Surf Life Saver, David

I can see why the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club nominated their life member David Renton for a story in #humansingeelong. Dave joined the Club in 1965 and has served every season. ‘It keeps you young’ he tells us. ‘I feel very fortunate because you can make a difference. I’ve driven the Rubber Duckies since they were first introduced at Ocean Grove and am proud to say some of our members actually developed them.’

Dave & Joy

‘I’m the Vice President of the Ocean Grove DSA (Disabled Surfers of Australia). My wife Lorraine and myself are foundation members since 2008. She had a stroke in 2000. Our beach is one of the only beaches with a disabled ramp that services all abilities and prams. We also have beach wheelchairs that are free to use. We held a DSA event day on February 4th and our next is March 4th. We’re keen to have as many volunteers there as possible. It’s shaping to be our largest event since 2008.

‘I’m also a coach with Bellarine Paddlers Inc. For the last 2 years we’ve taken people out on the Barwon River Sundays at 8.15am. We teach them how to kayak, another of my loves. All of this is because I live in such a beautiful place.

‘I invented the electric wheelchair Carryitt that could be fitted onto cars. I use to fit them for ten years at cost only. Michael Bristow got the second one and became Manager with his wife Fay for all that time. We were a great team! Michael also had a stroke in 2000 and could only blink, now he can pull himself up the steps to go to the local gym. People like Michael and Lorraine wouldn’t have been able to leave home before we invented this.’

David works with his daughter Melanie as a mosquito buster for the City of Greater #Geelong. The #BellarineSurf Coast Shire Council and all the way to #Lara can thank them for busting these pests!

If all that isn’t enough for one person, David tells me of the ‘Usain Bolt’, a run he established 10 years ago. ‘It’s all a bit of fun, an Irish friend had come across a big rusty bolt that had fallen out of the old bridge connecting Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. It would have been holding up that bridge for over 80 years. I welded it onto a trophy. My mate Shane McGuiness wrote an Ode to go with the trophy and the event. You might have heard Shane’s son on 3AK. Everyone who runs in the event receives a wooden nut.

‘Usain Bolt is my hero and in 2008 he’d won 2 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, it seemed fitting to name the event the Usain Bolt. He told me he’d come out and run it if he could be given 3 nuts, 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club and Clubs right around Australia are always looking for more volunteers to become Surf Lifesavers. We also hope to see many of you volunteering at the Disabled Surfers Association Ocean Grove event on March 4th. See the story published in Humans in Geelong Sunday 21st of January ‘18. The Rip to River will be held this weekend’

Story: Jacqui Bennett. You might recognise the photo from the front of the telephone book a few years ago. It shows Dave with his dog Joy, in the Surf Lifesaving lookout at Ocean Grove. The Club are thrilled to be receiving a new Club House. Photo kindly supplied thanks to The Echo Newspaper.