Vale Penny Riley

photo of smiling woman

EBACC Founder, Penny Riley

Members of Ettalong Beach Arts & Craft Centre joined the family and friends at Palmdale Crematorium on Tuesday 28th January 2014 to bid their last goodbyes to Penny.

The relationship that Penny had with EBACC goes back to 1986 when she started teaching pottery to students, many of whom are still members to this day, attending other classes, teaching or serving on the committee.

The members had been using a house owned by The Ettalong Beach War Memorial club for around 10 years when Penny decided to kick start the movement for the art centre to have their own premises. She was the driving force behind the construction of EBACC’s current premises in Kitchener Park. With support from Gosford City Council, State and Federal Government the transition to the new building was under way.

Her tireless work on this project was recognised by Gosford City Council in 1994 when she was presented with an Australia Day Award for community service.

1996 saw Penny receive an award for Cultural Services to the Community and a Community Service Award from Rotary International in 2002.

Penny was made an inaugural life member or Ettalong Beach Arts & Craft Centre in 2001 and regarded this as one of her proudest moments.

So much more could be said but this short poem written by her loving son Tim says it all.

The potter’s wheel, it turns like life

Dancing to the tune of the potter’s fife

Making magic pots from dirty clay

To admire or use from day to day.


Penny loved potting, throwing and glazing

And firing up the kiln to get pots amazing

The kiln, the wheel, the clay were her life

Cutting clay slabs with a muddy knife.


Penny’s life was like the potter’s wheel

Round and round from head to heel

She loved art, music and culture too

A patient teacher through and through.


We’ll miss her laugh and coffee mug

So give her one last, large, loving hug

And pray she meets some potters above

Because she’s a person we all love.