Have a ball celebrating Ballinas heritage

Helen Gates, at the tender age of 16, was crowned Miss Northern Rivers in 1962.

The 1960s was a carefree, golden decade where beach girl competitions, wolf whistling and sun tanning were de rigueur.

To celebrate Ballinas 150th anniversary, the Ballina RSL Club and Ballina Chamber of Commerce are presenting a nostalgic tribute to the 1960s on Monday, November 6.

The gala event will include a multi-media presentation that takes a step back in time to 1964 and the Miss Summerland competition held at Lighthouse Beach. Special guests on the night will include Miss Summerland 1964, Gae Ferris, well-known local lifesaver Jack Trevan, and Helen Gates (nee Satchell), who was Miss Northern Rivers 1962 and organised the Miss Summerland competition with her fiance, the late Bob Gates.

On the night there will be dancing summer girls, roving lifeguards, giant beach balls and an even bigger birthday cake complete with 150 candles.

All this nostalgia is part of Ballinas commitment to the towns heritage and the event will raise funds to support a Ballina heritage initiative. An oral history project that will feature the stories and oral histories of Ballinas beach culture, the river, community organisations and the Bundjalung people is the first project planned. These recorded oral histories will become a valuable resource for local schools and the community.

Nurturing our heritage nurtures our community, so all members of the Ballina community should try and attend the gala dinner as its set to create some fabulous memories, said Kate Gahan, Ballina Shire Councils heritage officer. It will certainly be a unique celebration that shouldnt be missed.

Tickets for the anniversary dinner are $75 and include pre-function canapes and drinks on arrival, a three-course meal with wine or beer and a slice of monster birthday cake. To book phone the Ballina RSL Club on 6686 2544.

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