After years of fighting, Ben’s future is settled
“Some people still feel we should be doing what it was originally intended for, which was maritime training.”
When the club was built, there was an intention to build sail training facilities on the prime piece of real estate on Pioneer Bay and Mr Darbey said the land was still council zoned for that purpose.
Another committee member, Clayton Matthews, said the committee was instructed to act on the best interests of the club and he believed it was not in the club’s best interest to sell the land in the current climate.
“If the market turns and we think we will get better money for what the land is worth, we will probably put it back to the members,” he said.
“At the end of the day, it’s the members’ land and for them to say (what is done with it).” FIVE years ago, Ben Wardroper had an accident that would change his life forever – but today he is happily planning his
30th birthday celebration and wedding.
On November 15, 2012, the former Whitsunday local was paralysed from the waist down at just 23 years old after a work site accident in London.
For outgoing, rugby-loving Ben, the accident had a profound effect on his psychological state.
He had been dating his Dutch girlfriend Richa Weusthof for little more than a month and was due to fly to the Netherlands to meet her family the weekend after his accident.
Ben’s next big obstacle was his compensation claim that, after more than three years, was finally settled in February last year.
But fast forward to today and as Ben plans his 30th birthday next year, he’s also planning his wedding to Richa.
Richa moved to Australia to be with Ben soon after he returned home, eventually settling in Townsville.
The engaged couple has since built a fully adapted, wheelchair- friendly property which they designed together.
“We’ve designed the house exactly how we want it and it means I can be as independent as I can,” Ben said.
“Richa is settling into Australian life well. She did find a lot of cultural differences but is loving her new Aussie lifestyle.
“She has a job she loves and I think that has made the transition a little easier.”
NO SALE: Whitsunday Sailing Club committee members Brendon Darbey and Clayton Matthews with secretary Leonie Matthews.
RECOVERY: Ben Wardroper and his fiancee Richa Weusthof.