January 24 - 30, 2016: Issue 248

Bert Payne Park, Newport: Named for A Man with Community Spirit

Australia Day Breakfast by the Beach, 2015 in Bert Payne Park.

The site for the Australia Day Breakfast on the Beach Celebrations each year is in Bert Payne Park (Reserve) at Newport. Younger readers may wonder who the person honoured and even how this reserve came to be.

It began in 1910 in an idea that came from and was lead by the then newly formed Newport Surf Club and the also quite new Warringah Shire Council which had jurisdiction over the whole of Pittwater to begin with:

Proposed Resumption of Newport Beach. At a public meeting held at Newport resolutions were carried urging the Government to have the Newport beach resumed by the Warringah shire council as a public reserve. Speakers representing local residents, tourists to the district, and the Newport Surf Club pointed out that resumption would been easier matter at present than later on, when the beach would probably come under private ownership. The proposal is to resume the whole of the beach from low water-mark to Barranjoey-road, and it was decided to ask tho council to arrange a deputation to the Minister for Lands on the subject. EMPIRE FORESTS. (1910, March 22).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15133762


The Newport Beach, which was recently resumed by the Lands Department and Warringah Shire Council, was dedicated on Saturday before a large gathering. The ceremony was performed by Mrs. Nielson (wife of the Minister for Lands). Councillor Ralston, (president of Warringah Shire) in presenting Mrs. Nielson with a pair of silver scissors with which to sever the blue ribbon, said they could well call it a red-letter day in the annals of the shire. The council had recognized the nescessity of securing the beaches for the people, and a few more would be resumed later on.
Mrs Nielson, in cutting the ribbon, said “I hereby declare the Newport beach open for the public.”
Alderman C. D. Paterson and Dr Arthur, M.L.A. also spoke and congratulated the shire on securing such a fine beach.
During the afternoon the members of the North Steyne Surf Club and Newport Surf Club gave exhibitions in the surf and refreshments were supplied by a committee of local ladies and gentlemen. The Warringah Shire Band rendered a programme of music.
 NEWPORT BEACH OPENED. (1911, April 10). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from 

The keeping of lands as open spaces for people was expanded upon with people who owned land in the vicinity asked to allow it to be sold to enlarge these green spaces:

Expenditure on Reserves in Warringah Shire 

Warringah Shire Council has acquired land valued at £36, 247 for public recreation purposes, during the past ten years. Of this amount, the sum of £31,267 was incurred for the purpose of establishing beach reserves, with the exception of £6000 which the crown contributed towards the* cost of Collaroy Beach resumption. £25,542 has. been incurred in the last four years. Now an additional sum of £30,200 is to be raised by two loans for the purpose of making further acquisitions of foreshores for the public, and for liquidating some of the liabilities included in the above list to a total of£6600. The balance of £23,600 will be spent in enlarging the ocean beach reserve at Newport, providing reserve for recreation and access to Pittwater, Newport, enlarging ocean beach reserve Mona Vale, enlarging Lake Park on northern shores of Narrabeen Lake and extension to Dee Why beach reserve. Some 40 acres of reserves have been acquired through subdivisions of large estates, and Manly and Warringah Shire Councils are under joint agreement to acquire 130 acres of land for a district park at a cost of approximately £15,000, this being an internal reserve mainly for residents of Manly and the Shire, which is not included in the above list of expenditure. Local Government. (1927, May 25). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108990996 


During the past five years the ratepayers of Warringah Shire have paid £50,790 of the £68,956 authorised for the purchase of fore-shores and reserves.

The principal resumptions and their costs are:- Newport Beach reserve, £9600; Newport reserve, for access to Pittwater, £2200; Mona Vale Beach, £2800; Palm Beach, £4500; Lake Park extension, Narrabeen, £1900; Collaroy Beach reserve, £18,050, Deewhy Beach reserve extension, £2000; district park, £9500, Manly Municipal Council contributing a similar amount in respect of the last-mentioned purchase.

The matter was referred to the council meeting by the shire clerk (Mr. R. G. Jamie-son), who stated that probably no other council in New South Wales could show such a fine record.

