September 12 - 18, 2021: Issue 510


how Camping and campers At Whale Beach Helped The Whale Beach SLSC Save Lives

Camping at Whale Beach circa 1933-1936

Whenever those cool to warm breezes blow from the east in the first few weeks of Spring, bringing with them thick salty tangs of ocean, that old homesickness for the sea rears up again and we head towards the sun and our favourite beaches. For many, since the first land sales alongside this bay in 1921, Whale Beach was the place to go and camping out was the way to be there.

A nice note from Geoff Searl OAM, President of the Avalon Beach Historical Society last Sunday, as usual, synchronises in with what comes next;

‘’Great job on Whaley this morning! (Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve )

Here is a weirdo which I bought from an antique store some years ago. It’s actually Whale Beach but printed back to front!

The mag was 'Made for Men who Motor’ and they have a woman at the wheel?’’

The fors and againsts camping at Whale Beach came up incessantly throughout the research for how and when that Beach Reserve was enlarged from the original subdivision gift. 

Many of these first ‘campers’ were WWI returned men who lost employment or accommodation during the Great financial Depression of the 1930’s and this was how they could house themselves and their families. As we get ready to commence the 2021/2022 SLS Volunteer Patrol ‘Season’ it’s interesting to find that these men, and their permanently living in tents wives, were the people during those formative years of the Whale Beach SLSC who were on the beach saving lives, as volunteers.

There were among them men returning from the horrors of that war who just could not get out of being outdoors and/or a tent after the trenches, expected to go back to 'normal life', they just couldn't. Instead of succumbing to drinking themselves to death or taking their own lives, as occurred throughout the 1920s and all through the 1930's, they went to the solace that is in saltwater and 'going fishing'.

They were also those who came here for the peace after the unending roar of guns, the green and blue beauty after witnessing desolate landscapes or the openness and frank uprightness of the permanent residents – think of WWI Veteran Carl Gow, whose brother David and father Robert were ‘manning’ Barrenjoey Lighthouse – or the Howlett’s of Mona Vale and Warriewood, whose son, a mate of Carl’s in the trenches, went into business with him at Palm Beach.

These people were the Whale Beach SLSC membership that not only saved others but saved a surf club which in turn was where you could have others to speak to and mateship, and that, in turn, set the tone of how this club became a core builder of a purely Whale Beach community. 

This was a return to being 'on duty' throughout the 1930's that was required most, strangely enough, during the WWII years of 1939 to 1945.

There was also the impact of the then quickly becoming fashionable ‘motor camps’ that became so popular during the 1930’s and which Geoff’s magazine cover epitomises. These ‘camps’ were returning some dignity to those ousted from rental places and rendered homeless by the 1930’s economic impacts, as in ‘we went to the beach for the day and stayed’ – and stayed for a decade or more in some cases. Although this was not without problems being introduced:


Councillor D. Campbell referred at Tuesday's meeting of the 'Warringah Shire Council to the conditions at the beaches. He said that, the itinerant populace of Palm Beach, Bilgola, Newport, Whale Beach, and Avalon displayed 'shocking' behavior.' He did not blame residents — but the visitors.

Mixed parties arrived in motor ears, he declared, and undressed in them, often without the privacy of side curtains. There were the dancing parties — 'the men and gay flappers trip about in shorts and horn rimmed glasses.' He condemned camp sanitary arrangements and one-day trippers' general moral outlook.

The Government shanties let to campers, he said, were not fit for aborigines. Freshwater in the old days had nothing on two Palm Beach, places of 1930, he asserted. The council refused to consider the matter. 

'Burying their heads in the sand,' said Councillor Campbell. [Councillor Duncan Campbell is in business at Brookvale, near Manly. He was a successful farmer at Junee for over 30 years and was a councillor of the Illabo shire.] BEACH MORALS (1930, January 17). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 


The view looks south towards Manly, some 15 miles away. Several new roads in the vicinity have made this quiet and secluded spot, where good fishing and surfing may be had, more easily accessible to visitors. WHALE BEACH. (1930, March 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from 

(1930). [Motor cars, some with tarpaulins attached, parked adjacent to Avalon Beach, New South Wales, 1930, 2] Retrieved from -  enlarged section from 

(1930). [Motor cars, some with tarpaulins attached, parked adjacent to Avalon Beach, New South Wales, 1930, 1] Retrieved from - and enlarged section from to show the Central Avalon Village as it was then.

An Easter Encampment - One of the prettiest beaches to the north of Sydney is Whale Beach. It is a favorite haunt of motor-campers. An Easter Encampment. (1931, April 10). The Land (Sydney, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from


5th of April 1931,: "Herbert and  Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven at Jonah's - I think this is the best photograph of the three": from Album 72: Photographs of the Allen family, 31 January 1931 - 18 October 1931, Album ID : 910181, courtesy State Library of NSW. Images - a3298033h and a3298032h - " 


The Austin Club will hold a reliability trial and social outing to Whale Beach tomorrow. A hill climb on a good hill will be Included. Relay and other swimming races will be decided In the rock baths at Whale Beach Cars will assemble at the Art Gallery at 9 15 a m. MOTORING. (1931, November 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from

Another prominent ‘element’ in this subject that recurred is the bit of a kerfuffle by some elements of the forerunner of local residents associations that definitely didn’t want ‘them’ there. It’s worth noting, in conjunction with that, that some of the advertisements run by the follow-up to the Barrenjoey Land Co – the Palm Beach Land Co. – actually boasted in their land sales previews about how they didn’t sell to just anyone, that people actually had to ‘apply’ to buy lots.

However, many other longer term locals pointed out that without these volunteers from these camps, at Whale Beach, Palm, Narrabeen, Avalon, Freshwater, these surf clubs would not exist and lives would have been lost.

In 1929 a residents group of surf lifesavers formed a loose collective of those who were semi-permanent or permanent residents of Whale Beach to look after those who would come to fish and swim at this beach. Their names are recorded in this newspaper snippet as:

A surf life-saving club has been formed at Whale  Beach, near Palm Beach, and already the club has about 30 active members. The club will he affiliated with the Surf Association which will send instructors to coach the members of the new club. In conjunction with the Warringah Shire Council, life saving  equipment is being provided for the beach. The following officers have been elected: President,  Mr James Young; vice-presidents Messrs. L. Mort.  and Dubois; honorary secretary, Mr A Newlands;  assistant honorary secretary, Mr Ronald F C Young; honorary treasurer, Mr. A. Cooper.
 SURF LIFE-SAVING. (1929, January 21). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

This club lapsed - Alexander Newlands passed away at the young age of 45 on September 29th, 1930. It should be noted that he was behind the building of the first rockpool at Whale Beach in 1926 and the first to urge the Warringah Shire Council to resume 10 blocks of land to create the Whale Beach Ocean Reserve, The Strand, area, in 1927 and also donated more funds to improve the rock pool. The Newlands family would continue to have a strong association with Whale Beach and the Whale Beach SLSC.

Warringah Shire Council records show: Alex. Newlands. 7/6/27. Forwarding further contribution towards the cost of improving Whale Beach rock bath, and expressing the opinion that the work suggested by the Overseer would overcome the difficulty of the bath filling with sand. To be thanked for the donation and the Engineer to expedite his report, on 26/08/1929; £2 voted for diverting water from A. Newlands' Lot 52 Surf road, Whale Beach and A. Newlands. 16/12/29.- (1) stating that a drain has been formed partly on the alignment of his property Lot 52, No.1 Whale Beach. Report was adopted, the Overseer to give the necessary attention to the drain

Hon. Captain Alex Newlands M.B.E., circa 1918

Manufacturer's Death.

Mr. Alexander Newlands, director of Newlands Brothers, Ltd., bedstead manufacturers, died at his home, River-road, Wollstonecraft, yesterday.

Born at Sydney in 1885, Mr. Newlands was educated at Petersham Public School. He obtained his early business experience with his uncle, the late Mr. Stephen Forster, a pioneer in the bedstead industry in Australia. In 1907, in association with his two brothers, Messrs. S. F. and A. E. A. Newlands, he founded the firm of Newlands Brothers, Ltd.

He served for five years with the A.I.F., attaining the rank of captain. He was also deeply interested in the War Chest Club, London, and was created a Member of the British Empire. Upon his return to Australia he was associated with the Legacy Club, Rotary Club, and Limbless Soldiers' Association, of which he was a member of the executive. He was also interested in civic affairs, and some time ago made a gift to the North Sydney Council of an area of land at Wollstonecraft, which is known as Newlands Park.

He leaves a widow, two daughters, Misses Mary and Barbara Newlands, and one son, Alexander. The funeral will leave River-road at 2.30 o'clock this afternoon for the Crematorium, Rookwood.

Owing to the death of Mr. Newlands, the meeting of the Limbless Soldiers' Appeal at the Hotel Australia, set down for today, has been postponed. MR. A. NEWLANDS. (1930, September 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 

The volunteer weekend surf lifesavers lapsed after this gentleman's death and the reel and line was taken back by Council for a while. However, those who lived at Whale Beach year round still had to go the aid of others. The Webster family, original Whale Beach residents, were often called on to help others, as were those involved in building the weekenders from the first years of construction in 1921 onwards, and soon after the 1929 Wall Street stock market crash and the influx of people into tents on beaches, campers. One example of a Webster father and son rescue is detailed in:

Son Sacrificed His Life

With a fishing line tied around his waist, Clarence John Mitchell, 23, Auburn, plunged in at Creel Head, near Palm Beach, yesterday, when his father was washed off the rocks. Both were drowned. 

THE father, Thomas William Mitchell, 55, was standing on a ledge near the point of Creel Head when the wave caught him. Clarence Mitchell and another son, Douglas Mitchell (22), saw their father fall forward and disappear into the seething water. Within seconds the current had carried Mitchell over 100 yards from the rocks. 
"I'll have to go out for him," said Clarence, realising his father had no chance of reaching the point without help. "It's got to be done!" ' 
"No," cried Douglas, "I'll go in," and began to strip. 

For a few seconds the two young men, though they knew that the strongest swimmer would have little hope in the raging sea, tried to persuade each other to remain behind. Douglas gave way to his elder brother, who, after tying a schnapper line about his waist, raced from the rocks and dived into the surf. Paying out the line as Clarence, who became engaged a few weeks ago, struck out through the waves, Douglas watched his brother's futile fight against the undertow. ' Clarence managed to swim out about 50 yards, but the task was beyond him, and when he saw his father sink he signalled to his brother to pull in the line. 

He was close to the rocks when the fishing line broke, and, at the mercy of the sea, was swept out again. Douglas saw him go down near the spot where he had last seen his father. The survivor clambered nearly half a mile along the rocks of Creel Head to Whale Beach to give the alarm, and J. W. Webster, who lives close to the beach, and his two sons, John and Alfred, raced back to the point with a life-line. There was no sign of the victims when they arrived, but Webster saw a fishing line caught on the edge of a rock. Big waves were thundering against the ledge, but Webster pluckily made his way to the edge, and grasped the line a moment before a sea broke over the point. It was the line Clarence Webster had tied about him, but it had broken. For hours afterwards Sgt. Cunningham, of Narrabeen, with Constables Huckings, Longhurst, and Burns, patrolled the rocks and surrounding beaches, while a launch from W. J. Goddard's boatshed at Pittwater cruised along the coast, but no trace of the bodies were found. Mitchell, who lived in Dartbrook Road, Auburn, had gone, with his wife, his two sons, and their two girl friends, to Whale Beach for a day's outing. 

People who live at Creel Head know the rocks from which Mitchell was swept to his death as "Tragedy Point." Police say that within the last 10 years eight persons have been drowned there, through big waves suddenly breaking over the rocks. Waves over 20 feet high were dashing against the headland yesterday. It was a wave that came after a lull that caught Mitchell— no stranger to the place— unawares. Mrs. Mitchell did not learn of the tragedy until her son Douglas returned to the car after his terrible experience. The mother, who collapsed, was driven to the home of Mr. Harold Geddes, the well-known master butcher, at Palm Beach. Among friends at the home of Mr. Geddes were several people who knew Clarence Mitchell. The young man was employed as a head salesman for a big meat firm. 

"It was only a little while ago that Tom became a fisherman. He used to laugh at other fishermen, but lately he had been quite keen about it." said Mrs. Mitchell. "Poor Clarence did all he could. He died trying to save his father. Douglas says he should have gone after them. He feels terribly about it, but if he had dived in it would have meant another life." 
Fishing from the rocks at the northern end of Whale Beach yesterday was Mr. George Albion, whose wife was drowned at "Tragedy Point" about eight months ago. Mr. Albion assisted in the search for the bodies of Mitchell and his son.
Son Sacrificed His Life (1933, July 3). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

Bare Platform Lures the Unsuspecting Fisherman — Suddenly Comes The Wave That Sweeps Him Away

SCENE OF THE DOUBLE DROWNING at Whale Bay. Picture at left: The Gutter Creel Head, and in the right corner, the rock from which the Mitchells were fishing is 8hown uncovered. The man on the look-out for the bodies is 150 feet above the water Picture at right: The same scene, showing wave action, for which the photographer waited an hour. The gigantic and uncertain wave now covers the rocks. Eight people have lost their lives at  this spot. In oval, John Webster jnr, and his father, John Webster senr, who attempted the rescue of the Mitchells  TWO MEN SWEPT TO DOOM FROM ROCKS AT WHALE BAY'S DEATH-TRAP (1933, July 3). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from

The year 1933 was one of the worst in the financial depression for Australia, unemployment reached 30 percent, meaning vast members of our population were impacted for a decade - up until WWII. High unemployment led to poverty and lost opportunities for personal advancement and for the nation, lost opportunities for economic growth. Coming atop a nation where so many had served in WWI and had lost loved ones or returned but did not really 'come home', it is no surprise that so many came to our beaches where they could at least pitch a tent and throw a line in to catch dinner. Equally unsurprising is the Council turning a 'blind eye' to those who came to camp in cars and soon erected some canvas. However, at Whale Beach and Palm Beach a veritable 'who's who' of Sydney society or those prominent in industry were those who came for a break, many having paid a good price to do so.

The Warringah Shire Council Meeting of January 15th, 1934 records P. Everitt 23/12/33, strongly objecting to the roadway of The Strand, Whale Beach, being turned into a camping area, to the inconvenience of residents, and to the damage of the surface of the road. The Council Resolved; - That the Inspector's report be adopted, and a copy forwarded to the writer.

On January 20th, 1936  Donald Milnes, 2/1/36, is complaining of a nuisance arising from indiscriminate camping at Whale Beach, stating that campers steal water from private properties, cut down young timber for tent poles, erect their tents on private lands without the permission of the owners, and create insanitary conditions around their camps. The Council then resolved; - That camping at Whale Beach be prohibited altogether, whether on the beach reserve or on private land. 

At the same meeting P. Everitt, 30/12/35, is suggesting that the gully adjacent to Lot 3, The Strand, Whale Beach, be filled in with stones adjacent to the rockbath to provide easier access to the The Strand adjacent to public lavatories and additional parking space. There is also an H. Walker, 1/1/36, offering to lease his land at Careel Head Road for the purposes of a public pound. 

The 'public lavatories can be seen in:

Houses dotted on the hillside around Whale Beach, Sydney, circa. 1930 -  Part of Fairfax archive of glass plate negatives. Image No.: nla.pic-vn6328733, courtesy National Library of Australia - and enlarged sections from to show details such as the two windmills, the lavatory building on the beach and fences extending down in some cases to cover the front and back blocks of beach frontage.  Retrieved from 

Soon after this meeting E.H. Laws, Storekeeper, Whale Beach - the one up on Whale Beach Road which was also the Post office, letter dated 5/3/36, writes regarding the Council's prohibition of camping at Whale Beach, contending it is not equitable to penalise the great majority of campers for the misconduct of a few irresponsibles, pointing out that his business is dependent on the campers, and stating that it has been decided to form a local Progress association which will undertake, with the Council's permission, a measure of control over the beach and campers. The Council Resolved; - That the prohibition of camping at Whale Beach be deferred for a period of 12 months.

