Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club name new All Terrain Vehicle in honour of John Vipond

Celebration: The club's members came together to unveil the vehicle in honour of their longest serving member.
Celebration: The club's members came together to unveil the vehicle in honour of their longest serving member.

Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club (CHSLSC) members came together to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of its longest serving member on Sunday, March 8.

The CHSLSC has named its new All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) 'The John Vipond' after its longest serving member.

At the event, the club's president Michelle Garvan took the opportunity to thank the Local Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, for the assistance given through a NSW Government grant.

The grant enabled the club to purchase a new, more powerful and much needed ATV.

Michelle Garvan thanked Mrs Williams for her continued support of the club and the entire Mid North Coast branch of surf life savers.

"It would be very hard for the club to be able to fulfill its role patrolling Grants Beach at North Haven, if it wasn't for the generous support of local and state government and representatives like Leslie Williams," she said.

The event was also a chance to honour the club's longest serving life member John Vipond.

Mr Vipond has been part of surf life saving since 1951.

He is a life member of CHSLSC and a life member of Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast.

Mr Vipond and his wife Judy still turn up to every patrol.

(Front) Judy Vipond, John Vipond and 'Chalkie' Bob Smith OAM. (Back) Leslie Williams, Club Captain Tony Worton, Club President Michelle Garvan, VP Ben Hosick.

(Front) Judy Vipond, John Vipond and 'Chalkie' Bob Smith OAM. (Back) Leslie Williams, Club Captain Tony Worton, Club President Michelle Garvan, VP Ben Hosick.

John keeps a watchful eye over the beach from the surf club balcony and Judy is always busy in the club kitchen preparing sustenance for the patrols.

Craig Vipond, Judy and John's son could not attend on the day, due to having to self-isolate after travelling overseas in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In Craig's speech he said it's a very proud day for the Vipond family to have the honour of the recognition.

"Now John Vipond will be moving across the sand quicker than ever," he said.

"The love of the surf and in particular surf life saving is what my father's passion was all about.

"Helping the local community being safe in the water."

Craig said his dad has carried out tireless hours of patrols and also worked for the club in his own time over the decades, without taking a backward step.

CHSLSC club captain Tony Worton said Mr Vipond is the backbone behind the club and his dedication has been, and still is outstanding.

"Back in the day John used to pack up the beach after patrol, pack the gear in his car and take it all home.

"He would come back the next weekend and do it all again.

"They had no club house at the time so John fundraised and organised the building of the new club house. He put so much time into building it himself."

John joined CHSLSC in 1970 and has held many positions within the club committee. He achieved 40 awards in surf lifesaving.

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