Clarence Town club earns state award

Making a dying man’s dream to go barramundi fishing come true earned the Clarence Town Bowling, Sport and Recreation Club the NSW club industry’s top award at a gala dinner in Sydney on Friday night.

The small club scored the prestigious Spirit of The Bush award at the 2012 ClubsNSW Awards for Excellence ceremony.

Radio personality Alan Jones was given the task of selecting the club that best represents the spirit of club industry in the community and the Clarence Town club received $5000 for their nominated local charity.

The club supports many community groups in Clarence Town, including the rural fire brigade, the local museum, the Lions club, the swimming club, the soccer club, the rugby league club, the Westpac rescue helicopter, local schools and the Cancer Council.

But the most significant of their contributions was making the dream of local Sheldon Robinson, who was suffering terminal cancer, come true.

Mr Robinson, like many Australians, grew up with a passionate love of fishing.

Last year doctors told him that he was going to lose his eight-year battle with cancer, a disease he had fought since he was 13.

Knowing Mr Robinson had always dreamed of fishing for barramundi in the top end of Australia, the club set about making that dream come true.

The club called on local businesses and held a benefit night that raised more than $6000 for the ultimate fishing trip.

Mr Robinson died on August 1, last year, but not before living his dream of a barramundi fishing trip in Darwin.

His mother, Michelle, said it was the greatest time of his short life.

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the club is a worthy recipient of the Spirit of the Bush award.

“The club industry is immensely proud of Clarence Town Bowling, Sport and Recreation Club,” he said.

“They are the heartbeat of their community.

“I’m happy to see the club is now back to its full glory, and doing what it does best, continuing to lend a hand to the good people of Clarence Town.

“I’m proud of what the club and the town did for Sheldon and know it will serve as an inspiration for all clubs to support their community.”

That community spirit shone through last year when the club was robbed at gunpoint twice in six days and the community rallied to help the club repair the $130,000 damage caused by the robbers.

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