Some of these campers would have been able to secure some work through the state government funded unemployment scheme then giving grants to the council to do works such as build roads, fill in Newport Lagoon or build rockbaths.

The next month E H. Laws, 12/4/36, is requesting approval to the following wording to his sign at junction of Careel Head Road and 2arrenjoey Road "The Coast 'Route to Whale Beach and Palm Beach"; stating that if shown how to operate the valve in the Whale Beach rockbaths, he will see that the baths are emptied at favourable opportunities. Council's decisions were that he be informed of the Council's decision on the works Committee's report to this meeting; and that he be asked to operate the valve, and that the Overseer instruct him in the manipulation of it. 

By July of that same year the Palm Beach Progress Association, four letters, 6/7/36 ... and 7/7/36, are requesting that the existing wooden sheds on the ocean beach be removed to Whale Beach as there is no accommodation of the sort exists; inquiring about the proposed work on Pittwater Reserve at Forssberg Estate, inquiring whether the work will result in the full area of the reserve, as purchased by the Council being restored and made secure against further inroads and asking for the Council's co-operation in endeavouring to secure increased Police protection in the Palm Beach district; again urging Council to put down the straying stock nuisance at Palm Beach; requesting that Ralston Road be put in order; again urging Council to have the misleading direction board at junction at Barrenjoey Road and Careel Road be removed. 

The Council's decisions were: That these buildings be divided between Whale Beach and Warriewood Beach, and that a copy of the Shire Engineer's report be forwarded to the Association, that Council  co-operate as desired (police), and ask for an additional man to be stationed at Avalon Beach, Whale Beech and Palm Beach, and that the Council's Inspector be instructed to make every endeavour to put down this nuisance; that the Overseer furnish a report on this road.

By the Meeting held on December 16th, 1936 the  Whale Beach Improvement League is insisting that the Beach bathing pool be flood-lit before Xmas. Council Resolved;- That the matter be left to the Electrical Engineer to expedite.

By the 26th of January 1937 the 'Inadequacy of public conveniences at Whale Beach', and Council's proposal to remove old Clubhouse at Palm Beach to Whale Beach for dressing shed purposes was discussed again. This time the Council Resolved, That in view of the Council's promise to the Palm Beach Surf Club not to remove the old Clubhouse until the boat shed and casualty room have been erected, this matter stand over for the time being, and the Inspector in the meantime arrange for a more frequent service to the existing W.C.s at Whale Beach. That the Engineer mark out the boundaries of the land at Whale Beach recently acquired for the purpose of extending the ocean beach reserve and The Strand, in order that a site for the proposed dressing sheds may be decided upon. Also: On necessity for water supply to the W.C's at Whale Beach: Resolved, - That £16, the amount of the Inspector's estimate, be voted for the extension of the water service to Public conveniences. And the Whale Beach Improvement League, 19/1/37, (a) re: proposed erection of surf sheds at Whale Beach stating most suitable site is at the southern end of the beach, close to the existing lavatories; (b) 'requesting that when the surf sheds are both erected the existing lavatories &c  be connected with to city water supply.

At the February 9th, 1937 Meeting: Water Supply at Whale Beach, submitting two tenders: it was Resolved That the recommendation that W. Smith's tender of £15.1O.O for installing the water service to the public lavatories at Whale Beach be accepted, be adopted.

February 23rd, 1937: The following questions, submitted by the Councillors named without notice were answered by the President in the affirmative unless otherwise stated ; by Cr, Hewitt - Could the. Council's Inspector furnish a report to next meeting regarding the erection of dressing bathing sheds for Whale Beach - By Cr.Hewitt; - Could tenders be called immediately for the removal of the old Clubhouse at Palm Beach and the re- erection of it as a dressing shed at Whale Beach, as previously decided upon? 

In the Meeting held on March 9th, 1937: By Cr. Hewitt That in lieu of removing the old surf club-house from Palm Beach to Whale Beach, the Council call for tenders for the purchase and removal of the building;, . and that a plan be prepared for the erection of entirely new dressing sheds at Whale Beach. The President ruled the motion to be out of order, as a previous resolution to move the old surf Club-house to Whale Beach had not been rescinded. Cr. Campbell moved that to protect the interests of both the Council and tenderers, all tenders called for by the Council be dealt with in Committee. Cr. Nicholas seconded. The motion was carried on division by six votes to two, the minority consisting of....

At the March 23rd 1937 Meeting it was Proposed that the removal of the old surf building at Palm Beach to Whale Beach as a dressing shed now happen; reporting cost of removal Surf Sheds building and cleaning up site at Palm Beach would be £5, and the placing of foundation at Whale Beach £5: A letter from Messrs. Field and Hallamore, Whale Beach, 16/3/37, quoting £54 for the dismantling of the old Surf clubhouse at Palm Beach and erecting same at Whale Beach, the Council's staff to dismantle the building and place the foundations was read. The Council Resolved;- That the offer be accepted, and £54 be voted accordingly; that the Overseer's estimates totalling £20, for the works mentioned in his report, be also voted.

At the Meeting held on April 6th, 1937: by Cr. Hewitt - On the hill going up to Whale Beach there are several bad pot holes which should be filled in with tar metal. Could this be attended to pending the carrying out of the loan work on this road? Again by Cr. Hewitt - Could an estimate be furnished for putting a couple more pipes onto the culvert in front of Mr. Clay's refreshment room at Whale Beach? By Cr. Hewitt — There is an old mill and tank at Whale Beach Reserve; Would you direct that it be removed? 

At the June 15th, 1937 Meeting Crs. Ross and Batho were recommending the expenditure of £3.12.0 on further work on the Whale Beach surf building: Council Resolved, - That the amount mentioned be voted. Crs. Hewitt and Hitchcock were Reporting that Messrs. Field & Hallamore have quoted £28 Building for painting the inside and outside of the Whale Beach surf building. Council Resolved, - That the quote be accepted, but that paint of stone colour be used on the outside instead of Bungalow brown.  

These were the surf changing sheds at the southern end of the beach that by 1955 looked like:

During the same Meeting the Palm Beach Progress Assoc., 8/6/37, replying that for a long period camps have been standing on Mrs. Wolstenholme's land at Whale Beach unknown to her, and that there are other similar cases at Whale Beach. Council Resolved;- That the Inspector notify the campers to leave Mrs. Wolstenholme's land immediately. Same, 8/6/37 regarding the damage and disfigurement being caused on Governor Phillip Park camping area by the removal of large quantities of sand from the section near the public lavatories, and suggesting the Works Committee make an inspection. Council Resolved, - That the Engineer arrange that in Park future the sand shall be taken from a position further north, and he also make suitable arrangements with the Main Roads Department's Engineer.  At the same Meeting and by Cr. Hewitt - Several months ago, permission was given for the placing of two or three loads of metal in front of Mr. Laws store at The Strand Whale Beach, and extending the culvert. Could this work be expedited?

During the Meeting held on June 29th, 1937 the Palm Beach Lands Ltd., 17/6/37, are advising that name "Careel Road" given the new road on their subdivision at Palm Beach Estate now been altered to "Thyra Road".  The Main Roads Department, 16/6/37, were forwarding for Council's information, a copy of the plan showing the portion of Hitchcock Park Careel Bay resumed for main road purposes. Council Resolved, That the Department be asked to beautify the small three-cornered piece severed from the park by the deviation of the road.

Worth noting in July 1937 is the Proposal for subdivision of Mrs. P.M. Darling's land at Bungalow Road, Whale Beach, submitted by A.J. Reynolds and Company, Solicitors, 1/7/37 was approved. A J Reynolds and company would remain in charge of Patricia Darlings land dealings from then on.

At the Meeting held on August 10th, 1937: Submitting estimated by Messrs. Hallamore & Field, £5.4.0, 1, for providing seats in the Whale Beach Surf Building. Council Resolved.- That the quote be accepted. The Whale Beach Improvement League,31/7/37, were requesting, the Council treat as a matter of extreme urgency the question of providing proper lavatory accommodation a' Whale Beach, and that the decision of the last meeting be reconsidered; pointing out that the septic tank is quite incapable of meeting the demands made upon it, and that an abominable nuisance consequently created. Cr. Hewitt moved that £189, the amount of the estimate submitted to last meeting by the Inspector, be voted for the installation of a new septic tank and the erection of W.C's fitted with 1d-in-the-slot machines. The motion lapsed for lack of a seconder, and the matter was referred back to the Inspector for report as to whether the W.C’s would be on the road or the reserve.

By the September 21st, 1937: Re: Whale Beach Lavatories it was Resolved; - That it be left in the hands of Cr. Hitchcock and the Inspector to finalise a site for the lavatories. 

The next week:


A surf life saving club will be formed this season at Whale Beach, a resort near Palm Beach, which is becoming increasingly popular. Those Interested are Invited to attend a meeting at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Pacific Refreshment Rooms, Whale Beach. The acting secretary is Mr. Keith Webster, 112 Mount Street, Coogee. SURF CLUB PLANS FOR WHALE BEACH (1937, September 28). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved from 


J. Webster, who represented Palm Beach for eight years, was yesterday elected captain of the newly-formed Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club. The executive officers elected were: —

President, Mr. P. Timms; secretary, Mr. S Bacon; treasurer, Mr. A. Barrell. Twenty-three active members have joined up and co-operated with the Palm Beach club in practice swims over the weekend. Intending members are asked to phone Mr. Bacon, X5231. ACTIVITY IN NEW SURF CLUB (1937, October 19). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved from 

The October 19th, 1937 records: Re Sanitary accommodation for Whale Beach, recommending that the portable earth closets at Governor Philip Park be removed to Whale Beach, some of them to be erected at the end of the existing W.C's., and the remainder placed on private land at the northern side of Mr. Laws' premises; and that the Attorney for the owner of the land be written to requesting confirmation of his verbal permission: Resolved, - That the recommendations be adopted. Also submitting estimate, £7, for providing a dozen cubicles in the surf-bathing sheds at Whale Beach: Council Resolved, - That £14 be voted for the cubicles, plus doors with brass hinges. 

Also during this Meeting: the Whale Beach SL.S. Club, 4/10/37, (a) advising Council of the formation of the Club; (b) requesting the use of the small room between the ladies' and men's rooms in the dressing sheds as a temporary room and for storage purposes; alternatively, that a portion of the men's dressing shed be partitioned for them, requesting that the Council life line and box be handed over to the Club, requesting permission to place posters in the bus waiting shed at the Whale Beach turn-off, with a view of advertising the Presence of a Life Saving Club, at the beach. Council's decisions were: "received", request approved, and that the life line and box be handed over to the Club.

At the November 2nd, 1937: Whale Beach S.L.S.Club, 26/10/37, stating Mr. Mort has presented the club with a bell to use as a "shark alarm", requesting the Council to re-erect the old tank tower lying on the beach in a position about the centre of the beach, that the Club may attach the alarm bell thereto, and use the tower as a look-out for sharks. Council's decision was; - That the Club be informed the tank stand referred to has been sold, but if they so desire, they may take down the stand situated behind the lavatories and re-erect it for their purposes. 

You beauty! A Clubhouse - well... shark alarm bell shed! Circa 1937-38 - image courtesy WBSLSC

At the Meeting held on July 5th, 1938 the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 20/6/38, were appealing to Council not to prohibit camping at Whale Beach, pointing out that the Camping at Club depends chiefly upon the campers for its membership, and if camping is prohibited the Club is likely to cease to exist. At the same meeting P. Everitt, again, 20/6/38, is stating that the prohibiting of camping at Whale Beach would be welcomed by all property owners. 

The Council Resolved; - That the Club be informed any person has the right to make application for permission to erect a tent and that an such applications are dealt with on their merit. There was also a letter from the Whale Beach Improvement League, 26/6/38, thanking the Council for the completion of the road through Whale Beach to Palm Beach.

There are reports that a community had sprung among the campers, perhaps at odds at times with some of the weekender owners. All of these campers gave other addresses, even when they'd been 'camping out' as a family for years. The variation between resident campers and house owners is shown in the contrast between these two reports:


BEACH costumes will be mostly worn by the guests attending Miss Phyl Mort's party at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mort, at Whale Beach tonight. The guest of honor is Miss Patricia Daly, who recently celebrated her coming of age. She will wear a navy blue and white spotted pyjama suit, with a red top, and navy and white spotted bolero. Miss Mort has chosen a pink and white floral house coat. Among the guests who will be entertained with dancing and games will be Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Remington, Mr. and Mrs. John Wardlaw. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Chisholm (Graman), Mr. and Mrs. John Willis, the Misses Nancy Throsby, Joan and Lorraine See, Robin Curtis, Marcia Minnett, Betty Arnott, Helen Thompson, Deborah and Flora Mackay-Sim, Barbara Boydell, Nancy Hicks, Ebba de Dardel, Joan and Jennifer Maughan, Helen Blaxland, Jocelyn Poynter, Peggy Buchanan (Pokataroo). Messrs. Tim and Dan Osborne, Leo Cook, Bill Campbell, Rodney Seaborn, John and Brian Westgarth, Roy Hoddle, Dudley Corfe, 'Bill Throsby (Bowral) Keith and Ewan Quinn, Laidley Mort, Stephen White, Jan Lang, Darcy Williams, Philip Thompson, Gordon Spencer. WHALE BEACH PARTY (1938, February 19). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

Jack or John Laidley Mort (1886-1968) was the only son of James Laidley Mort (circa 1844 - 1907), who was the eldest son of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and Theresa Shepheard nee Laidley. T. S. Mort was renowned for speculation in the local pastoral industry, especially Bodalla, as well as industrial activities such as his Ice-Works in Sydney's Darling Harbour and the famous Morts' dry dock and engineering works at Balmain. John, by the time of having a weekender at Whale Beach, was a Balmain resident.

As can be seen in the first 1929 edition of surf life savers for Whale Beach, the Mort family were also keen to look after the local community.

The State Library of NSW holds two digitised volumes of John Laidley Morts' diaries on the family, which include photographs, but none of their Whale Beach home although it is mentioned. One of these shows him with his five sisters and parents around five years before his father passed away in 1907, while he was still at Sydney University studying to get a BE in Mining:

Item 2: [John Laidley Mort memoirs and photographs, volume 2, ca. 1880-ca. 1967], courtesy State Library of NSW

Two Fall Into Rock Crevice.

A man and two boys in a party of five who have weekend camps at Whale Beach had a perilous experience when a huge wave broke over the rocks a short distance from their camp yesterday. They were walking along a ledge of rock when the wave crashed against the cliff sending up spray 30 feet high. Three of the party, Victor James Honeybrook, 29, of Rozelle, Donald McLennon, 12, of Belmore street, Rozelle, and Lionel Flynn, 13, also of Rozelle, slipped down a crevice.

Honeybrook had his thigh fractured and his pelvis injured and McLennon his right wrist fractured. Flynn escaped with cuts about the hands and legs. Mr Flynn, senior, who was included in the party, escaped with a drenching from the spray.

