It is with extreme sadness that I advise life member Graham Bingham passed away on January 3 after a short, but brave fight against pulmonary fibrosis.
He was only 15 days short of his 80th birthday, something he was striving to make.
'Bingo', as he was affectionately known to many, was a founding member of the Tacking Point Surf Life Saving Club, together with Ken Corbett, Dave Patterson and Warren White.
He served three three-year terms as president of the club from 1981-1984, 1990-1993 and 1999-2002.
He was also the club's chief instructor from 1978 until 1982 and also held various other positions within the club.
Graham was also a member of the club's first R & R team that competed at many local and major carnivals.
He was honoured with life membership in 1990 for his dedicated work in all aspects of the club.
Bingo was instrumental in organising the building of the balcony, where a lot of our locals now enjoy Friday and Sunday afternoon drinks.
During the building of the balcony, Bingo suffered a badly smashed ankle when part of the old balcony gave way. Although in much pain, he still organised the completion of the balcony.
Graham was a mentor to many long serving members of our club and his knowledge and insight into all matters of surf lifesaving was second to none.
He was awarded life membership of the Mid North Coast branch in 2002 for his dedication and involvement in training and assessing various courses.
Prior to moving to Port Macquarie, Graham was a keen still water rower and loved watching surfboat rowing.
'Bingo' was a larger than life character who was a popular figure around the club and our bar is named in his honour.
Even though Graham and Roz moved to the Sunshine Coast a few years ago he was always in contact to find out how the club was going.
He never lost his passion for our club, nor R & R and patrol competition.
When he moved to the Sunshine Coast he was asked to assist in the training of Alexandra Headlands R & and patrol competition teams. He was honoured to assist these teams and they went on to medal at the Australian championships.
Graham was a keen aviator and was also a member for many years of the Port Macquarie Flying Club.
'Bingo' was also well respected in the Port Macquarie building industry and worked for many years with Buckton Glass.
To his wife Roz, his son Mark, his daughter Karen and their extended family as well as his many dear friends outside of surf lifesaving, our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time.
A private cremation was held on the Sunshine Coast yesterday. Further details regarding a memorial service will be notified later.
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