Pat Sutton has been rewarded for his dedication to Kiama SLSC with life membership.
Sutton has been a vital part of the club for the past 25 years.
“I was absolutely shocked, as there was no indication from anyone this was about to happen,” he said.
Sutton’s involvement with the club came about almost by accident.
“My wife registered my daughter Kate as a Nipper when Kate was only eight-years-old and told me I had to be on the beach at 9.30am on Sunday to help out – that was the start of 25 years of membership,” he said.
“It's just a great club to be part of.
“Seeing so many young Nippers grow up and take on patrol duties, and being part of an organisation that has a 110-year history – not bad at all.”
His outstanding achievements since joining the Club in 1992, include:
- Chairperson of the Junior Kingfishers from 1995 - 2000.
- Patrolling member with 100 per cent attendance from 1997 – present.
- Patrol Captain.
- Treasurer from 2007–09
- Club Manager 2013 - present
- A continuous member of the Building Committee
- Represented Kiama SLSC at IRB racing and beach events at all levels of competition.
- Won a Gold medal at the Country Championships.
- Led the 90th Anniversary Committee.
- Got sponsorship for 10 new nipper boards, and 30 body boards for the Juniors.
- Project managed the club refurbishment.
- Awarded Club Person in 1998 and 2008.
- Received a Certificate of Appreciation, along with other members of the IRB team from Shoalhaven Council their efforts in helping with work during the 2002 South Coast bush fires.
- Received a Local Volunteer Award in 2009 from AHM and i98FM.
- Received an Australia Day Award from Kiama Council in 2012.
- Received a NSW Government Community Recognition Award in 2016.
In addition to these achievements, Sutton has managed to secure a number of sponsorships for the club, as well as obtaining grants for the renovation to the clubhouse sundeck, the main bar, the IRB shed and now the improvements to the walkway and beachside of the clubhouse.
Sutton said getting the grant money and managing the renovations of the club to coincide with their 100th anniversary in 2008, was his most memorable experience.
“The club now has become an iconic building in the town and that's a great feeling,” he said.
Sutton had advice for people thinking about joining the SLS movement.
“Do it. Especially for younger members of the community because SLS teaches people so many positive things,” he said.
“A surf club member, you will always know, is someone who is dedicated and looked upon to help.”