In the blinding spray and almost submerged by water Honeybrook, McLennon, and the boy Flynn, trying to jump clear, slipped and went several feet down the crevice into which the sea had washed. Their mates went to their rescue and other campers at the beach made an improvised stretcher on which they carried Honeybook 500 yards to a track leading to the main road. Word had been sent to Manly Ambulance and first aid was given to Honeybrook and McLennon before they were taken to Manly Hospital. Honeybrook was admitted for treatment. WAVE CRASHES OVER CAMPERS. (1938, April 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

At the next Meeting, held July 19th, 1938, John Webster, Captain of Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 12/7/38, is requesting permission to address the Council regarding Camping at Whale Beach. The Council decided that he would be given a hearing for a quarter-of-an-hour at the next meeting of the Council at 8 p.m.

A month later, August 30th, 1938: Re permanent camps at Whale Beach submitting statement of Council's decisions in this matter since 24th May last, Mr. Moore, a member of the Palm Beach Progress Association, and a resident of Whale Beach, addressed the Council on this matter by consent of the meeting, and protested against the permanent nature of the camps. The Council Resolved; - That the Shire Clerk's report be 'Received".

At the same time, this was being reported:


THE Surf Life Saving Association of Australia has asked Warringah Shire Council to receive a deputation to discuss the rental of surf life saving sheds. The deputation will comprise representatives of the 13 clubs in the shire, and two Surf Association members. The The shire's proposal to charge rental for surf club sheds is considered inequitable and unjust. As an instance, North Narrabeen Club has borne the entire cost of its clubhouse, but is now being asked to pay an annual rental of £50. At Whale Beach a rental of from £15 to £25 a year is proposed for the clubhouse, which is 6ft. by 6ft., just big enough to store gear. The proposal, if enforced, will be a financial blow to many clubs, said the president of the S.L.S.A. (Mr. A. Curlewis) at yesterday's meeting. - Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), Tuesday 6 September 1938, page 18

At the Council Meeting held on September 13th, 1938 the Palm Beach Progress Association 29/8/38, were again objecting to the permanent nature of the camps at Whale Beach, stating they constitute an eyesore because of exposure to the unscreened view of the whole of Whale Beach residential community, and the attitude of campers towards residents and others visiting the beach in the vicinity of the camps is not good. Consideration of this was deferred until next meeting.

By that next Meeting the Council was Recommending that the Health Inspector report on the possibilities of Whale Beach Reserve as a camping area, of the Health Inspector's report to this meeting respecting camping on private land at Whale Beach was read. The Council then Resolved; That the inspector's recommendation that the area be checked over with a view of ascertaining each lot, &c, together with the names of all tent occupiers, be adopted. Fees; Recommending that the residents and Health Inspector be given the necessary power to appoint collectors of parking fees and camping fees where no Collector has already been appointed by the Council or existing arrangements continued. This was: Adopted. 

At this stage Mr. Adrian Curlewis, President of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia, and Mr. John Garlick, Vice President of the same body, each addressed the Council, appealing to it not to adopt the recommendation of the Parks & Reserves Committee for the charging of rentals to the Surf Clubs, and stating reasons for their request. 

At the October 11th, 1938 Council Meeting a letter was read from G. Albion, 30/9/38, re recent visit by Council's Health Inspectors to camps at Whale Beach, stating how he came to erect his camp many years ago, that the majority of the campers are returned soldiers, that there is no pollution of the neighbourhood by the campers, but by picnickers, and that the campers render great assistance to the Surf Club and to the public generally. 

George Albion unfortunately lost his wife at Whale Beach:


A man battled desperately in the surf at the southern end of Whale Beach yesterday afternoon in an effort to rescue his wife, who had been washed Into the sea by a huge wave. He managed to reach her and was drawing her to the shore when another wave separated them. She was drawn out to sea. He sank exhausted, but was cast on to a ledge of rock almost insensible. Mr. George Albion, of 32 Boussole-road, Daceyville, has spent many of his holidays camping at Whale Beach with his wife, Dalmatia Mary Albion, aged 46 years. They passed most of their time fishing from the rocks. 

He had cast out lines from two points yesterday. He asked his wife to hold one, while he attended to the other, about eight yards away. As the husband bent to fix his line, he heard a call for help from his wife. He turned, and saw her washed from the rocks. She was rapidly carried into deep water. Her husband jumped into the surf after her. He was buffeted by the waves, but managed to reach her. He secured a grip on her body and began to tow her to the shore. Another wave burst over them. His hand was torn from her shoulder. He sank, but was thrown against the rocks by the sea. His arms, legs, and body were cut by the Jagged edges of rocks and sharp shellfish, but he managed to cling to the rocks until his strength returned sufficiently to enable him to drag himself to safety. 

The police were informed, and Sergeant Gray and Constable Huckins, of Narrabeen, secured a launch from Palm Beach. After a short search, they recovered the body of Mrs. Albion floating just under the surface, about 150 yards from the shore. WOMAN DROWNED. (1932, August 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

George Albion had enlisted as a 30 year old on May 18th 1916 to serve in Australia's armed forces, giving his occupation as 'Labourer'. His enlistment papers show he was 5 feet 5 1/2 inches tall, had a fresh complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. He was sent via A38 ''Ulysses'' to England on October 25th 1916 and then sent into France, attached as reinforcements to the 1st Machine Gun Company on September 15th 1917. He was wounded in action on October 6th 1917 - a gunshot wound to the chest (severe) and left arm - and sent back to England on October 10th. 

Battle of Menin Road. "Australian wounded on the Menin Road, near Birr Cross Road on September 20th, 1917" - photo by Frank Hurley, courtesy State Library of NSW

George Albion spent until April 1918 in hospitals, was eventually transported home via the ''Borda'' in June 1918 and discharged on November 11th, 1918. He passed away November 21st, 1949.

There were also numerous examples in our community of men coming home who could not settle back into life due to their horrific experiences or could secure work or a home for their young families. Although programs were initiated to find employment for returned servicemen, and preference given to them for employment by many organisations, including the Warringah Shire Council, coming home and just 'getting on with it' did not appeal to some, especially those who had witnessed or experienced near-death events. Men camped with their families at Freshwater, at Collaroy and Long Reef, at Palm Beach, Avalon Beach, Whale Beach and at Narrabeen:

WHY SHOULD THIS DIGGER'S FAMILY LIVE IN A TENT? (1922, July 15). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 1 (FINAL SPORTING). Retrieved from

Help for Narrabeen Digger

The Narrabeen Digger whose case was mentioned In "The Sun" last Saturday wishes to thank the editor of  "The Sun" for drawing public attention to his requirements, and also for the following generous gifts: — Cheque, £2 2s, Mr. Arthur H. Moveriey, Cowper-street, Randwick; cheque, £5 Os 6 1, , Mr. D. J. Lobban, Grafton; 11s 6d from "A well-wisher, 2s 6d from Another Well-wisher;" anonymous donor, one rug; parcel of clothes, Mrs. W. W. I Stumbles, "Cleveden," William-street, Hurstville; parcel of clothes and 2s In stamps, Mr. Giblett, 31 Spencer-street, Mosman; promise of timber for flooring. H. McKenzie, Ltd., Electric Saw-mills, Glebe Island. Also the Manly Red Cross Branch, for help given. LIVED IN TENT (1922, July 20). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from 

The October 1938 Meeting also records that the Council has decided it will charge no fees to surf clubs for surf clubhouses. Worth noting in relation to above 'shark bell tower' is that this temporary shed was where members stored their gear:


Because of the lack of a casualty room at Whale Beach, two men rescued from drowning lay on the rocks for more than an hour until an ambulance arrived.

This was stated by Mr. S. H. Bacon, secretary of the Whale' Beach Surf Club at the Warringah Shire Council last night. He was speaking at a conference between the Council and delegates from surf clubs of the Warringah Shire to consider a proposal that Council should not charge rentals for club houses. Whale Beach Club House, said Mr. Bacon, consisted of an old tank stand with sheets of galvanised iron nailed to the uprights, and for this the Council proposed to charge £15 a year. Council unanimously rejected the proposal to charge the surf clubs rentsSURF CLUBS TO BE RENT FREE (1938, October 28). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from  

The Council Meeting held on November 8th, 1938 records the Palm Beach Progress Assoc., 31/10/38, requesting Council to require owners of property at Palm Beach and Whale Beach to clear their holdings of lantana, and that the Council destroy all lantana on roads and reserves under its Weeds control; stating the Association identifies itself with the Avalon Progress Association in supporting one of the two recently suggested routes for the deviation of the main road at Avalon and in another letter dated 31/10/38, are contending that the only way to put down the nuisance arising from camping at Whale Beach is total prohibition of camping; and requesting that the work of erecting lavatories on Pittwater Park at Palm Beach be proceeded with without delay. Council's decisions:-  were to inform residenmts to get rid of the lantana as well as instruct their workers to get rid of it beside roads, the reference to camping at Whale Beach being 'put down' was "received"; and that the association to be-informed of what the Council has decided at this meeting regarding facilities at Pittwater Park - the one beside the ferry wharf.

At the December 6th, 1938 Meeting Tenders for painting the Whale Beach dressing sheds; and making additions to such sheds were read. However a letter from the Whale Beach S.L.S.Club, recommending that no expenditure be incurred on the building at the present time was "received" and it was Resolved,: - That in view of the club's letter no tender be accepted.

In January 1939:



Sir,-Mr. Watson, in taking up the cudgels on behalf of campers, overlooks the interests of ratepayers. Indiscriminate camp sites, scattered over some of our finest beaches, do not attract the more permanent type of beach lover, who might desire a week-end cottage. Campers in the past have been responsible for the Warringah Shire's present policy. The council was put to a lot of trouble and expense in endeavouring to collect the fee when it was only a few shillings, and when the cast of policing was far in excess of revenue.

I am, etc.,

A BEACH RATEPAYER. Whale Beach, Jan. 7. BEACH CAMPING FEES. (1939, January 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

During the February 21st, 1939 a discussion about moving the old Surf Clubhouse at Queenscliff to Whale Beach is recorded as a request from the Whale Beach SLSC as well as that the money which the Council recently allocated towards providing extra Surfbathing accommodation at Whale Beach be expended in erecting a boat house to house two boats, pointing out the advisability of both Clubhouse and boat shed being erected in a central position on the beach. The Council Resolved; - That the Engineer submit estimates of the cost of complying with both requests, and that when the estimates are available, the Club's letter be further considered.

Council's Meeting of May 16th, 1939 records that the National Roads & Motorists Association. (NRMA), 2/5/39, are expressing an opinion that the decision of the Council to control campers will be welcomed by the residents of  Whale Beach; suggesting for Council's consideration that provision be made for camping on land at Deewhy Lagoon to accommodate the increasing number of campers visiting the  beaches of the Shire. Cr. Nicholas moved, Cr. Butcher seconding, that the letter be "received". The Whale Beach S.L S.Club write again, 10/4/39, re suggested removal of old Clubhouse at Queenscliff to Whale Beach, stressing the necessity for providing the Club with adequate accommodation, and particularly for housing the surf boat during the winter months. The Council Resolved; - That consideration be deferred for four weeks. They must have continued 'deferring' as this  letter, which reads like one of the Webster men - possibly Keith - shows nothing has been done months later:


Sir, — I wish to make a plea for support of the recently-formed Surf Life-saving Club at Whale Beach. Unlike the National Park Trust, which provided a fine residential club-house for the Garie Club (where there are no permanent residents), and show their appreciation of the voluntary work done by the S.L.S.A. by practical support, the Warringah Council provided the Whale Beach club with an iron frame which, at the expense of £15, the club converted into a shed 6ft x 6ft x 8ft, into which their scant gear is crammed. It also serves as dressing accommodation for about 20 members. The boat is sheltered in a trench dug beneath the public dressing shed, and covered by canvas donated by the campers.

Members travel 30 miles from Sydney to do their patrols, and the increasing popularity of this beautiful spot is ample evidence of the confidence the public places in the manner in which their lives are safeguarded by the representatives of this great movement.

Manly Council has built Queenscliff a new clubhouse. The old clubhouse now in disuse, and situated in Warringah Shire, would be most acceptable to Whale Beach club. The council estimates that it would cost £500 to demolish, transport, and rebuild this weatherboard structure at Whale Beach. This estimate does not include cost of land for the site of the building, and therefore the Council deems the proposal not worthy of the expense.

I am, etc., NORTH BONDI. Willoughby, July 4. WHALE BEACH SURF CLUB. (1939, July 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

During the August 8th 1939 Meeting correspondence from M. L. Cooper, 12/7/39, requesting attention to a rubbish dump on a block of land at the rear of his premises, "Pacific Tea Rooms", Whale Beach.

At the August 22nd, 1939 Meeting, on same matter, estimating that the services for the population areas - Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Careel-Clareville, Avalon, Taylor's Point, Newport, Mona Vale, Bayview, Church Point, Warriewood and North Narrabeen, would approximate 1500 per week, that the garbage from these services would amount to about 15 tons, and there would be about 5 tons from the beaches and reserves: Resolved, - That the proposal to establish a A. Riding, garbage service for L. Riding be approved, and that definite boundaries of a garbage service district be prepared and submitted to the Council.  There was also a  Wi. Holford, 13/8/39, submitting on behalf of Mr. T. J. Timms, Sub. A. proposal for subdivision of Lot 201, D.P. 15376, Morella Road, Whale Beach. This was Approved.

During the September 9th, 1939 Meeting a Pen & Hemsley, 15/9/39, submitting plan of re- Subdn. A. division of Lots 200-202, D.P. 15376, Whale Beach, into two allotments. This too was Approved. 

At the October 10th, 1939 Meeting the CHIEF HEALTH INSPECTOR'S REPORT was dealt with with one item among this about camping on private lands at Whale Beach, suggesting camping be permitted during the ensuing season, and that the Council subsequently consider the advisability of prohibiting camping in that locality. The Council Resolved; - That the recommendations be adopted. 

At the October 31st, 1939 Meeting, regarding the Erection of Tents:  Council staff were 'Furnishing names of persons who have made application for permission to erect tents on private land at Whale Beach'.  The Council Resolved; - That permits be granted, as recommended, by the Inspector. 

At the Meeting held on November 11th, 1939 the Palm Beach Progress Assoc., 5/11/39, were expressing disappointment at Council's decision to permit the continuance Camping of camping on private land at Whale Beach, and requesting that consideration be given to the representations made in this regard in the Association's letter of 4th April last, as well as suggesting that the revenue derived from the authorised camping area at Palm Beach be expended on the improvement of the area, and that in this connection the contour survey requested by the Association be carried out. The Council Resolved; - That the letter be "received", and that the Association be informed of the councils rule that all income derived from a reserve shall be expended on that reserve.

During the November 28th, 1939 Meeting the Whale Beach S.L,S. Club, 10/11/39, still clubhouse and boathouse-less, were requesting the Council to meet a deputation from the Club for the purpose of discussing the provision of a boat house for housing two boats at Whale Beach; drawing attention to the defective nature of the Council's life saving appliance at Whale  Beach. At this same Meeting  a letter from the Hon. E. C. Spender, M.P. 21/11/39, was read expressing his desire that Council give full consideration to the Club's request for a boat house. This was backed up by a letter from  A. Reid MLA 16/11/39, making similar representations on behalf of the Club. 

The Council Resolved; - That the Council make application to the Government for a grant for both the surf building and a boat house for the Club, and that Mr. Spender and Mr. Reid be requested to support the application. 