The president (Councillor Corkery) said that they could not be expected to go on burdening the ratepayers in that way indefinitely. The beaches were used by people who came in their thousands from all parts, and the acquisition of places of access, in his opinion, should be a national work. THE FORESHORES. (1929, August 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16574253 

Ten years on the Payne family arrived in Newport - from the wonderful book compiled by Guy Jennings - Newport Surf Life Saving Club - The First Century 1909-2009 and courtesy of a still residiing in Pittwater family member:


by Denis Payne

My earliest memories of Newport were in the early 1940's when my father, Ray Payne, joined the club and so commenced my personal connection with it. We did however go to Cronulla Beach prior to that time. We lived at Girraween, so it was quite a journey, almost every weekend until we moved to Newport in December 1952. We did however have a weekender in Irrubel Road from about 1948-49. Earlier than that I can remember caravanning in Bardo Road where there were no houses to speak of, like the rest of Newport.

My grandfather, Ernest Payne had moved to Newport in 1934, at which time he had bought the butcher shop on Barrenjoey Road and a house on Foamcrest Avenue.

Ernest was an Englishman born outside Birmingham. He married Winifred Careless, and their sons Ray and Laurie were born there. They moved to Sydney in 1910. Unfortunately they had to leave Laurie behind as a 1 year old, because he had scarlet fever and was not allowed to travel. He came out a year or two later. Marion, Albert (Bert) and Arthur were all born later, in Sydney.

Laurie had married in 1933 and went to live in Avoca where he joined the surf club and obtained his Bronze Medallion. He then moved to Newport and joined the Club in 1936-37, becoming a butcher before joining the army in World War II.

Bert joined the club as a junior member in 1937-38. He also was a butcher at the Newport shop until the early 1950's, when he started a timber yard.

Arthur went to secondary school at Parramatta, plus a year of business college. He joined the club in 1936-37 with Laurie but then left towork in the steel mills at Port Kembla. He, like Laurie, then joined the army.

Ray the eldest joined the club in 1944-45 and obtained his Bronze in the same squad as Bert in March, 1945.

For many years the Paynes occupied a strong position in the clubs' activities. Before joining the army Laurie was club Vice-Captain and then Captain for two years in 1937-39. He was also a delegate to the SLSA, Chief Instructor and Vice President of the SLSA. Laurie renewed his club activities in 1946 when he was discharged from service and became once again Delegate to the SLSA and Chief Instructor plus Member of the Board of Examiners of the SLSA. In 1949 he was made a Life Member of Newport Club. From this point on he devoted most of his time to SLSA matters plus becoming Founding President of Bungan Club, Chairman of the Newport Nippers and Northern District Supervisor of the Sydney Branch. Overall he devoted a large part of his life to the Surf Club movement. He also moved back to Newport in the 1950s and lived on Barrenjoey Road.

Arthur's activities were influenced by age, circumstances and the war. When he returned from service, he joined the police force. Initially he lived with his wife, Marie and the family in Foam-crest Avenue, opposite father, Ernest and up the road from Bert and his wife, Reika. As a Probationary Constable he found himself on a bus going to Manly on 4th December, 1946 when the bus was stopped by a man at South Narrabeen to advise that two girls were being swept to sea in a current. Arthur stripped off his clothes and dived into the surf to the rescue. The girls were saved and he was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the SLSA and a Bronze Medal by the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales. Arthur afterwards probably felt he didn't require the normal Bronze Medallion — and maybe this was true. Anyway he moved to police postings in northern NSW and did not rejoin the club. However he lived on in the club through his son Ron.

Bert never left Newport after he moved here in 1937/8. I do however recall him telling me that he courted his fiancée, Reika, in Wentworthville by riding his bicycle to Narrabeen, boarding the tram to the Spit, another tram to the city, then the train to Wentworthville. All this and the surf club too! From 1939 onwards the Club ran on a skeleton crew as most young people were involved in the war effort. Bert obtained his Bronze along with late starter, Ray in 1945. 

Right: Bert Payne – Life Member of Newport SLSC 1956.

Bert was a tireless worker for the club until 1963, he was Club Captain for three years, Vice Captain, Social Secretary, Hon. Secretary, Treasurer, Delegate to SLSA and Carnival Organizer of the 1St Branch Championships in 1960-61 and the Inter-Branch Championships in 1962-63. He was also Secretary of the State Carnival Organizing Committee and also a Club Judiciary Committee Member over many years. He finished his active committee work in 1979. Bert was also a very keen beach sprinter and was a competitor for a number of years in the late 1940s and early 1950s along with John (Horsey) Harrison who was Australian Beach Sprint Champion at the time as being a member of the Australian Olympic rowing eight team. He was also a keen surf boat competitor along with Ray Payne.

