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He may have been a latecomer to the surf lifesaving family, but for over three decades Richie Lytham OAM has given his all to the movement he loves.

Recently the popular co-founder of Dad’s Army; a wonderful group of retirees who do so much for surf sport in NSW maintaining gear and equipment among many other thankless tasks, has decided to call time on his immediate involvement in lifesaving to focus on his health.

Although it is a given that he will still keep his ear to the ground for news around the lifesaving world, in his quieter moments he can reflect on a passion and a resume that is incredibly full and varied.

Richie’s journey began when he signed on as member of Collaroy SLSC in the 1983/84 season before obtaining Bronze Medallion 44231 shortly afterwards.

After a career spent on the wharves, Richie had learned a lesson or two on leadership and people management, and he quickly threw himself into all aspects of the movement.

Within two seasons he was on the Club Premises Committee, a position he would hold for nine seasons.

It was the start of many achievements at his beloved club that included stints on a number of committees, touring manager, a term as President (1993-96), and most notably of all six years as organiser for the Collaroy Masters Event; later to become East Coast Masters.

For his efforts he was awarded Life Membership at Collaroy in 2008.

At a Branch Level he became heavily involved serving four years as Sydney Northern Beaches President among many other positions including two decades on the board of examiners, eight seasons on the rules and regulation committee, and four-year term as director of competition.

In the 1999/2000 season he was elevated to Branch Life Membership.

Richie has also made an incredible and sustained contribution at both State and National level.

For Surf Life Saving NSW he has served as a Deputy President, spent a decade as a surf sports adviser, was a member of multiple committees including a stint chairing the Life Members Review Committee, and was an accredited official for 25 years.

Some of his achievements at an Australian level including five years as a boat referee at The Aussies, and a member of the Life Membership and Honours Committee.

Richie was also made a Life Member of both Surf Life Saving NSW (2004) and Surf Life Saving Australia (2010).

For his dedication to the movement as a whole he has been recognised in the wider community.

Richie is a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal (2000), was the Warringah Council Citizen of the Year in 2002, and in 2012 was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

For many current and former SLSNSW staff, Richie’s face and of course his dog Brownie has been a familiar presence both at surf sport events and around the office for many years.

“Volunteers play such an important role across all areas of the organisation and Richie has always been a wonderful source of knowledge and has contributed across so many roles,” said Surf Sports Manager Rob Pidgeon.

“He has been a wonderful source of support for both myself and all the previous surf sport managers as well, and I can’t speak highly enough of him.

“Richie has attended many carnivals over the years playing a key support role in logistics. You learned very quickly that he wanted things done the right way and his approach is certainly a key part of the success of our surf sport carnivals,” Mr Pidgeon concluded.

Surf Life Saving NSW would like to wish Richie Lytham OAM all the best on his well-deserved retirement, and to acknowledge his many years of service to the movement.

Richie Lytham OAM has made a significant contribution to surf lifesaving in NSW

Thursday 30 August 2018