Interestingly at this same Meeting the Surf Life Saving Association were forwarding a report by its Gear Inspection Committee re life-saving appliances on the beaches of the Shire, requesting Council's adoption of the recommendations made therein, and recommending that when the Council supplies life-saving gear to a Club it supply the standard of the Association, which is thoroughly inspected and tested before delivery. Council's decisions were; that a new reel be supplied to the Freshwater Club; the Association be informed that the matter of the installation of a water tap in the boat shed of the South Curl Curl Club is a matter for the Club to attend to, it having been agreed that the Council shall be responsible only for the upkeep of the external parts of the buildings;  that the reel made by the Council for North Curl Curl Club be not issued until Thursday in order that it may be inspected by an official of the Surf Life Saving Association; that the floor of the Palm Beach boat shed be inspected by the Works Committee; that the Palm Beach  Club be supplied with a new reel...and.... the Association be informed of the Council's decision to apply to the Government for a grant for a boat shed at Whale Beach; that the Council's reel at Whale Beach be repaired; that the Council's reel at Avalon be repaired; that with regard to the reel accommodation; that a box line outfit be provided at North Avalon Beach, the Inspector ascertain whether there is any person living in the vicinity who would undertake the responsibility of safeguarding it, that a new box line outfit be provided at Bilgola, and that a waterproof lid be fixed to the box; also that a suitable waterproof shelter be made for the outfit, that the Council's reel at Newport Beach be attended to; that the Council's reels at Mona Vale Beach be attended to; that a lid be properly fitted to the box line outfit and a pigeon-box shelter provided; that a box line outfit be not placed in the centre of Warriewood Beach, as requested, for the reason that it would be open to vandalism, and the presence of it on the beach may encourage surfers to take risks; that for the same reason no box line outfit be provided on Turimetta Beach; that the Council's reels on North Narrabeen, South Narrabeen and Collaroy Beaches, to which attention has been drawn, be repaired or adjusted. 

They also received correspondence  from Avalon S.L.S. Club, 15/11/39, nominating for appointment as Beach Inspectors - G. Hanson, W. Simmonds, A. Ibbotson and R. Ray 

By the December 12th, 1939 Meeting  A. E. Reid, M.L.A. had written, 5/12/39, regarding the Council's request that he endeavour to obtain a grant for the construction of surf building and boat house at Whale Beach, desiring to be informed of the amount of grant required. Council Resolved, - That Mr. Reid be informed that a grant of £2000 is considered necessary. Mr. P. C. Spender, [W.B.R. 8/12/39], was forwarding  a letter from the Premier, stating provision of boat house and dressing accommodation at Whale Beach will have consideration. Council resolved that Mr. Spender to be informed that a grant of £2000 is considered necessary. Also discussed was an Unnamed Road, Whale Beach, submitting estimate: £10 for gravel repairs, and £40 for gravel and tar-surfacing: Resolved That the works Committee inspect. Kerbing and Guttering, Ocean Road, Palm Beach, estimating £60 for kerbing and guttering western side, wherein it was Resolved - That the work be carried out from the A. Riding Contributions Fund, quarter cost to be charged to the Main Roads Department, and half cost to the property owners adjacent to the work. 

There were also other problems attributed to those who came to Whale Beach which those camping there helped with - and this was after a severe shortage of water in the area in 1939 which had made the council decide to cut off water to the surf bathing sheds to try and keep more for the residents - later this same month Sydney would be surrounded by bushfires:

Big Area Still Burning.

Throughout yesterday afternoon and until late last night more than a score of campers and local residents from the Whale Beach district fought a bushfire that swept through the bush between Careel Head Road and Barrenjoey Road.

The fire was begun by some careless picnickers, to boil their billy. The wind carried sparks into the scrub, which quickly caught fire. The picnickers abandoned the scene and the fire soon assumed alarming proportions.

Numerous surfers and residents organised fire-fighting squads, but the veering winds rendered their efforts futile. As quickly as they beat out the flames in one area the fire spread to another. More than a square mile of bushland has been swept by the fire, and late last night It was still burning fiercely. Flames could be seen for miles around. Many campers had hurriedly to abandon their camping sites. BUSHFIRE AT WHALE BEACH. (1940, January 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from 

Sydney, January 26.

Sydney was almost encircled by bush fires yesterday. Fire and smoke drove residents from their homes in Guildford, Dee Why and French's Forest, but fire-men and volunteers saved nearly all threatened properties.
The only casualty was at Old Guildford, where a Chinese, Chung Lung, 62, was burnt to death when trying unsuccessfully to save his shack.
Bush fire set fire to a goods train at Brogan's Creek, near Lithgow. The train crew had to uncouple two trucks of general merchandise, which were destroyed.
BUSHFIRES IN N.S.W. (1940, January 26). Northern Standard (Darwin, NT : 1921 - 1955), p. 2. Retrieved from

By The Umbrella Woman 

BUSH FIRES have disturbed the peace this week. The Whale Beachites were the most anxious, and many householders, armed with wet bags and bushes, fought the flames all day.  HELEN DOYLE was so worried that her husband, Doug, was brought from town with several husky friends to keep the fire from the door.  I also saw Rex and Nancy Linsley who are on a holiday from Murrurundi, busy on the job of fire beating.
TIME AND TIDE On PALM BEACH (1940, January 28). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 38. Retrieved from

There was also:

Palm Beach Letter 

(By the Ingenue ) 

WHAT a New Year week-end! * ' Houses were full to overflowing, partyism was rife, and all absorbed the usual Palm Beach informality, plus as much of everything else as one could get.

The two biggest and brightest 'Do's' last Saturday were the Douglas Doyle's cocktail party at Whale Beach, with half of the P.B. community present, and at night the Reginald Yorks staged their usual New Year dance. Contrary to the usual Palm Beach attire, evening gowns were worn, as there were many Sydney guests. The spacious verandah was lit with Chinese lanterns, colored lights twinkled in the trees, and the sun was just over the horizon when the last guest left. 

Sunday: Parties started with a luncheon for 12 at the Pacific Club given by Mrs. C. W. Waters, one of Palm Beach's pioneer and favorite matrons. The Lionel Dares threw another cheery party, their guests including the Sim Bennetts, George Fullers, Wilson Flakes and Edgerton Jacombs. A buffet dinner was Marjorie and Frank Cole's choice of entertainment, after which half the guests went to Elanora, and the rest trooped up to 'Bobstay', Prim and Millard Haggon's home, to see the New Year in. The old-fashioned game of 'Charades' created much fun. Mr. S. Hall thought them a bit too realistic, as when acting the word 'Earth-quake,' she had a very nasty fall. 

Dot Littlejohn’s home, 'Trees,' was the scene of the gayest and most super party to date. About 30 of the American community, welcomed by Dot and Trade Commissioner Wilson Flake and his attractive wife Valerie, met to watch the old year go. About 600 invaded the Pacific Club where there was an air of gay abandon. The star turn was John Goodall and Joan Wilkinson doing an exaggerated exhibition of the Boomps-a-daisy on the lawn. B.Y.T.'s were in the majority, but quite a few of the 'Keep to themselves' turned up such as the Warwick Fairfaxes, Frank Packers, Pat Levys, Jean Anderson and Claude Healey, Enid Hull and Hal Cramsie, Dorothy Wrigley and Angus McPherson, etc. The dance was the usual gallop from start to finish.

Still another Palm Beach romance ? — everyone is delighted with the popular Clare Kpiuson and Peter Lister's engagement, and that reminds me rumor has it that 'Blue' Russell will bring his bride to P.B. in an ocean-going yacht. One wit declares that 'Blue' will make the 58th Heinz variety. 

I liked: — Nome Fell's navy slack suit and wide green cummerbund. Margot Ascher's white beach coat, stencilled with colourful large tropical fish. Mrs. Malcolm McCormick's new hat, still of the men's variety, green lined this time. Ginette Scamps' necklet, wristlet and anklet of seashells. Nola McGregor's gentle massaging. Muriel Carroll's Persian sandals with clusters of raspberries. Mrs. Stewart Dawson's embroidering on the beach— it took me back years. Marjorie Coles in white satin bathers watering the green slopes in the sun — a perfect picture. Isabel Wilson's English gymnastic short shorts of black satin. Betty Fowler in her white beach frock and real orchid in her hair. 

Fire fighters were out again this week, led by David Hunter. All Palm Beach condoled with Mr. Howlett, of store fame. Dr. Hal Cramsie had to put 6 stitches in his wrist, in cold blood, too! And Florida House had a midnight experience when one guest fell downstairs and lay unconscious, and much cut about. 

Through the week Dot Littlejohn and Valerie Flake had a luncheon party, starting with oyster cocktails down to nuts and ginger. 

Even Digger 'Billy' Hughes can do the rounds. Tuesday he started with his morning dip, then spent the best part of the day on Ben Fuller's launch, thence to the David Hunters, winding up at night with a game of billiards against Dr. W. Ingram, at Chrissie Seaman's. 

Young and old can take it at Palm Beach. Cheerio! Palm Beach Letter (1940, January 7). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 33. Retrieved from 

At the January 9th, 1940 Meeting the SUPPLMENTARY REPORT BY CHIEF HEALTH INSPECTOR, was reporting Mr. Cooper, Storekeeper, of Whale Beach, for permitting four tents to be erected on his land without permission. The Council: Resolved, - That a notice of warning be sent to Mr. Cooper.  The Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 21/12/39, were thanking Council for its efforts to secure a Clubhouse and boat-house; and advising that G. McRobert and F. Bast have been appointed Beach Beach Inspectors. Council Resolved; - That the Seal of the Council Inspectors be affixed to the appointments of G. McRobert and F. Eget as Beach Inspectors. 

During the February 20th, 1940 Meeting a letter from the Hon. P. C. Spender. M.P. 12/2/40, was read regarding representations made by him to the State Government on behalf of the Council for a grant for the construction of dressing accommodation and a boat house at Whale Beach, forwarding letter from the Premier stating the Government is unable to make a grant equivalent to the whole cost of the building, but if Council is prepared to provide a proportion of the cost further consideration will be given to the matter, stating at same time that at this stage it is not possible "to give any assurance that Governmental assistance will be available in connection with the beach improvements contemplated by the Council." "Received"  The Council also had correspondence from the Lands Department, 5/2/40, advising that an area of about 600 acres of the Manly Catchment Area has been notified as Reserve No. 68892 for Public Recreation, and that the care, only control and management of it will devolve on the Council under the provisions of Section 344 Local Government Act. Council Resolved; That the letter be "received", and the Department be thanked.

By March of that same year:

Prohibition Proposed.

A proposal to prohibit camping at Whale Beach, near Palm Beach, will be considered by the Warringah Council at its next meeting.

Camping in the shire is popular, and the council charges a weekly fee to those using public lands. Campers have also been occupying the Palm Beach reserve at a yearly rental. This will also be reviewed at the council meeting, with a view to charging weekly rentals to the campers. CAMPERS AT WHALE BEACH. (1940, March 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

At the April 2nd, 1940 Meeting the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 12/3/40, is requesting that if the Council is not in a position to erect suitable accommodation for the Club, it supply a minimum specification for a structure about 20' x 30' for the housing of the life boat and gear, stating that if Council can see its way to construct the foundations, the Club may be able to raise funds for a temporary structure; suggesting that the Shire Engineer discuss the Letter with representatives of the Club at a week- end. It was Resolved; - That the Engineer discuss the matter with representatives of the Club at a week-end, as desired by the The Same, 21/3/40, referring to Press report regarding the attitude of Councillors towards camping at Whale Beach, stating that 90% of the Club's members are campers, that the camps are tidy and well-kept, that one is used for the purposes of a First Aid station and that if camping is prohibited, the existence of the Club will be vitally affected. At the same Meeting correspondence from M. Lothringer, 21/3/40, is protesting against people being allowed to camp "along the edge of the beach at Whale Beach", stating that the number of campers has rapidly increased, with the result that on holidays the beach and its surroundings are in a filthy, and insanitary state. Another letter from a  F. Gehde 19/3/40, is requesting that camping be prohibited at Whale Beach, as the campers cut down the trees and pollute the surroundings. A third letter from an W. E. Tait, 12/3/40, contending that people will not buy land nor build residences at Whale Beach while camping is permitted. Consideration was deferred until next meeting. 

The problem now was that with so many men enlisting to defend Australia there was a scarcity of lifesavers to patrol beaches and saves lives. As shown in the instance of sister club Avalon Beach SLSC, younger men had to be brought out from in town and the police youth clubs to 'man' the beaches during WWII and they needed accommodation to be there on the weekends as they could not be expected to travcel to and from their often further away from town homes to get there and back each day - they needed to be on the beach and stay on the beach after patrol hours.

At the next Meeting camping at Whale Beach and a Cr. O'Reilly's deferred motion for the prohibition of camping at Whale Beach were discussed again; The Whale Beach Surf Club's letter (submitted to last meeting contending that if the camping is prohibited the Club's existence will be vitally affected; and letters (submitted to last meeting) from M. Lothringer, 21/3/40, F. Gehde, 19/3/40, and V. L. Tait, 12/3/40, requesting that camping at Whale  Beach be prohibited. Cr. O'Reilly requested permission to amend his deferred motion, and the request was granted. He thereupon moved - This Council resolves that after 30th April, 1941, camping at Whale Beach shall be prohibited. The motion was carried.

At the Meeting held on May 28th, 1940 Cr. Sterland, as acting Vice Chairman of the Building Committee, stated that the Building Inspector had submitted a report regarding the structure created by Mr. John Sack on Lot 20 Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach Estate. The Inspector read his report to the Council, and submitted the papers relating to it. It was Resolved; That Mr. Sack be given notice to demolish the structure within thirty days. 

On the 12th of November 1940 an A. M. Scott is submitting an application to erect tent on Mr. Cooper’s land at The Strand, Whale Beach and have it there until the end of April - permission was granted. Mr. Cooper was running the 'Pacific Tea Rooms' at the beach.

At the Meeting held on August 20th, 1940 - Submitting application by A. R. Farrell to erect a tent on private land at Whale Beach for seven months. The Council Resolved: That the application be granted, but the applicant be informed that no further camping is to be permitted at Whale Beach  after 30th April next. Another Submitting application by Mrs. E. Lippett to erect a tent on her own land at Clareville for the holidays was not granted. A third Submitting a suggestion from T. F. Field of Morella Road, Whale Beach, that he be appointed to collect all camping fees at Whale Beach. Council Resolved, - That the matter be referred to the Beaches & Reserves Committee, and be considered at that Committee's meeting to be held on Thursday week or Thursday fortnight, as may be decided by the President. 

By September 19th, 1940 - Re: Whale Beach Reserve. Recommending that camping be not allowed on the area controlled by the Council; and  that the area be levelled and car parking fees charged, and collected by Mr. T. A. Field, who offered to collect on a 20% commission basis. This was: Adopted.


Trophies won by Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club members last season will be presented at the club's dance, at the Palladium, Palm Beach, tonight. The annual meeting will be held tomorrow, in the public dressing sheds, at 3 p.m. WHALE BEACH SURFERS (1940, October 5). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from 

At the General Meeting held on October 15th, 1940 the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 8/10/40, is requesting permission for a deputation from the club to wait on the Council at next meeting regarding improvement of the beach area. Council Resolved; That three delegates from the Club be allowed to address the Council at the Finance Committee meeting to be held three weeks from this date. 

By November 12th, 1940 a letter from Whale Beach SLSC stated that if Council will supply the necessary material, the Club members will erect the boat house to a plan and specification prepared by the Shire Engineer, and requesting that the Engineer select a site for the structure in company with the Club's representatives. It was Resolved; That the A. Riding Councillors, with the Shire Engineer, confer with the Club's representatives on the spot at 3 p.m. next Saturday week. 

