of surf lifesavers in an emotional speech with tears rolling down his face.

“Neville not only ran the Nippers group but was instrumental in starting the 5-13 age group, he imparted his knowledge and ability to teach the youth to enjoy the beach but remain aware of the risks associated with the surf and making the beach safe for the local community and tourists.

“Since retirement from active duty in 2013 he has continued to be involved by attending meetings and other activities of the club as well as attending North Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving meetings.

“Neville has trained hundreds of surf life savers and saved hundreds of lives, we are so proud of Nev and Thel who are an inspiration to the Club and community,” said Nick.

Bellingen Shire Mayor Cr Dominic King presented Neville with a 100-year history book of the Bellinger Valley North Beach Surf Life Saving Club which Neville and Thel received with curiosity and delight.

Neville and Thel shared the moment with their children, grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren and chatted to everyone in attendance behind a table as they reminisced about the last 70 years.




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