Clubbie Profile October: Les Pepper

Our Clubbie Profile for the month of October is Les Pepper from Woolgoolga SLSC. Les has been a surf lifesaver for almost 30 years and the President of the club for more than 15 years. Les recently received Life Membership of the North Coast Branch.

Occupation: Motor Mechanic

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?

I joined Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club in 1986, because my daughter wanted to do Nippers. The club wanted people to help with water safety, so I put my hand up and now the rest is history.

Why do you volunteer as a lifesaver?

I enjoy my time on the beach doing patrols and meeting different people in Surf Life Saving.

What are your goals within Surf Life Saving?

The only goal I have at the moment is getting a new surf club built for our members.
Next season you chalk up 30 years as a surf lifesaver, what has been your best memory? My time as a surf lifesaver has been great and I’m forever grateful for the lifelong friendships I have made. I’ve had a tonne of great memories but a few stand out. Forming an IRB team and winning the NSW Country IRB Titles in 1993 was amazing and in the same year, we won multiple medals at the NSW IRB Championships which was an outstanding effort by our team.

Another memory would have to be competing with my three children at State and Australian IRB carnivals. Receiving Life Membership of North Coast Branch and Woolgoolga SLSC was also a special time for me and my family.

As President of Woolgoolga SLSC for more than 15 years, what have you learnt?

It was at first a big job for me, but over the years I found if you are consistent in the way you run the club by not taking sides and treating everyone the same you gain the respect of members.

The plans have been finalised for a new club house for Woolgoolga SLSC, what will this mean for your members?

We will have modern facilities and enough storage for all of our equipment in the one place because at the moment our gear is spread across two locations.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why?

I admire all members of Surf Life Saving who give up their time to patrol their beaches and train members to keep the movement moving forward.

Favourite beach that isn’t yours?

There is no better beach than Woolgoolga.

Anything else you would like to add…

We need to listen to our members and try to do what they want. We need a better consulting process as the majority of our members are quite happy to do their patrols and that’s all. They are not interested in a lot of the paper work or computer work as our skills are hands on skills not classroom skills.

We need to listen to the feedback we get and act on it, not just say this is the way we do it now. Be outspoken if you have an issue - make someone listen to you.

Photo: Les Pepper (2nd from left) receiving Life Membership of North Coast Branch

Fri 30 Oct 2015