September 16

Proudly supported by sponsors


I would like to thank the Management Committee for all the work that they have contributed to our organisation in addition to their regular committee responsibilities.  Also I thank the Active VMR members who represent VMR on the Whitsunday Marine Club Committee who, with the assistance of the Whitsunday Council, Jamie Lovenbury of the Game Fish Club, Mart’s Construction and Ben Doolin Builders put in many man hours of work to make the club house a very attractive venue. The Marine Club went through a period of disruption with many events cancelled, including VMR Music Sunday which is now back on track with Jenni Wasson organising this important monthly function.

We started the year with 772 financial and pensioner members and this increased to 807 from which we have gained extra active members.   On the operations side the number of activations decreased slightly from 86 last year to 82.

It is disappointing that our new vessel is not finished but we have had to change things around to fit all the equipment that we want on board and it is in a queue behind four vessels for the NSW government which are nearing completion.

I would like to recognise all the sponsors and donors who have helped us in so many ways with help in buying equipment, repairs and raffle prizes. In particular I would like to single out Rotary Club of Airlie Beach, Abell Point Marina, Whitsunday Lions Club, Fish D’vine, Daydream Island, Hawkes Boat Yard, Whitsunday Ocean Services and Airlie Beach Hotel, without whose help we would not be as financially sound as we are.

As we are a volunteer organization our active members are in a range of situations, with each member volunteering a different amount of time and energy.  I thank everyone for their contribution and I would like to name a few who have stood out:

– Geoff Smith and Fin Forbes who have skippered the majority of our activations and also run the Thursday boat training.

– Tom Manning who is highly involved in the new rescue vessel, including raising around  $90,000 in grants for equipment and is now involved in raising awareness and securing funds to replace our deteriorating VHF radio repeater station on Hayman Island.

– Mal and Linda Priday for their persistence in making our successful fundraiser happen.

– Col Ayers who has been Treasurer for VMR for 27 years as well as on the Marine Club as Treasurer for many years. Col has retired from VMR as well as from his employment.

Ray Lewis


 The VMR Whitsunday AGM was held on August 1st and highlights were:

      • See President’s report for operational highlights
      • Cash flow was healthy, aided by several successful grants and sponsorship arrangements.
      • Management Committee. Ray Lewis was re-elected as President and Roger Wodson as Secretary, John Fearnley was elected Vice President and Alan Corney as Treasurer (all unopposed).
      • New committee members Stuart Applegate, Norm Fraser and Norbert Gross were elected by ballot, and VMR’s 3 representatives on the Whitsunday Marine Club were also elected by ballot. Bill Harrison, Margo Merritt and Rod Wilson were successful.
      • Ray Lewis presented Col Ayers with an engraved clock thanking him for his 27 years service as Treasurer.

ray and col.jpg

      • CE Smith and Co (Proserpine) was reappointed as auditors.
      • David Morris and Terry Lawn were elected Honorary Life Members.
      • Amendments to Constitution.
        • 4 motions were proposed, of which 3 were passed and one lapsed, due to lack of a proposer, as it was considered unnecessary.
        • As a result, voting entitlements are only available to Active and Honorary Life Members. Other members are not entitled to vote at General Meetings.
        • The amendments have been approved by the Office of Fair Trading.


      • Membership numbers increased by 50% in 2015. This increase has been consolidated with a further increase in 2016 , to over 800 members.
      • Overdue members whose membership expired on 30th June have been reminded that their period of grace has expired and they are no longer entitled to a free tow.
      • Reciprocal rights with some other local VMR’s have been introduced during the year but if you are out of the Whitsunday zone, you will probably be taken by the activated VMR to a safe haven within their territory. For example, if you are assisted by Bowen VMR, you will probably be towed to Bowen.  Membership costs are inexpensive, so members who live on our borders (e.g. Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Bay and Conway Beach) would be prudent to be members of both VMR Whitsunday and Bowen or Midge Point for their nearest rescue.
      • Membership fees for the 2016-2017 year were held at 2015 levels.

VMR Profile – Terry Lawn

Terry LawnAs one of our recently appointed life members, Terry has been a valued member of VMR Whitsundays. He moved to the area in 2003 after retiring from his previous profession of merchant banker. Terry joined VMR because of his enjoyment of being on the water, the camaraderie VMR offers and to have the opportunity to help others.

During his time with the VMR, Terry has worked extensively for the organisation including in the radio room and on the rescue vessel as crew and skipper. To top that off, he was also President for 3 years, during which time we purchased our current VMR1 Kevlacat rescue boat and vastly improved the radio room. He initiated lots of positive changes!

Terry has extensive sailing experience, having sailed in the Whitsundays numerous times on charter yachts, as well as a “gap year” in the early 90’s sailing his 51ft Beneteau from Europe, across the Atlantic, to cruise the waters of the Caribbean. Yet he has never owned a boat while living in the Whitsundays!

Previously, Terry also flew private planes but these days, looking after his large garden as well as helping out with his wife’s business leaves him little time for other hobbies.

He admits to being a bit embarrassed when his name was put forward as a Life Member, but I think we can all agree that it is well deserved.

Congratulations, Terry.


whitsundayreeffestivalARotarys a small gesture of appreciation for Rotary Club’s generous contribution to our new rescue vessel, 10 VMR Active members assisted with traffic marshall duties at the annual Reef Festival Parade.


jenni music day.jpg

Despite cool weather and competition from the Reef Festival Family Fun Day, we had an excellent attendance at the August 7th VMR MUSIC SUNDAY – headlined by local band Gypsy Kiss.

The next VMR MUSIC SUNDAY is, as usual, on the first Sunday of the month, 4th September, from 2.00pm to 6.00pm.

It will be  Father’s Day, so bring Dad along, and enjoy the bbq, music and sunset over Muddy Bay.


Just a reminder that VMR cannot board an unoccupied vessel unless it has the written authority of the owner or police (which may be by email or text message).

VMR’s responsibility is to save human lives, not personal property.

We have had offers of prewritten permission from owners of unattended vessels but these cannot be accepted without the circumstances and conditions being known and authorized on each occasion.

Monthly Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month.


The next meeting will be this Monday, September 5.

Starting at 6.15pm, after a BBQ and drinks from the bar, the monthly meeting is held at about 7pm, giving members the opportunity to meet other members and committee member, and a chance to discuss matters of interest.

The BBQ is only $3, and drinks are reasonably priced, so come along and have your say.

Notices to mariners

No new notices to mariners for the local region over the last month.

Details of all notices are available at the Qld Govt Transport website

And to finish:

sinking in manhatten.jpgA Coast Guard cutter tuned in to a faint distress signal from a sinking pleasure craft.

“What is your position? Repeat, what is your position?” shouted the Coast Guard radio operator into the microphone. The assembled crew waited to hear a response.

Finally a faint reply crackled over the static: “Uh, I’m the executive vice president of First Global Bank. Can you please hurry?”

Obviously had not done a radio course!!  :mrgreen:

Link to latest Activations reports.

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