Bevan Weiley and George Wagener honoured at boat christening

Honoured: Gay Wagener with the new Taree Old Bar Surf Live Saving Club surf boat named after her husband George. Photo: Judy Muscio.

Honoured: Gay Wagener with the new Taree Old Bar Surf Live Saving Club surf boat named after her husband George. Photo: Judy Muscio.

Two of Taree Old Bar Surf Club’s life members have been honoured at the christening of the club’s new surf boat and Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB). The surf boat has been named the Bevan Weiley with the IRB named the George Wagener.

Bevan was on hand for the ceremony with his wife, Carol, who is also a life member. George, who died on January 1, was represented by his family.

Bevan is the club historian and is the keeper of the club’s memorabilia. He has been a surf club member since 1959 and was awarded life membership in 2002.

The club bought the boat the ‘Warren Molloy' from Queenscliff SLSC on Sydney's Northern Beaches, superseding the club’s previous boats the Kingfisher IV and V which also came from Kingscliff eight years ago. 

Discussion about replacing the old boats began within the club’s executive, with Lauders Real Estate - Old Bar indicated it would once again be a major sponsor of a new boat. Mark O'Neill from the Old Bar Tavern was present for part of the discussions and agreed to give his support.

The old boat has since been gifted to the tavern until it finds a more permanent position. News of the old boat then made it to David Redman from PacificFMS, who said he too would have been keen to become a sponsor if it came with an old surfboat.

As the club had a second old boat, a new deal was struck and the new boat had a third sponsor. Club director of life saving, Andrew Harrison made some inquiries at his previous club and secured the deal on the much sought after second-hand Clymer built surf boat. The boat has since had some minor fibreglass repairs.

“It's a great outcome for the club,’’ newly appointed boat captain Corinne Stephenson said.

“The sponsorship has now covered the cost of the boat, that while it isn't used for rescues anymore, keeps at least five or more active patrolling lifesavers fit and involved in the surf club.”

Old Bar has an open women's boat crew competing primarily in the North Coast series, where they are currently ranked third in their division. “We would love to have more people involved in surf rowing at Old Bar,’’ Corinne said.

“There are divisions for under 19s through to Masters for men and women, plus we now have a new boat, good gear and coaching on offer.

“The first step is to get at least four friends together to form a crew, preferably who fit in the same division, who are or will soon become bronze proficient, patrolling members. In most cases it all takes off from there with training in the river, wave catching in surf and competing at regular carnivals throughout the summer - it really is a great sport and lifestyle.’’