The Shire Engineer submitted a report to the effect that as decided, at last meeting, the A. Riding Councillors had conferred with representatives of the Club on 23rd inst. and a site for the Whale boat house south of the centre of the beach, and near the existing small tower used by the Club, had been chosen; that the Councillors had decided to also recommend the erection of a bathing boat house 30 ft. by 20 ft. interior measurements, constructed in stone, set in cement, with concrete floor, the Council to supply the materials, the Club to do the work, and he estimated the cost of materials, if roof to be of timber and malthoid, at £100. The Council Resolved; That £130 be voted for the supply of materials for a boat house as recommended, but with a concrete roof, the materials to be supplied from time to time as required by the Club

By late Summer of the next year the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 18/3/41, were inviting Councillors to the official opening of the Surf Boat-house at Whale Beach at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 6th April. The Club was thanked for the invitation. 


A surf carnival will be held in conjunction with the official opening of the Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club's boathouse on Sunday, April 6. WHALE BEACH SURF (1941, March 29). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from 

 View from Jonah's Whale Beach, circa 1941; shows Shark Bell Tower with stone boathouse beneath. Reel and line was mid-beach. Courtesy Avalon Beach Historical Society

The April 30th 1941 end of camping on Whale Beach passed - but the tents did not disappear.

At the Meeting held on May 27th 1941 the Inspectors Report: Regarding tents and calico structures on private lands at Whale Beach; and expressing doubt whether any permission was ever given for the erection of them, and whether the owners of the lands had consented to the occupation of these lands, and that no closet accommodation were provided, recommending; that the attention of the owners of the lands be directed to breaches and the necessity for demolition of tents and the removal of any equipment used in connection therewith from the land within one month; that the owner/occupiers of the tents and calico structures be required to demolish them and remove any equipment in connection therewith and to cease using or occupying them, within one month; also pointing out that it would be necessary for inspections to be made at convenient times on, say Sundays, for the purpose of ascertaining the occupiers' names, etc: at Whale Beach. Council Resolved - That the whole of the recommendations be adopted,

During the Meeting held July 8th 1941 the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 23/6/41, appealing to Council to permit camping on private land in the Whale Beach area during the surfing season, pointing out owing to the loss of many young men who have enlisted for active service, the Club is compelled to look to the camping community for assistance, and that without that assistance it would not have been able to provide labour for the recent erection of a boat-house; also forwarding copies of the appeal endorsed by ten residents of Whale Beach. The Council Resolved; The writers be informed the Council cannot see its way to alter its decision in regard to this matter. 

By the August 8th, 1941 Meeting the Captain of Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 28/7/41, wrote referring to Council's prohibition of camping at Whale Beach, pointing out that the Club members have no accommodation at the beach apart from tents, and it is impossible to rent a house in the vicinity, that the Club has only one resident member, and unless some arrangements can be made for members to stay over the weekend, the Club will go out of existence. Again the Council replied that; The Club be informed: the Council regrets it cannot see is way to alter its previous decision. 

During this same Meeting an N.J.Bell, Phillips & Co., Solicitors, 18/8/41, is applying on behalf of Mr. R.S.L. Cohen, for permission to subdivide Lot 5 D.P. 10782, Malo Road, Whale Beach. Council decided; That the Works Committee inspect and report. 


Keith Webster was re-elected captain at the Whale Beach Surf Club's annual meeting yesterday. Sergt. Noel Greenfield was elected boat captain. Other officials are: President, F. J. Timms; secretary, H. E. Heath; treasurer, P. Heath. WHALE BEACH SURF CAPTAIN RE-ELECTED (1941, September 29). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

At the October 14th, 1941 Meeting the Inspector's Report is: Recommending that the public lavatories at Whale Beach, provided with slot meters, be made free to the public, that the Beach maintenance man be required to attend to the regular cleansing of them, and that a notice be conspicuously displayed prohibiting dressing and undressing in the buildings. Adopted. 

As the Season commences the October 28th, 1941 Meeting records Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 19/10/41, requesting permission for a deputation from the Club and the residents of Whale Beach to wait upon the Council in regard to "the continuance of camping during the war period in the Whale Beach area'. The Council decided they would receive a deputation from the Club at the Meeting of the Finance Committee after next at 8.30 p.m. 

The Ordinary Meeting of November 25th 1941 records; In regard to the petition from 28 signatories to the continuance of camping at Whale Beach, and to the representations made to the Finance & General Purposes Committee by a deputation from the Whale Beach Life Saving Club at last meeting, recommending that in the event of Council deciding to grant permits it make closet accommodation with sanitary and garbage services available for the convenience of campers, that no permission be granted under any circumstances unless a definite undertaking be obtained from the person erecting the tent to the effect that the structure would be demolished and the site cleared by a date to be fixed by the Council. Then Cr. O'Reilly moved, Cr. Nicholas seconding, that the Council permit camping at Whale Beach for the coming December and January and the Easter holidays to bona fide members of the Whale Beach Surf Club in order to assist the Club in patrolling the beach, and that such permission be under the conditions recommended in the Inspector's report. Cr. Hitchcock moved as an amendment, Cr. Bathe seconding, that camping be permitted to bona fide members of the Surf Club from 1st December to a week after Easter on the conditions mentioned in the Inspector's report, and that a permit fee of £1 be charged in respect to each tent. The amendment was carried. The motion as amended was thereupon put and carried, Cr. O'Reilly recording his vote against it. 

The minimum wage in Australia in 1941 was £4 6 shillings.

During the December 16th, 1941 Meeting an  H. Clarke is complaining of unfairness in regard to camping, at Whale Beach, stating that most of the life savers have bought homes and the rest are being housed by different people, and that the President and Secretary of the Club is putting down his friends as life savers so that they may be permitted to camp. Council Resolved; That the Surf Club be informed of Mr. Clarke's complaint, and that the Council's Inspector has been instructed to see that the conditions under which the Council agreed to permit a continuance of camping are strictly observed. 

By February 2nd, 1942 the Inspector's report re: camping at Whale Beach - Reporting that several camps had been erected during the holidays, for which approval had not been given, and recommending that the campers be warned against a repetition of the offence, and that a notice be erected in a convenient position at the junction of the road and beach; and that the local storekeepers be advised of the Council's decision. Council Resolved; That the Inspector's report be adopted, 

The Meeting held July 7th, 1942 records Mrs. E. Ingram-Moore, Whale Beach, 20/6/42, requesting Council's attention to her complaint that she has been charged a garbage service fee for the year when no garbage service at all has been rendered, and that she has been charged the full Sanitary year's sanitary service fee when an irregular service has been rendered. Resolved, - That the Sanitary Service Contractor and the Garbage Contractor be asked for a report. 

Soon after F Langfield, Garbage Service Contractor, 11/7/42, reporting on Mrs. Ingram-Moore's complaint that the garbage service is not rendered to her property in Bynya Road, Whale Beach. V. E. Barnett, Sanitary Service Contractor, reporting on the sanitary same ratepayer's complaint regarding irregular sanitary service. Service Resolved, - That Mrs. Ingram-Moore be informed of the reports. W. E. Barnett, reporting on A. L. Edwards' complaint of irregular sanitary service to his property at Beach Parade, Do. Clareville. Resolved, - That the Contractor's report be supplied to Mr. Edwards. 31. Rev. C. H. Sherlock, 2/7/42, requesting that the rates paid sec.904 on the Church of England Property Trust's vacant land at Florida Road, Palm Beach, be refunded, and setting out reasons for the request. Resolved, - That an amount of £5 be granted the Church. under Section 904.  A. G. Wilcox, 10/8/42, is drawing attention to the bad condition of the access to his cottage at the extreme end of Malo Road, Whale Beach, and requesting that the scrub be cleared and a little grading done. Resolved, - That the Engineer prepare an estimate of the cost of providing access.

In October the Whale Beach S.L,S, Club, 26/10/42, is requesting permission, as granted last year, for four members of the Club to camp on private land at Whale Beach during the summer season, and stating their names. Council Resolved; That the four members named be granted the desired permission. 

In May 1943 the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 18/5/43, is requesting urgent attention to erosion taking place in front of the boat house, stating that sand in front of and underneath the concrete ramp or apron is being washed away, and there is a danger of the whole ramp collapsing and exposing the boat house foundation stone. The Council Resolved; That the whole Council inspect when making inspection.

By June 1943: Submitting estimate, £65, for repair and strengthening work for Whale Beach boat house. It was decided; That £65 be voted for the purpose. 

During a Meeting held on the 14th of September 1943: Submitting quote by T. P. Field for painting and renovation of surf shed and out-buildings at Whale Beach, and recommending acceptance: Resolved, - That other quotes be obtained for the job. 

By the 28th of September 1943: Quote of £38.5.0 by T. Field for the painting and roofing, it was Resolved; That as no further quotes were received, T. Field was accepted

By November 9th 1943. Re painting of Whale Beach Surf Sheds - That final payment of the amount (£31.11.0) due to Mr. Field for the work be now made. 

At the Meeting held on December 21st 1943 the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 8/12/43, is advising that it is almost impossible to take the surf boat out of or into the Club's boat house owing to the difference between the floor level and the sand, suggesting that another row of piling be driven down into the sand about 8 ft. in front of the shed, and  extending several feet each side of the shed, the members of the Club being prepared to fill in the sand between the shed and the piling; and nominating for appointment as Honorary Beach Inspectors for the current season Messrs. H. Heath and C. Gough. Council Resolved; That the Club be informed that owing to manpower difficulties the extension of the apron has not yet been carried out, and that the nominations be approved and each appointments issued under the Seal of the Council..

Next year the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 7/3/44, is thanking the Council for the supply of a stand for the Eve Rocking Resuscitator, and for the life saving equipment supplied this season. "Received".

Despite there being a war on, with blackouts and enemy submarines trolling the offshore areas, the papers show:


The pilot steamer Captain Cook left Sydney late last night to rescue the crew of a launch in distress off Whale Beach. The crew attracted attention by flashing a light from the launch, about a mile offshore.

Mr, Wilcox, of Whale Beach, replied by switching the lights of his house on and off. He then telephoned Constable Neal, of Narrabeen police, and arrangements were made for the Captain Cook to go out. LAUNCH IN DISTRESS OFF WHALE BEACH (1944, October 1). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

In October 1944 the Whale Beach B.L.S. Club, 31/10/44, is inquiring as to the possibility of having the water laid on to the Clubhouse, asking if it would be possible to have a power point installed for First Aid use; and asking if Council has any programme for the improvement of the Club buildings as a Building post-war work. Council's decisions were: That the Engineer report as to the cost of providing water, submit request to the Electrical Engineer for an estimate of cost and that they be informed the Council has no such proposal in its post-war programme.

During January 1945:


Thomas Campbell McIntyre, 52, of Crow's Nest Road, Waverton, died in a scrub fire in Morella Road, Whale Beach, yesterday. McIntyre bought the land on which the fire developed about eight weeks ago. He was clearing it yesterday and apparently collapsed in the path of the flames. The body was burned almost beyond recognition.

Firemen and civilians worked for several hours before they checked the flames. Two houses were threatened. DEATH IN SCRUB FIRE (1945, January 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from


A man was trapped by flames and burned to death yesterday at Whale Beach, near Palm Beach, while burning off scrub on a block of land. He was Thomas Campbell McIntyre, 52, of Crow's Nest Road, Waverton. Police were told that McIntyre was clearing the land to build a house. When his body was recovered both hands and feet had been burned off. Six houses were threatened by the fire when it spread to adjoining land. 

Volunteers Help 

Fifty volunteers and 12 firemen under Captain Hock, of Avalon brigade, got it under control after four hours. Mrs. H. D. Varley, of Binya Road, Whale Beach, who assisted the men to save her home, said that the flames reached the back fence before firemen beat them out. Sergeant E. King, A.I.F., on leave from New Guinea, and Sergeant S. Bodice, from Melbourne, helped the firemen. MAN TRAPPED IN SCRUB FIRE (1945, January 25). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

During the last months of the war was Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, KG, KT, KP, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC (Henry William Frederick Albert; 31 March 1900 – 10 June 1974) the third son and fourth child of King George V and Queen Mary, visited Whale Beach to go swimming. He served as Governor-General of Australia from 1945 to 1947, the only member of the British royal family to hold the post. The Gloucesters arrived in Australia on January 28th, 1945 and the Duke was sworn in at Canberra two days later. They left Sydney on January 17th, 1947, having served two years in the post.


The Duke of Gloucester motored to Whale Beach yesterday morning and surfed for more than half ah hour.

Whale Beach, which lies between Newport and Palm Beach, is a secluded spot some distance from the main highway. There were few surfers on the beach at the time the Duke arrived. Two of them recognised him. The Duke was accompanied by Inspector W. H. Arnold and Superintendent Frank Matthews, his police escort.' On Saturday morning the Duke surfed at North Bondi Beach for nearly hour.

Though thousands of surfers thronged the beach at the time, very few persons knew he was there. 

The honorary publicity officer of the Surf Life Saving Association (Mr." Jack-Dillon) said last night: . "It is wonderful the way the Duke manages to keep secret his visits to Sydney beaches. "I hear he is an ardent surf enthusiast, and hope he will consent to qualify for the association's bronze medallion as a life-saver." DUKE'S SECOND PRIVATE TRIP TO SURF BEACH (1945, March 13). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

A few weeks after:


Whale Beach Surf Club's lifeboat was so damaged by heavy seas yesterday that it is now useless. A public appeal for financial aid to purchase a new boat was made last night by the club. 

During the day club members effected five rescues, one from more than 400 yards out. Linesmen and patients were completely exhausted when brought in. The boat was rendered useless during the morning when it was going out through the broiling surf. SURF CLUB'S BOAT NOW USELESS (1945, March 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

Despite Whale Beach NOT being mentioned in this report, the post war shortage of everything, especially building materials, preluded by the homeless 1930's, is beginning to tell on those being criticised for living in tents. What's interesting about this is the criticism is being levelled at the council for failing to approve plans as well, or require more and more documents to be lodged.

Avalon Beach SLSC Life Member Doug Crane, who was one of those police club boys that came out to Pittwater to serve on the beach during WWII, explained there was just nothing available to build with - so much so that some people ended up living in the Avalon Beach camping grounds for years, others in simple garages, and he himself resorted to making his own bricks to build the family home. There was also a lot of memories among older members of our community of the Council being unhelpful. 


Scores of families are living in crowded, sub-standard houses and tents in Warringah Shire because of the housing shortage and delay in granting building permits.

Warringah Council's chief health officer (Mr. W. R. Roach) declares that civic health welfare has "gone back half a century." But the Council finds it has to turn a blind eye to infringements of regulations or force occupants into the street to seek homes in still more crowded and less healthy areas.

Meanwhile dwellers complain of a maze of red tape entangling their efforts to build decent homes for their families. With Mr. Roach, a representative of "The Sun" visited seven houses and tents at French's Forest, Dee Why, Narrabeen, Newport and Avalon, and found 28 children living in them, some three to a bed. 

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cannon and their five children live in Blackbutt-road, French's Forest, in a building constructed of corrugated galvanised iron, timber and hessian, with a concrete and earth floor, covered by linoleum. One room, 10ft. 6in, by 10ft., is occupied by a girl, aged 11, and three boys, 14, 12 and 10. The other room, slightly larger, is the bedroom of Mr. and Mrs Cannon and the baby. Mr. Cannon is a discharge AIF man. For years he has unsuccessfully sought permission to build a home. 

"When it rains water just pours in," said Mrs. Cannon. "We want to build a little fibro home — something decent for the children to live in." 

In a house in Clarence avenue, Dee Why, which consists of two bedrooms, a living-room laundry and sleep-out verandah, and which originally was intended as a weekender, are four adults and 10 children. Three of the children sleep in a double bed. Their grandfather said he had been trying for two years to secure another home. 

Soldiers' Home

Makeshift: Rear portion of the Cannons' home, showing hessian for window blind, dilapidated water tank and corrugated iron from which most of building is constructed. Mr. Cannon is a discharged soldier.