The park in front of the club is named ‘Bert Payne Park’ which recognises not only his club activities but also his strong community efforts as a member of Rotary and the Flora and Fauna Society. He also was a member of the Volunteer bush fire brigade for many years, which is rumoured to be the reason he left the butcher shop to start a timber yard, after a stint in the local hardware store. His father did not approve of him shutting the butcher shop to attend fires!

Bert and Reika’s Ingleside house was burnt out in the bush fires of 1984, after which they left Sydney for Noosa.  


Warringah Shire Records indicate who put forward the motion for the park to be named after Albert Payne - the poeple of Newport!:

Combined Associations of Newport, 29/11/60 - re George Shelley, J.P. and Albert Payne - stating that it is the unanimous opinion of members that these gentlemen, due to their devoted services to this community, and particularly to the Newport Surf Life Saving Club, should be honoured in some way, Mr. Shelley having been an active member of the Newport Surf Club and now occupying the position of President of Newport Surf Club land now occupying the position of President of Newport Chamber Of-Commerce,(member of Pittwater Rotary etc., and H.'. Mr. Payne being-a Rotarian, one of the founders of the local Scout Group and at present organising the North Metropolitan Championship Surf Carnival and a valued member of the Newport Surf Club for, 17 years.- Asking Council to give consideration to the following: "To name the park or portion of the Park on the Beach Reserve after Albert Payne, namely, Bert Payne Park, and to name the roadway to the Park Reserve,:-.George Shelley Drive. Asking that after some consideration given that the matter be put into effect before the Announcement Of the North Metropolitan Surf Carnival (Note by Shire Clerk. Any naming of these Crown reserves should only  be done only when the consent of The Lands Department has been first obtained).

Bert Payne was also the gentleman who was organiser for the first Manly Warringah  Branch Championships in January 1960, and this was held at Newport Beach. 

In 1962 Bert Payne Park was well and truly established and the Newport Chamber of Commerce was asking that new swings be installed.

Picture: Surf Boat Crew; Ray Payne, John Harrison, Bert Payne and, front; Gerry Jeffery, John Illingsworth

 Australia Day Breakfast by the beach

13 January,  2016

All are invited to come along with family and friends to enjoy the Australia Day Breakfast at Bert Payne Reserve, Newport Beach this Australia Day, 26 January.

Pittwater Mayor Jacqueline Townsend said the Australia Day Breakfast event, made possible with the efforts of the Pittwater Australia Day Celebrations Organising Committee, is a great opportunity to celebrate and respect the history of Australia.

“This great event brings the Pittwater community together to recognise our Australia Day heroes, congratulate new citizens and hear from our Australia Day Ambassador, Acting Commissioner Catherine Burn APM,” said Cr Townsend.

Acting Commissioner Burn welcomed the opportunity to come to Pittwater in the capacity of Australia Day ambassador this year.

"Being an Australia Day Ambassador is a great privilege but it's also a great source of pride and enjoyment for me.

“When the role requires me to celebrate with a Northern Beaches BBQ, a wonderful community, an inspiring group of new Australian citizens and a great bunch of volunteers, I am reminded of why I signed up,” said Acting Commissioner Burn.

Mayor Jacqueline Townsend praised the hard working volunteers from our local service clubs who provide a hardy breakfast for the thousands of attendees every year.

Breakfast options of bacon and egg rolls, bacon rolls, sausage rolls and pancakes will be on offer for $4. There’ll be iconic lamingtons, coffee, ice cream and fairy floss for sale too.

The entertainment line-up includes the Sun Up bush band, soloist Russell Pearce, a jumping castle, amusement rides and face painting for the kids.

It wouldn’t be Australia Day in Pittwater without some beach activities too. Newport Beach Surf Life Saving Club will be hosting the thong-throwing event and there’s beach volleyball for the young and young at heart.

Breakfast will be served from 7.30am and festivities will run until 11.30am.

Formalities commence at 8am with the Ambassador’s address, followed by the announcement of the Australia Day Award winners, Citizenship Ceremony and flag raising.

Pittwater Council reminds local residents that the sand area of all beaches will be Alcohol Prohibited Areas as per Section 632A of the Local Government Act 1993. This will be in force from 6am on Tuesday 26 January 2016 until 6am on Wednesday 27 January 2016.