HALF CENTURY: Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club members Darcy Morrow and Eoin Johnston have both been patrolling lifesavers for 50 years.
HALF CENTURY: Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club members Darcy Morrow and Eoin Johnston have both been patrolling lifesavers for 50 years. Graham Broadhead

Ballina and Lismore lifesavers clock up 100 years of service

DARCY Morrow and Eoin Johnston have seen plenty of changes in surf lifesaving.

The members of the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club together have clocked up more than 100 years of patrolling beaches, and they will be back on the beach this summer.

Mr Morrow, 67, began patrolling in the 1961/62 season at Sawtell where he grew up, and has been patrolling in Ballina for 50 years as well as taking on other roles in the club and at zone level.

Mr Johnston, 69, started patrolling in the 1960-61 season at South Narrabeen in Sydney's northern beaches, but took four years off to travel. He has been patrolling in Ballina since 1975.

"I enjoy doing something for the community," Mr Morrow said.

"It's (surf lifesaving) been my life."

Reflecting on his early days in surf lifesaving, he said there were no radios, inflatable rescue boats, all-terrain vehicles, jetboats, jetskis or drones.

The lifesavers used line and reels to perform rescues, and the rescue boards were long and heavy.

Mr Johnston was a boy from the bush, moving from south-western NSW to Sydney, when he joined the surf lifesaving movement.

The iconic nature of lifesaving drew him to join.

"Lifesavers were held in high esteem," Mr Johnston said. "To be part of the club was a great honour."