Surf Lifesavers Help Celebrate Opera House's 40th

Two Australian icons joined forces on Sunday as surf lifesavers from across the state came together to help celebrate the Sydney Opera House’s 40th birthday.

Forty lifesavers from a multitude of surf clubs across Sydney, the Central Coast and the Illawarra formed a guard of honour for the official ceremony and the cutting of the giant cupcake, baked by celebrity chef Matt Moran.

In a dramatic entrance fit for the Opera House, lifesavers arrived by flotilla and marched up the Man O War steps in front of thousands of onlookers to take their place behind the main dais.

Manly lifesaver, Salli Alderson, said it was an unforgettable experience to be a part of such a historic event.

“My daughter and I had an amazing time. I felt quite emotional as the ferry pulled up at the Opera House and I saw 10,000 people standing there, all eyes on us! I moved here from the UK 25 years ago and feel proud to be Australian. The entire experience is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

“I feel so honoured to be able to be a patrol member and then to take part in such an auspicious event at the steps of the Opera House is a reflection of the opportunities available in our beautiful country,” said Salli Alderson.

As well as our 40 lifesavers, six IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boats) teams from various surf clubs led the water flotilla travelling to the Man O War steps.

The IRBs from South Maroubra SLSC, Freshwater SLSC, Thirroul SLSC and Bronte SLSC skilfully led the procession, fanning out in a vee shape ahead of the ferry carrying the lifesavers, which was in turn flanked by two Svitzer Fire Tugs.

South Maroubra SLSC IRB Coordinator, Mike Fernandez, whose club supplied three of the six IRB teams for the flotilla, said it’s not every day you get an opportunity like this and the club was excited to play a part.

“A fun day was had by all, and on behalf of our crews I would like to thank our Board of Management and SLSNSW for the opportunity to participate in the day.

“The biggest thank you has to go to all our guys and girls that not only assisted with the day’s activities, but to all the others that had put their hand up to help out, but missed the opportunity. To have such a big support base like that is a great credit to everyone involved in the IRB sector. It displays not only their commitment to helping out their own club, but the wider surf lifesaving structure as well.”

Surf Life Saving NSW would like to extend a big thank you to all of our volunteer life savers and IRB crews that participated on the day.
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Tue 22 Oct 2013