The life of former Ballina Shire councillor, surfer, filmmaker and well-known Lennox Head resident Alan Rich, who passed away last week at the age of 68 following a short illness, was celebrated at a service at Ballina Surf Club on Saturday.
Mr Rich (right), who served nine years as a Ballina councillor championing coastal protection and other local environmental causes, grew up in Los Angeles County, US, where he carved out a career as a pioneer surf filmmaker with the help of his Australian wife Evelyn Rich.
Both were self-taught in the craft. The couple moved to Sydney in 1978 after several years touring the world, and seven years later settled in Lennox Head. He was elected to Ballina council in 1999.
Ballina mayor David Wright described Mr Rich as a passionate campaigner against inappropriate development.
Cr Wright, who joined long-time friends of Mr Rich including fellow US surfing identity/expatriate Rusty Miller at the service, told APN Media Mr Rich had initiated the push for Ballina to appoint its own environmental officer and ensured council meetings were transparent by lobbying for the recording of meetings.
Alan Rich is survived by his wife Evelyn and twin 30-year-old daughters April and Nikki.