ROD McDonagh was re-elected for an eye-popping 23rd stint as president of the South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club (SWRSLSC) at the 101st annual general meeting.
His more than two decades in the role is an impressive feat by any measure, but Mr McDonagh says the stable club environment has been a significant factor in his longevity.
"SWRSLSC has a relatively low turnover rate, and a stable committee environment which makes it much easier to get things done," he said.
"We are well respected within the community, and there is a positive atmosphere surrounding the club."
Mr McDonagh's distinguished career in Surf Life Saving began when he joined Cape Hawke SLSC in 1979. After obtaining his Bronze Medallion in 1981, he served continuously at his club until he moved to South West Rocks for work.
The next few years would see him rise through the ranks and become an integral member of Surf Life Saving NSW.
"I joined the South West Rocks club not long after I moved here and joined the committee, after that everything evolved from there," Mr McDonagh said.
"I was first elected in 1997 when the previous president decided to step down; since then I've held a few different roles on boards, and also become Mid North Coast Branch president.
"Surf Life Saving has been a big part of my life, and it's something I've enjoyed and look back on fondly."
Mr McDonagh has seen and done nearly everything a person can in Surf Life Saving; his journey started in the Nippers many years ago and saw him travel the world to compete.
It's taken a lot of hard work, from everyone, our members and community, but I'm proud of what the club has achieved over the years.Rod McDonagh
"My parents were always heavily involved in Surf Life Saving; it's a bit of a family tradition," he said.
"I started out in the Nippers when I was six, or seven, making my way through to the cadets then the seniors.
"When I was old enough, I travelled overseas as an official, and to compete. I made some great friends along the way and still catch up with them every few years."
His time as president of SWRSLSC hasn't always been easy, but Mr McDonagh says he is very proud of everything the club has accomplished under his leadership.
"It's taken a lot of hard work, from everyone, our members and community, but I'm proud of what the club has achieved over the years," he said.
"We were one of the first in NSW to get a liquor licence; we held the country championships four years in a row, state championships and Australian championships ... for a small country club, these are significant achievements.
"We've had our ups and downs, but the South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club is very progressive, and I'm looking forward to what the future holds."
SWRSLSC office bearers for the 2020-21 season include:
- President - Rod McDonagh
- Vice-President - Geoff Ball
- Director of Administration - Vicki Thomas
- Director of Finance - Alys Farley
- Director of Lifesaving - Brienna Elford
- Director of Surf Sports - Graham Jeffery
- Director of Marketing - Grahame Ball
- Director of Junior Activities - Renee Smailes
- Chief Training Officer - Ian Everingham
- IRB Captain - Logan McEvoy and Josh McLaren
- First Aid Officer - Olivia Bailey
- Surf Boat Captain - Paul Owens
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