Roger achieved his aim to return to Australia in 2007 taking a young team of ten back to Perth for what turned out to be the host city for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Surf Life Saving movement in Australia. We could not have wished to go at a better time.
After 12 months of planning and with the invaluable assistance of Bill and Joan Gaynor, (of City of Perth SLSC - contacts Roger made on his first visit down under) the club set off in April 2007. The group
all kitted out it team uniform they looked a very impressive sight as they boarded
their flight at Heathrow. 23 hours later they arrived in Perth WA tired and to 39
degrees. Bill and Joan were there to greet them once they had clear customs
following a slight delay as one of the group was found with a jar of chocolate
spread in his case a band substance apparently! It was then off to our
accommodation for the three weeks. Advent Park, a church based summer camp,
Butlins on the cheap; and it was cheap, but without it we would not have been
able to afford the trip and it definitely added to the experience, and was certainly
character building for the younger members: The cockroaches apparently were
on holiday there too staying in every dark corner including the kettle!
Advent Park was nearly an hours bus ride to the sea and our favourite beach of Cottesloe, but it cost less than £1 for the trip. The main bus station being a short walk from the Swan River and our favourite meeting place ‘The Lucky Shag’ next to the iconic Bell Tower.
The scale of Surf Lifesaving in Australia took many of the youngsters by surprise as they were surrounded by many world class athletes. However the roots of Surf Lifesaving were still obviously present with a big emphasis on patrolling at club level and with awards still going to the most disciplined march past. 5 days were spent watching the competition, including front row seats in the beach flags finals and witnessing the judges tower swept away as they underestimated the surf.
The group also took the time to visit the 'Old Cornish Association of Western Australia' who were interested in hearing about the trip and how life had changed in Cornwall. The trip no doubt left long lasting impressions on all members with some returning to the Southern Hemisphere to live, guard and compete.