OUR PROUD HISTORY

In the early 1900s, the Northern Beaches area was becoming a popular tourist destination. The beach from Collaroy to North Narrabeen was being visited increasingly by people keen to bathe in the surf and the locals were concerned that visitors could get into trouble in the unprotected surf. Other beaches were forming surf clubs e.g. Freshwater, Narrabeen and Bondi. With this in mind, a group of locals met on 11 August 1911 to discuss the setting up of a surf club at the beach, later to be known as Collaroy.

Thus, Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club was formed. The beach was named after the ship S.S. Collaroy which was beached there in September 1880, and was stuck there for four years, although the locals didn’t start to call the area Collaroy until the 1900s.

The first club house was built during the first season – 1911/12 and the club’s emblem – a seagull atop a life saving buoy was designed. This emblem is still the club’s emblem today.

In 1914, the club affiliated with the Surf Bathers Association, the forerunner of the Surf Life Saving Association of today, and Collaroy’s members began to train for their Surf Bronze Medallions. The first group received their Medallions in December 1914, and the club was well on its way to being a full fledged Surf Life Saving Club.

Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club is one of the largest clubs on the Northern Beaches, with over 600 members, and one of the largest in New South Wales. It boasts numerous Australian, NSW and branch Champions in its membership.
To view the 2004 Amended Objects & Rules – The Collaroy Constitution click HERE

LIFE MEMBERS

Life Membership of Collaroy SLSC is one of the greatest achievements a surf lifesaver can aspire to.

The following list of people have all made outstanding contributions to our club and have been rewarded with Life Membership. Where listed * indicates deceased.

Honour Blazer (6)

Chequer, Ralph *
Goodman, W (Bill) OAM)
Graham, Doug *
Ison, John*
Leathley, Alan*
Montgomery, Neil OAM
Twight, R (Dick) (OAM)*

Life Members (50)

Abbott, W (Bill)*
Booth, Paul
Bruce, Graeme
Cameron, Austin *
Carlisle, Graham (OAM)*
Chapman, A B (Mick)
Chequer, Bert *
Chequer, Ralph *
Chequer, W B *
de Kort, Paul
Dellitt, Austin *
Donohue, Frank *
Evans, John *
Evans, Max *
Farrell, I J (Jonathan)
Forbes, William *
Goodman, W (Bill) (OAM)
Graham, Doug *
Greenwood, Arch *
Hall, Frank *
Hardy, W (Bill)*
Isaacs, Raymond
Ison, John*
Langbein, R (Bob)
Leathley, Alan
Lee, John *
Lytham, Richard
Macqueen, Rod (AM)
MacMahon, Gregory
McGrigor, Wallace*
McKie, Karen
McKie, Kenyon
McDonald, Hector (OAM)*
Meyn, Harry *
Mitchell, W (Bill) *
Montgomery, Chris
Montgomery, Neil (OAM)
Montgomery, Peter *
Newman, Colin
Perry, David
Pring, Thomas*
Proctor, Charles E(Chic)*
Rankin, John *
Redwood, George*
Sheldon, Athol *
Small, Geoffrey
Sullivan, Manus *
Twight, R (Dick) (OAM)*
Twight, Stan Snr*
Walsh, Laurie

Life Members — War Service 1914-1918 (37)

Abbot, H W *
Abbot, R N *
Ball, A *
Basser, N *
Blakeman, P E *
Blayden, N *
Borig, H*
Borig, L *
Brissenden, E M *
Brown, G *
Casey, N *
Connell, T *
Davidson, A *
Dellitt, G S *
Donaldson, K *
Doucherty, A *
Ellis, W *
Gillies, A *
Goldsborough, J J *
Hirons, J *
Hirch, P *
Hunter, H R *
Hunter, W *
King, J J *
Lee, A *
Lee, L *
Lee, W *
Ludowici, H *
McKinnon, J *
Quinn, L *
Ryrie, Sir G De L *
Sheldon, L A *
Shepherd, W *
Smith, T *
Solomons, E *
Tindale, F *
Wilson, W *

LIFE MEMBERS

 

2015-16 COMMITEE MEMBERS

President
Greg Broome
sultan04@optusnet.com.au 

Vice-President
Geoff Small
gmsmall@optusnet.com.au

Captain
Liz Green
captain@collaroysurfclub.com.au

Treasurer
Neil Armstrong
neil.armstrong@optusnet.com.au

Secretary
Phil Mickan
collaroysecretary@gmail.com

JAB “Nipper” Chairman
Darryl Gilmartin
darryl_collaroynippers@bigpond.com

GENERAL COMMITTEE

Registrar

Janine Fahey

snaylor123@optusnet.com

Boat Captain
David Hopper
dhopper@kaipara.com.au

Board & Ski Captain
Greg Armstrong

IRB Captain
Saxon Lysaught-Wheeler 
irbcaptaincollaroy@gmail.com

R & R Captain
Todd Ware

Beach Captain  
Craig Williams
craig@maxlawsoncarpets.com.au 

Masters Captain

Race Secretary
Chris Montgomery
chris@plateaufoods.com.au 

Competition Director
Janine Black
jblack@ricoh.com.au 

Chief Instructor  
Liz Green
chiefinstructorcollaroy@gmail.com

Radio Officer
Greg MacMahon
greg.macmahon@bigpond.com

Gear Steward
Norm Chaffer

First Aid Officer
Greg MacMahon
greg.macmahon@bigpond.com

Sponsorship Officer
Greg Broome
sponsorship@collaroysurfclub.com.au

Venue Manager  
Martin Bowyer
martin.a.bowyer@team.telstra.com

Publicity Officer
Richard Trim
richardtrim@bigpond.com

Administration Manager
Bill Goodman OAM

JAB “Nippers” Delegate
Craig Thomas
craig.thomas@ajaluminium.com.au

Branch Delegate
Geoff Small

Junior Liaison Officer
Vacant

Internal. Liaison Officer
Vacant

Honorary Medical Officer
Dr Michael Armstrong

Honorary Solicitor 
Robert Storey

Honorary Auditor
Raymond Kemsley & Co

Honorary Photographer
Bill Sheridan

Non-Committee Position
Tony Aouad, Peter MacMahon, Justine Hopper, Andrew Sole

ORDER BOOK

3If you would like make an enquiry about the book “Vigilant and Victorious”, please email our secretary on