Home Condemned by Council

In a wood, iron, and plaster shack 29ft. by lift, and 8ft. to 10ft. high, divided into three rooms, in Bligh's Gully, Dee Why, live Mrs. Dulcie Stevens and her four children, the eldest 12. Her husband, Cecil James Stevens, has been in the AIF for five years. The home, with Its iron roof, was baking hot when visited by "The Sun" reporter. Window of the room occupied by the children is 3ft. by 16in. Water is obtained from a nearby creek, and to obtain stores Mrs. Stevens travels to Manly. The house has been condemned by council, and application has been made by the family for permission to build another, but it has not yet been granted. 

Discharged from the AIF In 1942, Norman George Hall is living with his wife and six children in a two-roomed weatherboard home he built himself in Gondola-road. Narrabeen. Advised to leave their home in Parramatta, which had been declared unfit for habitation, a man and his wife bought land in Bardo-road, Newport, and are now living, with their seven-year-old son in a tent. They have cleared the land and planted vegetables. 

"For months we have been trying to get permission to build," said the wife. "We have filled in papers galore. 

"My husband is a skilled builder, but now they are asking for more plans. We were asked: 'Why did you leave the other place?' We provided a doctor's certificate stating the reason, but they want another.

Half-Mile For Water 

"The plumber has been trying to get water laid on for months. We have to cart water half a mile from a tap. 

"Local authorities are complaining, believing that we intend living in the tent, but we don't want to live in it any longer than we can help." 

Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Powell have been living in a tent in the camping area at Avalon for six or seven months. Their three sons, all over 21, occupy a tent nearby. "We have tried everywhere to get another home, but it appears to be hopeless," said Mrs. Powell. 

Homes At £7 

Mr. Barry Stewart, who was in the AIF, for five years, his wife and three children, live in a tent on private property, near the Avalon camping area. "I have been offered places' at £6 and £7 a week, but it is too much," said Mr. Stewart. 

Mr. Roach said these cases were typical of many in the shire. It was deplorable that in cases where applicants were genuinely in need of better housing, permits were not granted. 

"It is my belief that there is bungling and indifference on the part of the authorities," he added, "Many of the people have reached a stage where their morale, their will to carry on, is slowly ebbing,

"They are reaching a stage where they don't care. 

"Ever-increasing applications are reaching my council and other seaside councils to build garage-toolsheds. These soon become permanent residences."  WARRINGAH "SLUMS' ALARM SHIRE--FEARS FOR HEALTH (1945, March 14). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from

At the Tuesday March 27th 1945 Warringah Shire Council Meeting it seemed rather than facing what had been spoken of in regards to processing applications, the Council decided to make things even harder and also make people homeless. 

Cr. Forster moved - ''That in view of the unsatisfactory publicity received by the Shire in respect of sub-standard homes, and to test the views of Council in general in respect of this matter, I move that the Council instruct their Officers to serve notice on all people, excluding returned soldiers and their families, and servicemen and their families, whether they be permanent residents or week-enders, whether the dwellings be garages, privies or tents, that they vacate such premises immediately, and, that no further permission be granted for the erection of sub-standard houses, tents, garages, privies or sheds for human habitation in the Shire; and the Inspector be empowered to issue prosecutions forthwith against any offender. Cr. Morrow seconded. 

After considerable discussion, Cr. Forster requested permission to substitute the following motion, and permission having been given, moved - ''That so far as Whale Beach is concerned, in respect of garages, tents, and cars, caravans without wheels, the Inspector be my trusted to serve notices on these people to vacate such dwellings.'' Cr. Morrow seconded, Dwellings Cr. Batho moved,  an amendment, Cr. Ruffo seconding, that the Inspector submit a full report on the whole matter for the Shire. The amendment was carried on the casting vote of the President, and on becoming the motion, was carried. 

Cr. Forster requested that the following motion, standing in his name on the Business Paper, be withdrawn, viz - ''That camping areas under Council control be limited to holiday periods only, and the tents on the areas be dismantled after this period and re-allocated on that portion of ground rented by the tenant in order of application, thus obviating structures of a semi-permanent type now being seen at Palm Beach.''

There was also a letter from a J. Housten, 21/3/45, protesting against the infringement of the people's rights by camping, not only on private land, but on Council land, at Whale Beach, which leaves no space available for parking. …at  this stage the Inspector was requested to expedite his report regarding camping and occupation of unsatisfactory structures at Whale Beach.

At the April 10th 1945 Meeting  W. A. Macqueen & A. Hendrikson, 22/3/45, are stating they are interested in the future development of Whale Beach, and desire to convert the present Tea Room into a first-class rendezvous, with high-class chef and management, involving the re-modelling of the building, and suggesting they be authorised to convene a meeting of Whale Beach property owners, with one of the Councilors as Chairman, so that the meeting could be informed of the intention to develop the locality attractively, and to prepare suggestions, stating that if there sting is decided upon, they would cull on the Councillor concerned and discuss the matter. Referred to the Parks & Reserves Committee. 

Also writing was Capt. W. T. Cain, 10/4/45.protesting against a statement appearing in "Truth" regarding camping at Whale Beach, and stating that permanent residents of Whale Beach would be very pleased to know where or from whom the Councillor concerned got his information. 

That 'Truth' newspaper article:


BECAUSE campers — some in cars, caravans — at Whale Beach paraded around in the nude at dusk and after dark during the summer season, local residents had to keep their children indoors at night, Councillor H. G. Forster complained at the last meeting of Warringah Shire Council.

'SCENES of debauchery and noise and language emanating from sexes on the beach at night have a potential danger to the morals of young people and children,' Councillor Forster said. Presenting to council a petition signed by 41 residents of Whale Beach, who pointed out that a council notice erected on the beach prohibited, under penalty of a £50 fine, any person erecting a tent in the vicinity, Councillor Forster opposed the council's practice of allowing 'un-controlled' camping in the area. 

Councillor Forster said residents had alleged that a foreigner who had' been allowed to erect tents on private property near the beach on payment of £1 per annum, was subletting the tents for 10s a night, or £2 10s weekly. After a long debate, council rejected a motion by Cr. Forster that uncontrolled camping in the Warringah Shire be prohibited.

On the casting vote of the President (Cr. Harris) the council carried an amendment that a full report on the matter be furnished by the health inspector (Mr. Roach). Cr. Forster told Truth yesterday: 'I understand Mr. Roach has furnished a report to the council recommending that camping in the Whale Beach area be prohibited.' The report will be discussed at the next meeting of the Shire. "CAMPERS PARADE IN NUDE" (1945, April 8). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved from

At the March 24th 1945 Warringah Shire Meeting  a letter from Messrs. Mcqueen & Hendrikson, informing Council of a proposal to form a Progress Association at Whale Beach, and requesting Council's permission to call a Public Meeting for the purpose, was read. Council Resolved; That they be informed the Council favours the proposal, and that there is no necessity to obtain permission to call the Public Meeting; also that Cr. Forester has indicated his willingness to act as Chairman of the meeting, but in his private capacity, not as a Councillor. Regarding the letters protesting against the statement which  appeared in "Truth", it was resolved; That the writers be informed of the Council's proposals in regard to Whale Beach. 

At the May 30th 1945 Meeting Cr. Green is recording his vote against the adoption of the report regarding provision for camping of members of Whale Beach Surf Life-Saving Club,

In July the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 12/7/45, is requesting Council to have one of the former N.E.S. sirens installed at Whale Beach, stating the Government is willing to allot one siren to each Club on the condition that the cost of transport and subsequent installation is not made a charge on the State. It was Resolved; That the Council agree to the request, and the Engineer was to submit an estimate of the cost of installing sirens at all the surf beaches in the Shire. 

Later that year K. Hughes 5/9/45, forwarding copy of a letter from the Water Board to Miss Vidal, the proprietress of "Jonah's",' Bynya Road, Whale Beach, advising that an adequate water supply cannot be given to the property owing to the height above the water main in Morella Road, except by the erection of tanks on the Council's recreation reserve nearby, and the construction of a pipe line along the Council's access and drainage reserve adjoining, requesting that Council grant permission for these installations on the two reserves. This was referred to the Works Committee.

That same month the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 24/9/45 reporting that the boat-house door of the Clubhouse has again been broken by the heavy seas, is in urgent need of attention. Suggesting that to overcome further trouble as regards the doors be made of the open batten type so that the boat may pass through, giving details of the materials required, and stating members of the Club are prepared to do the work; and whether any decision has yet been made as regards a water supply for the boathouse. The Council was happy to supply the materials on the condition the club carries out the work to their conditions and instructions and still a deferral on getting the water on. 

August also brought more bad news in the loss of a valuable member:

TIMMS.—August 6, 1945, Frederick John, beloved father of Frederick, Norma, Malcolm, and Joan, and beloved son of Lucy. Privately cremated. Family Notices (1945, August 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from

Mr. F. J. Timms, president of Whale Beach Surf Club since its foundation, has died. He was the club's only life member. Sydney Horses At Newcastle (1945, August 14). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 10 (LATE FINAL EXTRA V FOR VICTORY). Retrieved from

F (Ted) J 'pop' Timms., 1937 Foundation Member of Whale Beach SLSC - was President, had a place in Morella road and a boat named for him: 


(by Walrus) .

Last Wednesday the club took delivery of a second hand boat, purchased from the Whale Beach club. This craft, 'F. J. Timms' has been damaged, but with a few repairs will serve our club, until we take delivery of our new boat. We appreciate the gesture of the Whale Beach club for making the boat available at a very small figure.

The bronze squad is taking shape and we hope to have at least three members ready for examination in December. In the near future we hope to be in the position to have a report of surfing conditions at Warilla Beach, included in broadcasts over 2WL.. No competition has been commenced, as yet, because all members are- busily engaged in building the new club house and training. Surfing (1952, November 20). South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW : 1900 - 1954), , p. 29. Retrieved from

Whale Beach, 1945 - oil painting by Adrian Feint (1894-1971) Catalogue states is Palm Beach but is clearly Whale Beach. Citation: 'The southern end of Whale Beach and ocean baths are depicted, with a camping area, tents, and caravans visible in the foreground.  Little Head and Bangalley Head are visible in the background.' State Library of NSW: On display – Paintings from the Collection, Room 1, West Wall, no. 55, online Item FL8955911

In October the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 22/10/45, were nominating as Hon. Beach Inspectors - W.McKeon and Alan Boyd; requesting provision of lights for baths at night; requesting that the promised siren alarm be installed; drawing attention to inadequate sanitary facilities at the beach; requesting more refuse bins and more frequent attention to same; stating that a light is needed on the pole outside the boat beach house. Council's decisions:- that the nominations be Inspectors approved and appointments issued under Seal; the electrical items be referred to Electrical Engineer for report to next meeting of the Electricity Committee; and that the Inspector's report that attention will be given be adopted. 

November 12th, 1946: The SHIRE ENGINEER'S REPORT was dealt with as follows:- Reporting that he had been unable to obtain piping for the water service to Whale Beach Surf Clubhouse. It was resolved, - That the Shire Engineer endeavour to obtain the piping from house either Swans Ltd. or John flanks Ltd., and if successful, submit estimates of cost.  

At the Warringah Shire Council Meeting held November 26th, 1946 J . Fielder, 18/11/46, is reporting that rubbish is being dumped along the promenade at Whale Beach, and suggesting that a "dumping ground" be made available to the public, and notices erected directing that rubbish be dumped there. 

At a Council Meeting held February 4th 1947 a T. de Burgh ,29/1/1947, is advising that the Water Board has approved of the laying of 3310 feet of watermain at Whale Beach, subject to Council furnishing a guarantee of the revenue the efficiency estimated at £ Resolved, - That the Council agree to furnish the guarantee required.

A few weeks later Mr. A. Hendrikson, 12/2/47 is stating that stormwater from Surf Road, Whale Beach, forms a lake outside his shop, and requesting that the frontage of his property be kerbed and guttered as soon as possible, he being willing to pay half cost. This was referred to the Council's Engineer. By April The Engineer was reporting that the estimated cost of kerbing and guttering Whale beach and paving in front of Hendrikson's premises at Whale Beach is  £125, Mr. Hendrikson’s share being £55.

It was also during this post-war period that the name 'Whale Beach Road' was applied officially to the length of road that stretches from North Avalon to Palm Beach:

Bungalow-road, Morella-road (north of its junction with Bungalow-road) and Scott-road, Whale Beach—Whale Beach road;  WARRINGAH SHIRE COUNCIL.—NAMING AND RE-NAMING OF STREETS.—Present Name and Situation and New Name:— (1947, February 21). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 461. Retrieved from 

Whale Beach circa 1941-1945, view from south (Malo Road) looking north. Item: FL281320, courtesy NSW State Records and Archives - and section from to show detail of surf boat shed with shark lookout atop from a converted old windmill. There had been two at the beach at one time. Council records show July 25th 1939: Submitting an offer by Vandeifield & Reid Ltd. of £5 for the Council's old windmill at Whale Beach: Referred to the Works Committee for report.

Whale Beach circa 1940-1949, view from north looking south. Item FL348013, courtesy NSW State Records and Archives circa 1940, and section from to show details with the surf bathing sheds and lavatory facilities of then:

In the Meeting held on October 28th, 1947: By Cr. Forster — Can the Health Inspector inform me what action has been taken, if any, to prohibit the erection of tents for renting purposes at Whale Beach? The President replied that a survey of the area was being made at present by the Health Dept. By Cr. Dunbar- Will the Health Inspector report on the erection Buildings and/or use of the "igloo" type of buildings in Booralie Road, Terrey Hills? 

In October the Whale Beach S.L.S. Club, 30/10/47, is nominating D. Hall Beach and B. Elvy for appointment as Beach Inspectors; and equesting that consideration be given to the question of improving the public conveniences at Whale Beach. The appointments were placed under the Council's seal and the request was again referred on to the Parks & Reserves Committee. 

The next month the Whale Beach S.L.S..Club, 10/11/47 requesting that the camping fee in respect of Club members be waived, or that arrangements be made whereby they could pay as a body the on each lot required. The Council Resolved - That the fee be waived in respect of bona fide Club members.

By January 1948 the Warringah Shire Council was ready to commence some of the projects it had on its agenda prior to WWII, the expansion through resumption of lots along The Strand at Whale Beach being among these, as outlined in Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve. To commence this they first applied for a loan to meet the costs of doing so.

You don't often hear women praise one another, but after a quick combing of our beaches, I'm ready to shout myself hoarse about the loveliness and natural charm of the Surf Girl candidates.

COLLAROY comes in on a wave of popularity with sherry-eyed /. Julia Bernard, and /ballet-type beauty ; Eva Wilson; Noeline Luckie, who : is "A not a Contestant, would Score an easy win for her beach -frock of cyclamen 'n' periwinkle blue. NORTH PALM BEACH is proud of Mary Heavener, Pat le Breton in dazzling slinky white suits, . while Shirley Swanbury settled for a floral two-piecer and Jean Retallick turned on some magic in stream- lined black satin. 

On to WHALE BEACH, where the wedding cake whiteness of Mickey Sabine's ballerina outfit fought for supremacy the cream plastered thickly on Malcolm Cooper's nose. And turns were taken at inspecting same by Douglas Hall, ably assisted by husky Irishman, Doug Cragg. Past skipper George Mc-Robert's chromium - plated "tray mobile" (who said that?) surf reel, so generously donated by Newlands Brothers, Pty, Ltd, there was an answering gleam in the smile of Peachy Knispell. LOOK WHO'S HERE (1948, February 19). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 15 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from 

In the Meeting of March 2nd, 1948: By Cr. Kent - Can an inspection be made in connection with the removal of sand at The Strand, Whale Beach, near Hendrikson’s Store?  The President replied that this would be referred to  the Parks & Reserves Committee. 

