Nothing beats being at Ocean Beach on a perfect day for lifesaver stalwart Bryan Faulknor.
The dedicated Ocean Beach Kiwi Life Saving Club treasurer and former chairman received his 50-year badge at the Surf Life Saving New Zealand annual Awards of Excellence last weekend.
Trevor Miles from Westshore, who coached the Westshore Red surf boat crew to victory at the national championships in Christchurch earlier this year, also received the 50 year badge.
The two badge winners were among seven other Hawke's Bay members recognised on the national stage for their service to the sport.
Mr Faulknor was only a young buck when he fell into surf lifesaving and qualified as a lifesaver in 1967.
"I got into it as all my friends were at the time so I just tagged along really."
What he loved about it most was the beach and surf environment, the comradeship and the element of doing a voluntarily public service.
In his younger days he competed in a number of competitions with his favourite event the four-man surf canoe.
"I think the beauty of an organisation like Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club is that there are a range of ages all competing and interacting with one another from the nippers to the masters."
Mr Faulknor is now involved with the administration sides of the club and is currently the treasurer.
"Being at Ocean Beach on a perfect day - there is nowhere else I would rather be."
Among the other winners was Michael Bassett-Foss, who won the service award last year and claimed the distinguished service award at this year's event.
The award was presented to four lifesavers and recognised someone who had continued to give outstanding service to Surf Life Saving at club, regional, or national level over a further period of years.
Mr Bassett-Foss started life saving when he was 14 years old and said he never looked back.
He started at the Otaki Surf Club before moving and being based at Waimarama for the past 10 to 12 years.
Mr Bassett-Foss was a competitive swimmer and once at Otaki when he realised the sea was more in use than the pool he jumped ship and started surf lifesaving.
"They had a very active surf lifesaving group and they encouraged me to join and once I did I never looked back."
The inspirational people and the comraderie was what kept Mr Bassett-Foss in the game for so long.
He said the amount of stories you hear about people doing tremendous things was inspirational and the awards last weekend was an example of this.
"I had the privilege and pleasure to grow up in an environment around giving back to the community and now my teenage sons are going through it."
Mr Bassett-Foss helps with mentoring and instructing and he said he got a real kick out of seeing the young develop.
"It is great watching them develop and make their own pathways through surf lifesaving."
Members of Waimarama Club featured in the service award category were Jason Broome and Brendan Hamilton-Gibbs. Also recognised under this category was Aidan Charman and Neil Galland from Westshore, Reece Kennedy from Ocean Beach Kiwi and Emma Hubbard from Pacific.
The holders of this award were recognised for giving outstanding service to Surf Life Saving at club, regional or national level over a period years.
The Hawke's Bay members were among the 49 surf life savers from across the country honoured at the annual awards night held in Auckland.