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Source: The Standard, Jan. 26, 2016 – By RACHAEL HOULIHAN (story and photos)

UNDER the cover of darkness 22 new bluestone seats popped up on East Beach in Port Fairy overnight on Tuesday. Bamstone’s managing director Michael Steel organised the chairs as an Australia Day surprise to the community.

The reclining bluestone chairs are nestled among the sand at the front of Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club.The new additions have proved popular, with people taking a seat on Australia Day, relaxing by the ocean.

Mr Steel said it was a gift from him and his wife Cheryl to Port Fairy.

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“If you work on your community first then it transforms to your whole country,” he said.

Supporting the surf life saving club was the reason he had the chairs constructed.

“It was just a little idea I had,” he said.

“I thought I would stick them down there.

“It was to be a surprise for people to wake up to on Australia Day.”

Mr Steel said the chairs took about six to eight hours each to make.

“How Aussie can you be? Sitting down at the beach on a bluestone chair,” he said.

“They have been very popular with families sitting on them and parents watching their children in the water.”

The seats are able to be shifted around and Mr Steel said they could be stored in the winter.

“They can be brought back out in the summer,” he said.

“They weigh about 300-400 kilograms each.

“They require no maintenance.”

Mr Steel said he had help from members at the surf life saving club to install the seats.

“We arrived in the dark of the evening and put them on the beach,” he said.

The chairs were transported on the back of a truck and a telehandler helped place them on the sand.

Mr Steel said if anyone wished to purchase a chair, the money from the sale would go to the surf life saving club.

The funds would then be used to upgrade the club’s training rooms and storage area.

If anyone is interested in buying a chair, they can contact Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club.