Stain of graffiti lingers

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Walls at the Geraldton Surf Life Saving Club will need to be repainted to erase graffiti damage. Image altered to de-identify graffiti tag.
Camera IconWalls at the Geraldton Surf Life Saving Club will need to be repainted to erase graffiti damage. Image altered to de-identify graffiti tag. Credit: Supplied

Geraldton Surf Life Saving Club will need to have several of its clubhouse walls repainted after it was targeted with graffiti earlier this month.

Club president George Giudice said the vandals spray-painted walls and windows on the main building and on a mural adorning the old clubhouse, probably sometime at night on April 7.

He said a club member first noticed the damage when he arrived for patrol on Sunday morning.

“We’re disappointed and we just found it sad that someone would consider that to be funny or something worth doing,” Mr Giudice said.

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“We are a club of volunteers who are all about helping the community and providing safety to swimmers.

“The people who did this must not understand the heartache it’s caused.”

Mr Giudice said club members spent hours on Monday cleaning the mess with a high-pressure hose and graffiti removal substance — but the marks were still visible.

“We rent the building out for weddings and other functions, and the graffiti is in a prominent position where you walk up the stairs to the function area, so that’s made it worse,” he said.

“There’s permanent damage to the mural and we’re going to have to get our club artist in to see if we can make it good again.

“It’s really sad because our juniors love that mural and it’s where they all congregate in the mornings.”

Mr Giudice said while he was unaware of any previous incidents of the club being vandalised during his 15 years of involvement, he believed graffiti was becoming more prominent in Geraldton.

“I just hope it’s a once-off and whoever did it will realise that it’s not the sort of thing one can wear as a badge of honour,” he said. “It’s something that the community abhors and finds quite sad.”

Geraldton Police Station operations manager Sergeant Drue Pardoe said there had been four reported incidents of graffiti since the start of March.

“Two of those reports were instigated by police, and one of those led to two juvenile girls being charged by summons,” he said.

Sgt Pardoe said there had been no obvious rise in reports of graffiti in Geraldton.

Graffiti can be reported online at police.wa.gov.au or by calling 9923 4555.

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