At the March 30th 1948: Para, 2. £25,000 PARKS AND RESERVES LOAN. The recommendation was adopted, Cr. Forster recording his vote against the adoption of 2a, i.e resumptions at Whale Beach --- Whale Beach S L S Club - Resolved - That the Club be informed that Council intends to resume their land but will provide a site for the erection of surf buildings if  the resumptions are finalized. ---- The records show that a Mrs. M. Ranken, 20/3/48, is protesting strongly against any resumption of land along the sea front at Whale Beach. Her letter was "Received."

An August 31st, 1948 records the SHIRE CLERK'S REPORT (1)Parks and Reserves Loan - Submitting alternative suggestion for Resumption or at Whale Beach and Narrabeen Terminus: Resolved - That as recommended, (a) the Feviods proposal to resume land at The rear of Bryson's Fish Shop at Narrabeen, be abandoned and instead the Council proceed to acquire or resume Lots 8/15, D.P. .116004 .Pittwater Road, to Narrabeen and the loan proposal be varied accordingly; (B) that in lieu of acquiring Lots 1/2 and 7/10, D.P. 11067, The Strand, Whale Beach the Council proceed to acquire or resume Lots 1/10, D.P 11067 The Strand, Whale Beach, and suggest ask if the Whale Beach Surf Club that if it  will transfer its Lot 8 to the Council free of cost The Council will allow the Club the use of the existing public dressing shed as new dressing- sheds can be erected; and that the loan proposal be varied accordingly.  

The November 9th 1948 shows the Council has decided on the Lots 1/10  D.P. 11067, the Strand, Whale Beach option and that they have resolved that the Whale Beach Surf Club to be informed that if it will transfer its Lot 8 free of cost to the Council, the Council will allow it the use the public dressing sheds as soon as new dressing sheds can be erected.

Whale Beach SLSC records state that the club actually had Lot 8 and then bought Lot 14, directly behind this and back one, going up the slope of the hill, possibly soon after they handed their beachfront flat lot to the Council. Others have stated the club had the two blocks to begin with, the back Lot from the earlier land sales, and acquired Lot 8 from the Trevor-Jones/Darling holding 1945-47.

As the club member had, by then, some experience of the priorities of the council regarding Whale Beach SLSC, they set to to do for themselves. Whale Beach SLSC Members commenced holding annual balls to raise funds:

Generous Surf girl 

Three generous supporters of Whale Beach Surf Club are paying the entire cost of a ball to aid the club's contribution to the Australian Surf Girl Contest. " The ball will be held at Paddingtpn Town Hall on Monday night when "Miss Whale Beach" will be selected from a number of surf girl entrants. Double tickets are 10/6. Bookings may be made by ringing WA2231 or UA3753 after business hours. Generous aid for Surf girl (1948, March 19). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 6 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from


Whale Beach Surf Club will hold its annual ball at the Grace Auditorium on Friday night. SURF CLUB BALL (1948, September 22). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 15 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from

They sold hot water to campers, sold sandwiches, organised raffles and ran social functions. An annual ball made a profit of £150. The funds slowly mounted up and the Club obtained a loan from the Rural Bank, enabling, in 1950, the purchase of Lot 14, then valued at £675.

In December 1950 the Club received a donation of £1,000 pounds from Newland Bros Pty Ltd whose Managing Director, Steve F. Newland, was a relative of the Timms family. The cheque was banked in January 1951. The next year the same gentleman gave another £500. 

Car gesture wins £1000

Mr. Steve Newlands, 70 years-old member of Whale Beach Surf Club, was so grateful when other club members sent a car for him to go to the club's Christmas luncheon on Sunday that he : promised the club £1000 to help build a clubhouse. The club president (Mr. E, R. Elvy) said last night: "Mr. Newlands was so delighted with our small gesture of sending a car for him to join us that he asked me to announce half-way through the luncheon he would give us £1000. "He said he would try to get four persons to donate a similar amount.''. Car gesture wins £1000 (1950, December 26). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from


Whale Beach 'Surf Club yesterday received a donation of £500 to help build a new clubhouse.

Mr. .S. Newlands, who regularly follows surf carnivals, made the donation. Mr. Newlands handed- a cheque to club president Ted Elvy after officials had asked spectators at the Whale Beach carnival to support the club's drive for funds. 

Mr. Newlands last season gave Whale Beach Club £1000. The new clubhouse is already under construction. It will cost £30,000, and will be one of the biggest and most modern in Australia. Just beaten at yesterday's carnival a competitor in a senior surf-race gained second place after he had swum most of the distance backstroke. He was Palm Beach member Ken Murrell, who lost narrowly to clubmate Terry Van-Dugteren.

Van-Dugteren is a former Australian junior freestyle champion. Another clubmate, Hec Matthews, filled third place. Their placings enabled Palm Beach to win the senior surf teams' race from Mona Vale and Whale Beach. £500 GIFT TO SURF CLUB (1951, December 24). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from

An architect volunteered his skills, many building materials were donated and members committed to giving volunteer labour for one day per month. Over a two-year period, members worked to clear the land, dig foundations and build a sizeable brick structure.

These sections from two 1951-1952 Frank Hurley aerial photos show the ground being prepared and then the foundations:

Hurley, Frank. (1910). Whale Beach [aerial view] circa 1951 [Sydney, New South Wales] Retrieved from 

Hurley, Frank. (1910). Whale Beach [closer view]1951-52 – foundations of surf club can be seen [Aerial views, beaches, Sydney, New South Wales] Retrieved from 

On December 20th 1953, the two level clubhouse was officially opened. The Club members were faced with paying back a mortgage of over £5,000. There were more fundraising events and a number of sizeable donations that quickly reduced that mortgage. New funding and an extended mortgage enabled the building of the third story of the clubhouse, which opened in 1958. 

Whale Beach SLSC clubhouse Opening Day 1953. Courtesy Whale Beach SLSC. 

Later on WWII Army veteran George McRobert, Whale Beach SLSC stalwart and Club Captain for seven years, then President for 16 consecutive years, established the Moby Dick Surfers Club. This was in the third or top floor of the clubhouse, officially opened in 1958, and was one of the places to see great live music.

Whale Beach during the 1950's had become an immensely popular place and still had its share of Sydney greats among business, industry and the arts returning to its sheltered out of sight reaches for rest and respite, great Australian thespians, creators and lifelong partners Gwen Plumb AM BEM (2 August 1912 – 5 June 2002) and Thelma Scott (17 June 1913 – 23 November 2006) among them. Their place on Bynya road became legendary for 'get togethers' with colleagues. These great photos taken on February 1st, 1951 by Jack Hickson, and part of the ever growing bank of Australian materials being digitised by the State Library of NSW, shares some of that 1951 Whale Beach 'view':

With the surf club built the members would no longer have need of tents on the beach, however, Warringah Shire Council records show on April 16th, 1956 shows ?? is stating that on 21/3/56 the Parks & Reserves Supervisor observed two caravans on land acquired by the Cumberland County Council for Open Space purposes at The Strand  Whale Beach, such land not having yet been transferred to this Council; pointing out that notices were forwarded by the Cumberland County Council to be served on the owner or occupier of the caravans requiring them to remove the caravans and to discontinue trespassing or using the land for any purpose whatsoever, and stating that in the event of failure to comply the Cumberland County Council will take action; and drawing attention to the fact that the two caravans are still on the subject land. Council Resolved; - That the Council recommend prosecution of Ada Whitford, of 21 Hopwood Street, North Sydney; and William Graber, of 240 Princess Avenue, Arncliffe, and forward this recommendation to the Cumberland County Council for appropriate action. 

The days of camping at Whale Beach were done.

At the October 2nd, 1956: re; tree-planting at Whale Beach a Letter of thanks from Palm Beach Citizens Association. Council Resolved;- That it be recorded that the contents of this letter have been noted.

Whale Beach - 1950's postcard - fronds from Norfolk pine can be seen at right of image - courtesy National Museum of Australia

Hurley, Frank. (). Whale Beach, Sydney, New South Walesapproximately 1955-59 Retrieved from and sections from to show details:

The Council's dealings at Whale Beach record Perkins, Stevenson and Linton, Solicitors, 30.8.63, submitting notice of intended action under Section 580 for damages in respect of nuisance and negligence in constructing or maintaining storm water drainage to, in, and through the premises No.237 Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach, causing collapse of a retaining wall, damage to foundations of house, and to the septic tank, and dampness in the house. This was 'Noted'. 

The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Warringah Shire Council held on 11th November, 1963 record that Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 4.11.63, is advising that ''the Club took delivery of the moulded ply surf boat built by Bailey Bros. which was so kindly donated by Warringah Shire Council. The Club intends to name the boat "Ted Elvy" a past President of that Club, in appreciation of his excellent services. It was under the guidance and leadership of Ted. Elvy that the Clubhouse as it now stands, was built. It is intended that a small function be held at the christening of the boat, and Council will be contacted in this regard at a later date, when a responsible Officer of the Shire will be requested to formally hand the boat over to the Club.'' Council Resolved; That the Shire President represent the Council at the handing over of the boat to the Whale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. During discussion on this item Cr. Adcock, on behalf of the Avalon Surf Saving Club, expressed the Club's thanks to Council for its recent gift of a new surf boat.  

In February of the next year the Royal N.S.W. Institution for Deaf and Blind Children, 26.2.64, are requesting permission to hold a Bar-B-Que Dance at Whale Beach on Saturday night in late March or early April; adding that every precaution will be taken to prevent gate-crashers or undesirable behaviour of any kind. The Council Resolved; That permission be granted. 

Later that year Whale  Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 17.11.64, is advising the Club is conducting the International Surf Club Carnival on 27.12.64; requesting Council's assistance with extra assistants to cope with the parking; permission to charge an entrance fee; co-operation should any other problems arise. Council Resolved;- That permission be granted for the charging of an entrance fee; that Council co-operates as requested, and Mr. Adrian be asked to liaise with the Club. 

On the 31st of October 1966: The "Moby Dick" Surfers' Club Ltd., Whale Beach, is advising that when an ambulance or a doctor is required urgently, someone must hurry up the mountain to the Club to use the telephone. They are requesting that a telephone be installed in the boathouse on the beach, this to be an extension direct to the Club. Council Resolved; That the Club be informed Council would raise no objection to the installation of this extension provided the Club bears the expense. 

21/11/1966: H. Wilshire Webb, Son & Doyle, Solicitors, forwarding the following documents for execution under seal:- Deed - illegal access - Florida Road, Palm Beach, N.A. Taylor; Deed, Illegal Access, 234 Whale Beach Road, Whale  Beach - W. Williams; Deed - Illegal Access - Lot 381 Palmgrove Road, Avalon T.E. Buchner; Memorandum of Transfer - Exchange of land with the Commonwealth for P.M.G. exchange site; Deed and Caveat - Subdivision Lot 2, D.P.515513 Almeda Way, Mona Vale - Argyle and General Insurance Co.Pty.Ltd.; Resumption' of Drainage Easement, Winbourne Road, Brookvale. (The application was read to the Council, as required). Resolved, That the documents be executed under seal. 

The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on January 16th 1967 share details of the 1967 WORKS PROGRAMME . Worth noting from the "A" RIDING are the places and costs involved: Alan Rd., Elanora $12,000 Kerb & Guttering west side, north to St. Andrew's Gate. Myoora Rd., Terrey Hills $7,500 Reconstruction four bad portions. Calvert Parade, Newport $10,000 Kerb & guttering, road widening, east side from The Boulevarde to Stanley St. Marine Parade and Watkins Rd. $20,000 Drainage, kerb & Guttering, pavement Avalon widening, east side. Cook Terrace, Mona Vale $9,000 Kerb & Guttering north side Coronation St. to Narrabeen Park Parade. Powderworks Road, North $5,000 Footpath construction south side from Narrabeen Warraba Road westerly. Turrimetta St., Mona Vale $10,000 Part cost full construction from existing construction westerly. Burrawong Rd., Avalon $5,500 Drainage and road construction from Whale Beach Rd. to Binburra Ave. $100,000 

In March 1967 a letter has been received, dated 22.4.67, from the Whale Beach Surf Club, enclosing a 1967 Rate Notice showing that the rates were paid on 3.4.67 in an amount of $165 in respect of the property which is owned by the Club in Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach, and requesting that the Council make a donation equivalent to the rates, as in previous years. The Minutes note ''The Whale Beach Surf Club and the Palm Beach Surf Club are the only two clubs along the ocean front which own their own land and pay rates on same. All other land on which surf club buildings are situated is the property of the Council and therefore the payment of rates does not arise. In 1966 Council did make a donation of $160 under Section 298(2) of the Act, to this Club.'' The recommendation was that a donation of $165 be made under Section 298(2) of the Act to the Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club, this amount being equivalent to the 1967 rates due on the property in Whale Beach Road, Whale Beach. 

In May 1974 the destruction of the beach boatshed occurred during the wild storm that coincided with Sydney’s highest recorded tide (2.4m).

Whale Beach SLSC Surf Boatshed and Members, circa 1973 - image courtesy Whale Beach SLSC

The end of camping at Whale Beach brought about by the building of a surf club for its members also finally excluded these original 'volunteers' for surf life saving on that beach. That commenced by the challenging times for most the 1930's were allows us to gain an insight into the nature of the 'have and have not's, which was simply put by some as not wanting the beautiful view they'd paid so much for being despoiled by the sight and presence of those who could not afford it. The times brought out the best and the worst in people, with what is innately the best winning despite constant machinations by some and repeated acceding to this campaign by the Council, or, some of its Councillors. 

Fortunately they had champions among the local residents who would not brook such tosh, and champions in Mr. Spender and Mr Reid, as well as far richer supporters who had never lost sight of their own beginnings and never discarded their regard for human frailties and strengths.

What lived within them, made resolute through the hell of WWI and choosing life instead of deaths, refuted all chicanery, ennobled people robbed of dignity through societal conditions, and made very plain the difference between those who are rich in assets and those who are richer because of what lives in their individual selves. That is what empowers and defines a person, community and nation - what is inside of us.

This evolved into the generous spirit which compels thousands of Australians to complete volunteer patrols each Season year in year out for decades through today's surf life saving movement. 

It's worth remembering this during our current challenges and was exampled the first 'Season' this squad was called on - to save lives - in the actual forming and use of a human chain to do so:



Two men had a desperate struggle for life in heavy seas, and were severely lacerated on the rocks, when their launch broke down off Whale Beach to-day. Two young life-savers, at the risk of their lives, dived off the rocks and swam to their aid. George Pollitt, aged 38 years, of Wind-mill street. Miller's Point, and George Cunningham, aged 40 years, of Botany street, Redfern, were bringing a 28-foot launch down the coast from Church Point. There was a heavy sea running, and about mid-day, when they were off Whale Beach, the engine failed. The two men, using sweeps, made desperate efforts to keep the boat head on to the seas, but it was a hopeless fight. The launch, half swamped, was swept rapidly toward the dangerous rocks at the southern end of Whale Beach 

Life-saver's Effort

When their plight was seen by the members of the Whale Beach Life-saving Club, Noel Greenfield, aged 20 years, without waiting for the line ran to the rocks and dived into the sea. A wave swept him back against the jagged rocks. He was battered and cut about the body but he fought his way clear and swam 70 yards through heavy seas to the disabled launch. The two men on board were exhausted, and it was obvious that nothing could save the boat. 

