Five community driven organisations around the Coast have benefitted from a share in over $50,000 worth of donations from the Central Coast Freemasons and Masonicare.
Headspace, The Glen and Camp Breakaway all received $1,330, with The Smith Family receiving $5,000 and Surf Life Saving Central Coast the 2019 major beneficiary, receiving $42,400. The funding has been distributed to each organisation to boost their programs, with Surf Life Saving Central Coast again using their funds to purchase the bright pink Nippers’ vests used by surf lifesaving clubs across the region.
According to the Freemasons’ Director of Publicity and Communications, Simon Pierce, the Freemasons had a hand in developing and rolling out the iconic pink rash vest which has become synonymous with the Central Coast surf lifesaving movement. “We were the first to start this initiative in 2012 which has now been taken up by Freemasons and other community minded groups around Australia and throughout the world.
“It all started in 2011 when the Freemasons on the Central Coast created a relationship with Surf Life Saving Central Coast. “A short time later, after the unfortunate drowning of a surf lifesaver at the Australian Championships in Queensland, discussions commenced between Chris Parker, then CEO Surf Life Saving Central Coast, and the Freemasons to find a way to minimise future risk to our community.
“The greatest problem was being able to spot the lifesaver in the surf or under the water. “Tests were conducted to ascertain the most visible colour that could be spotted underwater, especially in rough conditions where the water gets discoloured by the sand. “From the tests, it was clear that hot pink was the best colour to use.
“Surf Life Saving Central Coast in conjunction with Freemasons on the Central Coast then got to work and sourced the bright pink vests that are now common place on our beaches, ” Pierce said. “First to wear the vests on the Central Coast were the Nippers (Under 14’s) in September 2012, and by the end of the year, as the vests were accepted by parents and children alike, they became the norm for all surf clubs in NSW. “The following year the vest was introduced to the Seniors (14–18 years) and the Masters, becoming compulsory for all competitors in all age groups.
“Now, on the Central Coast, all surf lifesaving clubs provide the pink vests to all Nippers and Seniors, ” Pierce said. According to Pierce, the Freemasons pride themselves on the fact that since their introduction, the vests, in conjunction with the diligent work of local surf lifesavers, no lifesavers, Nippers or Senior, have died on a Central Coast beach.
“Freemasons on the Central Coast are extremely proud and thankful for this statistic and will continue to work with Surf Life Saving Central Coast to keep our beaches, and community, safe, ” he said.
Source: Media release, Nov 15 Simon Pierce, Freemasons on the Central Coast