Charitable locals restoring the community's faith with recreational fishing

Meet Anna Rantanen (58) an aged care personal care attendant with decades of community volunteer work experience and Pekka Rantanen (70) a retired carpenter (pictured centre).

Above: Left to right: Adam Martin, President of the Tomakin Fishing Club, Anna and Pekka Rantanen and Anthony Stokman, proprietor of Compleat Angler Batemans Bay with the presentation of new, replacement fishing gear.

Five weeks ago the Rantanens moved into the Eurobodalla with spirits high and looking forward to numerous prospects. Little did they know when moving their possessions from the car to their new home the first of a series of robberies and anti-social behaviour was about to take place. Moving forward to the morning of Saturday the 1st of April, The pair awoke to find their car broken into for a second time and they soon realised that they could no longer enjoy their favourite activity, recreational fishing. The brazen thief had stolen two telescopic rod and reels, a surf rod combo, a fully stocked tackle box and even their fishing caps. Anna acted quickly and posted a notice on one of Batemans Bay's popular Buy, Swap and Sell Facebook pages notifying the public of what had taken place and expressed her disappointment that they must wait for many months before they could go fishing again. Within minutes the notice was seen by hundreds and then thousands of locals expressing their outrage, empathy and some even offered to donate their fishing equipment to Anna and Pekka. Unbeknown to Anthony Stokman, proprietor of Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and myself, President of the Tomakin Fishing Club, Mayor Liz Innes had seen the notice. Liz contacted me to see whether we could help by way of an act of kindness and restore faith within the community showing that Batemans Bay is a place filled with law-abiding citizens that come together in time of need. Compleat Angler Batemans Bay and the Tomakin Fishing Club wasted no time organising to replace their stolen fishing equipment. As pictured Anna and Pekka were elated to receive their new beach rod & reel, two estuary rod & reel outfits, a fully stocked tackle box and yes, two fishing caps. The Rantanens were overjoyed and humbled by the number of locals that wanted to help and offer their fishing equipment and now they are ready to go catch a feed of flathead for the table. Even Mayor Innes expressed her gratitude and reaffirmed her belief that we still live in a community filled with people of integrity. Police have been informed of the situation, they are investigating and increasing surveillance of the area. My advice to those who feel the need to spend their time stealing from their neighbours, put your time to better use and do something more constructive like Recreational Fishing! Adam Martin, President of the Tomakin Fishing Club.

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