It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC, Far North Coast Branch and Surf Life Saving NSW Life Member, Ron Shepherd, on Wednesday 26 October, aged 88.
Ron joined the Northern Rivers region club in 1950 and had been a fiercely loyal servant of the movement in the time since, gaining his Bronze Medallion in his first year before later serving as Club Captain for a period of seven years.
Ron was a State and IRB Championship Official of some repute and had previously held down several Branch positions including a decade as Superintendent, 15 years as a Competition Official and an extended period on the Branch Board of Examiners.
He was also Vice President of Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC for a period of 10 years.
In supporting his passion for patrolling the beach and keeping the public safe, Ron was crucial in establishing the first lifeguard contract with the Council and served as the region’s first Lifeguard Supervisor.
Former club president, Kris Beavis spoke glowingly of Ron’s contribution.
“Ron’s legacy is that he remained relevant to the next generations of members and administrators as his compass was always what was best for the club and strongly respected those that wanted the same,” he said.
“He loved all elements of club life, whether it was in his own time of patrolling and March Past competition, officiating, talking to current patrolling members, using his building skills for repairs around the club, or flipping snags for Nippers which gave him the opportunity to see his own kids and grandkids engage in club life.
“My first experience with Ron was an introduction that basically went ‘this is Ron, great bloke, but don’t (expletive) cross him’.
“Fortunately, I never did cross him and enjoyed a firm mateship with one of the genuine good blokes over more than two decades.”
Ron was remembered at a service on Monday 31 October as an outstanding and dedicated lifesaver and is survived by six children.
Tuesday 1 November 2022