collaroysecretary@gmail.com

COLLAROY SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB | MCWILLIAMS WINES SPONSORSHIP 1946 – 1996

What is thought to be the longest sponsorship of a voluntary organisation commenced on the Long Reef Headland on Sunday, May 19th, 1946.

Here is how it happened:

Sunday May 19th, 1946 began as a terrible day in Sydney – a southerly gale, torrential rain and huge seas.  Sydney Harbour was closed to all shipping including pilot boats and the water police, a tough call when the ferry service in those days was an important mode of transport.

The Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club (C.S.L.S.C.) and Dee Why Diggers Rugby League Teams were scheduled to play the local derby at Griffiths Park, Collaroy at 2 p.m. and the morning was spent trying to find a referee as all games in Sydney had been cancelled.

A referee was located and in atrocious conditions, on time the game started. With many War Service friendships being re-kindled, the game was abruptly halted at 3 p.m. when a police car drove onto the field. They all felt that this meant trouble, but which side of Long Reef Headland was it on!!!!

Muddy gear and all, the police quickly took a number of players to the Collaroy Surf Club where the Collaroy surf boat was already on the beach, having been put there by a number of “Oldies”. It was visually obvious that the half cabin cruiser, some 800 yards out to sea, had little time left before the huge southerly surf picked up the boat and smashed it into pulp on South Narrabeen Beach.

The four rowers (3 from Collaroy and 1 from South Narrabeen) and Collaroy’s Boat sweep Dick Twight who chose to go out into those conditions had a lot of experience (Dick had swept the surf boat 2 months earlier when Collaroy won the Australian Open Surf Boat Championship on Sydney’s Maroubra Beach).

The rescue is an interesting story in itself about which I am only too happy to elaborate at a later date.

Points of interest.

The rescue would not have been a success but for Collaroy rower Bill Abbott, who dived into the turbulent ocean and secured a rope to the cruiser. Worse was to come when he informed Dick Twight that of the 6 fishermen on board only one was well enough to steer the cruiser.

In near darkness they almost reached the safety of Fisherman’s Beach, when 300 yards off shore the surf boat was caught by a big swell and sliding down the face the tow rope broke.   Immediately Collaroy member Chick Proctor dove over the side and swam to the cruiser and pointed it out to sea. The surf boat hit the beach badly damaged but immediately the crew, all good swimmers, swam out to the boat to help keep it upright.

By this time in awful conditions and complete darkness they picked a quiet spot and successfully got the cruiser to the beach.

The 6 crewmen were taken to hospital and never heard of again around Collaroy.

The cruiser lay on Fisherman’s Beach for ages before it was removed.   It had apparently developed engine trouble near Sydney Heads and in atrocious conditions had drifted in a northerly direction all day.

All 5 Surf Boat Crewman received the highest honour in the country for their bravery and accordingly, meritorious citations by the Royal Ship Wreck, Relief &Humane Society of NSW.

Among the hundreds of viewers who had come to the headland that afternoon to witness the rescue were members of the Long Reef Golf Club, who formed a citizens Committee and for many years raised important funds that went towards rescue equipment for the Surf Club.

Also on hand enjoying a round of golf was the late Keith McWilliam, then the Managing Director of McWilliams Wines P/L, who was so impressed by what he had witnessed that he came forward and promised the Collaroy S.L.S.C. a new Surf Boat – to be called “Braemar” – the name of his popular product at the time – 50 years and some 23 surf boats his promise stood the test of time.

Unfortunately, the arrangement ended in 1996 when South African C.E.O. Kevin McKlintock signalled a new direction for the company and ceased their sponsorship.

Presentations by the club to McWilliams wines proved fruitless as Kevin McKlintock, coming from inland South Africa had little interest or knowledge of Surf Life Saving, its community involvement or the longevity of this sponsorship arrangement.

Don McWilliam was to follow his father by becoming our Club Patron and as I write this is currently our Vice Patron, being superseded by Dick Twight as Club Patron.

Not only did the McWilliam Family provide 23 fully equipped surf boats but always donated their fine product for functions or fundraising dinners held at the club.

In 1949 the Club Executive at the time, along with endorsement from Keith McWilliam, decreed that all surf boats donated by McWilliam’s Wines, upon completion of their competitive life, would be donated to needy surf clubs or organisations around the world.

Accordingly, without elaborating on the destination of all 23 of the Collaroy S.L.S.C. boats, they went to countries such as South Africa, Great Britain, New Zealand, Italy, France, Hong Kong and in 1970 to assist with the recreation programme for the armed forces in Vietnam.  A boat went to the Maritime museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney. In 1995, 1 went to the Yanco Agriculture College in the Griffith Region and started a new life for students on the Murrumbidgee River.   Several went to needy surf clubs throughout Australia to assist with their rowing programmes.

Even though the sponsorship ended in 1996, the boat section of the Collaroy S.L.S.C have determined that all surf boats upon ending their competitive life with us, will be donated to needy clubs. Last year upon the recommendation of current Boat Captain David Hopper, 2 surf boats (The Rod Macqueen and The Paul Booth) were donated to the Kennett River Surf Club based on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

Geoff Small.

Life Member,

2015