Gary Hawkins has been honoured with life membership of Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast

LIFE MEMBERSHIP: Gary Hawkins in 2015.
LIFE MEMBERSHIP: Gary Hawkins in 2015.

Gary Hawkins has been honoured with life membership of Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast after years of dedicated service to the beach-going community.

Mr Hawkings was recognised with the honour alongside fellow life members and executive committee members Kim Rayner and Paul Rayner.

The trio received their awards at the Mid North Coast annual general meeting in August this year.

Mr Hawkins has previously served as junior activities chairperson, branch junior lifesaver of the year and in particular, director of member services for seven years.

He has accumulated more than 20 years of patrol experience since his first year on the beach at Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club in 1981.

"I first joined after moving to the Mid North Coast at the age of 13. It was important to participate at the surf club because we used to go to the beach after school," he said.

"Some people join the fishing club, some the bowls club but I just got in there and did my bronze to help out the community, patrol the beach and keep people safe."

Mr Hawkins now balances his surf life saving responsibilities with work serving as a patient transport officer for hospital transfers and the aeromedical charity, CareFlight.

"I try to have a balance between work and surf life saving, and I'm very lucky to have a supportive family," he said.

My advice for people considering joining is to come down to the surf club, find a member and have a talk to the patrol captain if you want to be a patrolling member.

"Make contact and have a look to see if the surf club is for you. You're not stuck at one surf club, you can move to club to club by transfer with your work. There are are so many opportunities in surf life saving."