Ocean Shores celebrates 40th

Long-time Ocean Shores residents Margaret Ricketts (left) and Judy Anning with district web designer Mark Russell at the town’s 40th birthday celebrations last Sunday.
Long-time Ocean Shores residents Margaret Ricketts (left) and Judy Anning with district web designer Mark Russell at the town’s 40th birthday celebrations last Sunday.
Ocean Shores has just turned 40, and the Country Club was packed last Sunday for the celebrations, where speeches, reminiscences and a barbecue lunch were the order of the day.

A slide show of the making of the estate pointed to the contrast between then and now – where once was bare cow paddock after bare cow paddock stripped of virtually all vegetation, now there is a lush garden estate, where, thanks to the dedication of private landowners and volunteer landcarers, all manner of trees and plants once again flourish, just as they did in the time of the original inhabitants of the land.

And after a welcome to country which acknowledged the traditional owners, there was time to celebrate the achievement of the 40 years.

“It’s all very well to build a town,” said Lisa Russell, who with husband Mark is responsible for the district website and magazine, “but it’s the people who breathe life into it to make it a community.”

The many volunteers who have over the years helped turn Ocean Shores into the vibrant community it is today were thanked for their invaluable and wide-ranging contributions, while Mark Russell outlined his quest to define the “truth” of the area and to promote it.

Ocean Shore Community Association president Matthew Denehy announced the formal tabling of a petition to Byron Shire Council, a request that the old Roundhouse site not be sold, but be dedicated as an art gallery.

Lunch was a great opportunity to swap stories of the early days, and one resident whose tales can hardly be topped is Judy Anning, who in 1971 moved into a house in Narooma Drive where she still lives.

“It was a pretty lonely sort of a life,” said Judy.

“There were only about 10 houses all together.”

But in spite of the initial loneliness, Judy said that she has never regretted the move: “I have always loved living here.”

And echoing the sentiment was Judy’s friend Margaret Ricketts, who has lived in four different houses since her retirement to Ocean Shores in 1986, attracted by the newness of a well-planned estate.

Many residents cited the great golf course as one of the town’s principal attractions, with some residents taking up the sport as a result of the move.

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