Greenfield (pictured) clinging to the gunwale, called to Pollitt and Cunningham to jump overboard and swim for their lives. Both strong swimmers, the two men jumped into the sea just as a large breaker swept Greenfield away. Pollitt worn out by his ordeal was in difficulties. Greenfield struggled to his side, and assisted him to a half-submerged ledge near the Cliffs. As they were resting there, another wave swept them apart, and Pollitt was thrown against a rock and knocked unconscious. Greenfield's club mates reinforced by Palm Beach life savers, who had rushed to the scene by motor-car, formed a human chain, and managed to pull him and Greenfield on to the rocks.

In Grave Danger

It was dangerous work and seven of the rescuers were swept into the surf at one stage, and had a hard fight to reach safety. Meanwhile Cunningham, caught in a strong undertow, was in grave danger. James Barnes, of the Palm Beach Surf Club, dived in with belt and line to help. The line was cut on the rocks by the heavy seas, but Barnes reached and supported him until a line could be thrown from the rocks. They were then both hauled to the shore.

HAZARDOUS RESCUES. (1938, January 27). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 3. Retrieved from

References and Extras

  1. TROVE - National Library of Australia
  2. Whale Beach Ocean Reserve: 'The Strand' - Some History On Another Great Protected Pittwater Reserve
  3. State Library of NSW


Two men were battered and cut on the rocks of Whale Beach, when their disabled launch , drifted ashore in heavy seas. Noel Greenfield ( above, left) of Whale Beach Surf Club, plunged into the boiling surf without a line to bring them in, and Jim Barnes, of Palm Beach Club.

(below, left) assisted him.' The two pictures (right) show the launch drifting, and its splintered wreckage in the foam in the foreground.  CREW OF LAUNCH BATTERED ON ROCKS. (1938, January 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from

In 2015 the Whale Beach SLSC membership completed more upgrades to the clubhouse, including installing a gym and:

View from new upstairs 'wave' balcony.

Members lounge and kitchen area

Members Bunk area - just as in the early days of the club, some members come from out of the area to fulfil weekend volunteer patrols

Whale Beach SLSC - PON pages

Whale Beach SLSC History


Bill Phillips    Bryan Webster  Paul Hughes   Robert Berry Mark Ferguson Richard Stewart OAM  Whale Beach SLSC (2015 Profile - interviews with Colin Timms, Phillip Madden, Bill Phillips, Graeme Stewart )

Bernard Midget Farrelly Paddle Out Tribute

Big Swim 2013- Palm Beach to Whale Beach by Michael Mannington and Mike O'Flynn 

Carols by the Sea 2014 - Hosted by Avalon Beach SLSC

Front Page Issue 194 Front Page Issue 198: 41st Big Swim 2015 - The Challenge

Front Page Issue 199 - The Big Swim 2015 Pictures Link, 

Whale Beach SLSC Opens it's new clubhouse and celebrates its 75th anniversary by A J Guesdon

Whale Beach SLSC's 2013 Inaugural Carols by Candlelight - A Soulful Delight! 

Front Page Issue 141 Front Page Issue 146 - BIG SWIM 2014 precursor - 40th year

The Big Swim 2013

The BIG SWIM 2014 report and pictorial includes a chat with Paul Hughes, winner of the first race, Paul Young, who was busy helping a few others get back to shore in the original race and Peter Taylor - all Whale Beach SLSC stalwarts, all life savers.

The Big Swim 2015 – A Brilliant 41st Year of The Challenge

The Big Swim 2017

Whale Beach SLSC AGM 2017

Pittwater Surf Life Saving Masters at 2014 NSW Championships - A Toast To The Masterful

Surf Patrol Season 2013-14 Closes today

Surf Patrol Season for 2013-2014 Season Closes Today (27th of April, 2014) - A Tribute to Our Volunteer Pittwater Surf Life Savers 

Pittwater Council Supports 2014-2015 Pittwater Ocean Swim Series by John Guthrie

SLSSNB Boat Premiership 2014 - Round One at Bilgola

SLS SNB Surfboat Premiership 2014-2015 Round Three hosted by Warriewood SLSC

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches 2015 Branch Championships a Demonstration of One Wonderful Community

SLS Sydney Northern Beaches 2015 Branch Championships - Masters Water Events and Juniors First Aid Competitions

SLS SNB 2015 Branch Championships – The Wrap and Results

Front Page Issue 204Whale Beach SLSC Hosts 2015 Inter- Schools SLS Carnival

2015 NSW Surf Life Saving Opens Championships -  Ocean Beach-Umina - Newport Seal The Deal At Open Champs!

NSW Surf Life Saving Masters Championships 2015 - Front Page Issue 206

Aussies 2015: Avalon Beach SLSC's Antiques Women's Boat Crew Win Branch, States, National and Worlds in One Year - Palmy and Newport Champions are GOLD!

Front Page Issue 230 Whale Beach SLSC Open Day and Bronze Medallion Invitation 2015/16

Surf Life Saving - Sydney Northern Beaches Boat Premiership 2014- 15 - Round Two Hosted by Newport SLSC

Whale Beach SLSC Awarded Rescue of the Month, to Hold Bronze Training in January: an Opportunity to Begin 2016 by Joining the Biggest Team in the World + Front Page Issue 242 

Bilgola's 'Billy Swim' has Launched the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series 2015-2016: Four More Opportunities to Dive this Summer + some great pictures taken by Bilgola SLSC Members

Carols by the Sea 2015 Hosted by Avalon Beach SLSC

Summer in Pittwater 2015/2016: Whale Beach SLSC Members on Patrol

Sydney Northern Beaches Branch MASTERS Surf Lifesaving Carnival WATER Events Palm Beach February 2016 - Results

Sydney Northern Beaches Surf Life Saving Branch Carnival 2016 - Juniors, Masters, Opens, Boats

New South Wales Surf Life Saving Masters Championships 2016 by NSW SLS + Front Page Issue 255 

2016 NSW Surf Life Saving Open Championships by NSW SLS

New South Wales Surf Life Saving Surf Boats Championships 2016 and Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Wrap  

End of Season for Northern Beaches Life Savers: A Celebration and Thank You For A Safe 2015/16 - from SLS SNB and Hon. Rob Stokes

Aussies 2016: Australian Surf Life Championships - some Results and Pictures

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Awards Of Excellence: 2015/2016 - full list

Pioneers In The Equality Gap: Women Of Whale Beach Celebrate 35 Years In Surf Life Saving by Ellie Keft + Front Page Issue 288

Bilgola Beach SLSC's SLS SNB Surf Boat Carnival 2015-2016 Season

Young Lifesavers Learn To Lead by Surf Life Saving NSW

Newport SLSC Hosts Round 2 of SLS SNB 2016-17 Surf Boat Premiership

Warriewood SLSC Surf Boat Carnival 2016 - Round 3 of the Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches 2016-17 Premiership

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Championships 2017: some results + Surf Boats Carnival at Long Reef by Bernadette Johnson McAlinden + Front Page Issue 301

2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Opens Championships at Blacksmiths Beach - reports and photos by SLS NSW

2017 NSW Surf Life Saving Masters Championships at Blacksmiths Beach - reports and photos by SLS NSW 

Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Awards Of Excellence: 2016-2017 Season - Lifesaver of the Year: Lara Boyle

2017 Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence: Surf Lifesaver of the Year - Lara Boyle Whale Beach SLSC, Initiative of the Year - Mona Vale SLSC, Athlete of the Year - Jake Lynch, Newport SLSC, Junior Lifesaver of the Year - Elliott Prasad Narrabeen Beach SLSC, and Sport Team of the Year - Open First Aid Team, Freshwater SLSC

Arthur Pike, limbless returned soldier, 1/12/32, requesting to be given any kind of light work, temporary or otherwise. Referred to "A" Riding Councillors.

Newlands Family Notes

This branch of the Newlands family are descended from John Newlands, born 1812 in and of Gorbals, Scotland, died 22-08-1852 in Clarence St, Sydney, buried in Rookwood, occupation Carpenter, but later in Merchant Tailoring.  He left Greenock on the 24th July 1837 in the ‘Portland’ for Australia. He had married Ann/ Annie Ure, on 10-06-1837 in Gorbals, Lanark, Scotland, ( b. 17-07-1807 in of Gorbals, daughter of Alexander Ure and Mary Brodie), d. 09-07-1869 in Scots Church, Sydney, buried in Rookwood.

Their son John Newlands, born 27-12-1838 in Paddington Sydney, married Mary Frances Cope, 31-03-1863 in St Andrews, Sydney.  He was a Boiler Inspector with NSW Government Railways.

His siblings, born in Sydney, were:
Mary Anne Newlands, b. 08-05-1841
Jeanett Newlands, b. 02-01-1843
Alexander Newlands, b. 23-11-1844
Isabella Newlands, b. 1845, d. 1848

His sister married:


FORSTER-NEWLANDS-At the Scots Church, by special Iicence, on Wednesday, the 20th November, by the Rev. Dr. Lang, M.P., Mr. Stephen Forster, of Harrington-street, Sydney, a native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, to Mary Ann, eldest daughter of the late Mr. John Newlands, Union-street, a native of the colony. Family Notices (1863, November 27). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 1. Retrieved from

His children with Mary Frances Cope:
Mary Frances Anne Newlands, b. 16-12-1863
Ada Brodie Newlands, b. 17-02-1866
Jessie Esther Ure Newlands, b. 23-06-1868
Minnie Cope Newlands, b. 23-10-1870
John Joseph Newlands, b. 06-02-1873
Ernest James Stephen Newlands, b. 05-10-1875
Annie Rose Newlands, b. 10-05-1878
Mabel Mary A Goldspring /Goldsmith Newlands

S. Forster and Sons' Foundry and Bedstead Manufactory.

INSTANCES are numerous of late of the rapid development of our manufacturing industries ; and without its being sought, we are afforded proof from day to day of what may be accomplished by energy and enterprise without the fictitious assistance of protection. Respecting the latter idea, we are able in this city, the capital of free trade in Australia, to compare what is done here with what is accomplished in Melbourne under the " fostering" influence of a high protective tariff. As to the industry about to be spoken of in this article, we are in this city open to competition with the world, but in Melbourne there is a 20 per cent, duty, while we have the additional drawback here of a heavy impost, necessary for the purposes of revenue, on varnish and oils, both of which are largely used in the trade. 

Twenty-one years ago, Mr. Stephen Forster, who had previously been engaged in the iron trade, established a small foundry in an unpretentious looking building in Harrington-street. A lease of 21 years was obtained, and with the assistance of one or two men the work went steadily along. To the ordinary work of the foundry was soon added the manufacture of bedsteads, and then Mr. Forster's sons, Stephen and John, were drawn into the works as soon as in any way able to assist the struggling industry. There was no lack of competition in the ordinary foundry work, and the importers having an undisturbed monopoly of the bedstead trade, unusual obstacles beset the first efforts of the firm. It was thought a good piece of work to manufacture and dispose of three or four bedsteads in the week ; now over 600 a month are manufactured-produced in a style and at a figure that has fairly outrivalled the best imparted article, and completely beaten it out of the market. In the face of the freest tariff the firm are now able to offer their own productions actually lower than similar articles can be imported for. 

The firm had a difficulty in respect of oils and varnish, which they largely consumed, but on which there was a considerable duty. Thus handicapped, the firm turned attention to the manufacture of varnish, and they succeeded in this ns they have in whatever else they took in hand. They now produce sufficient or their own and the general requirements of the city, and of such a quality and at such a price as to quite eclipse the imported article. In Victoria where the foreign manufacturer is excluded by the tariff, the capabilities of the best firm are just about one half of the regular trade of the Messrs. Forster and Sons' establishment, not speaking of the full capabilities, and nowhere are stubborn facts for the protectionist. The bedsteads that Forster and Sons produce and sell say for 35s cost in 'Melbourne at the manufacturers 12 and '25s. Strange as it may appear the Sydney firm are capable of competing with success against the Victorian manufacturers in their own market, notwithstanding the 20 per cent, impost. The Sydney firm can secure a good profit after allowing a Melbourne importer a discount of 10 per cent, to meet the prohibition tariff, and then there is a large margin of profit for the importer after he pays the remaining 10 per cent, exaction. What a man in Victoria has to pay £2 10s for is obtainable here at 35s. The Forsters, as soon as they are able to arrange for the full supply of demands in our own colony and those of Queensland, Fiji and New Zealand, where Victoria is entirely unable to compete, intend going actively into competition with the Melbourne manufacturers in their own stronghold, and show the Victorians the hallucination they have been labouring under. The public will watch with interest the development of this competition, and at the present they will, doubtless, be glad to learn some few particulars as to the manner in which the enterprising firm carry on their business. The premises, of which a fresh lease for 21 years has been secured, have a frontage of about 200 feet to Harrington-street, with a great depth to a right-'o-way to Essex-street. The foundry, which is very extensive, and fitted with furnaces and cupolas, one being for the heavy castings, and the other for the work of the bedsteads. The former is fitted with powerful travelling cranes, capable of conveying two or three tons of the molten metal from the cupolas to any part of the foundry. 

About 20 men were here last Tuesday, employed under Mr. Stephen Forster, junr., casting lamp-posts by the pair, and turning out enormous bridge cylinders. The practical and speedy manner in which the heavy work was performed was an indication of the unusual proficiency of the workmen throughout the establishment. There are the customary conveniences of a crushing and powdering mill, and extensive ovens for the drying of the moulds. Adjoining the foundry is an extensive smithy, with four or five fires, and eight or ten men at work ; and off this again is the engineers' and fitting shops. Here, also, are powerful travellers, and no lees powerful turning lathes, and the work is carried on under the supervision of one of the best working engineers in the colony. Some of the most compact pieces of mechanism, in both vertical and horizontal engines, fitted with a moat effective and entirely new description of governor, are here to be seen, as also ships' pumps, trollies, steam and manual hoists, &c. 

For some days past, workmen have been engaged in turning out the vertical iron stairs for the various new lighthouses, and the government officials have expressed their high satisfaction at the speed and style in which the work has been done. Arrangements are now being made for getting up a powerful lathe, capable of turning anything that can be placed upon it. The whole of the gear, and the fans, mills, &c, are driven by a compact 15 h. p. engine, made in the establishment. The other division of the foundry, where the casting for the bedsteads is done, presents at all times a busy scene. The poles, which are best Birmingham tubes, and are placed upright in the moulds or chills for receiving the dove-tail casting. The moulds extend along the sides of the foundry, and one man with hand-ladle of molten metal attends to every three, managing the easting. The metal has no sooner been run in than it is chilled, and the mould being opened it is passed on to the dressers. The same expeditious process is adopted with the head and footrails, the only difference being that the moulds are horizontal. What at one moment is a collection of iron rods, is the next an elegant foot or head board, as the case might be. The moulds in this branch are numerous and of almost every conceivable design, great artistic taste being displayed in many of them. The materials pass from the dressers to the japanniner and painting branches, which are very extensive, well lighted, and well ventilated, and fitted up with several commodious drying ovens. Here the most competent men obtainable in the city are employed, and they are in charge of a decorative artist who probably has no equal in Australia. At their hands the poles, particularly the larger one, which admit of full decoration, undergo quite a transformation, and by the time they leave the brush of the principal decorators the rude work of .the foundry has been turned into a perfect work of art, a credit to the proprietors and their men. The posts are ornamented with groups and wreaths of flowers, and the head rail usually bears is the centre a medallion of exquisite design and workmanship. The larger twelve guinea bedsteads, ornamented with chaste designs in polished brans, might stand in competition with the world, for the workmanship is throughout of the most finished description, and the artistic work both attractive and appropriate. There are various appliances in different parts of the establishment for preparing the laths and for testing and pucking the bedsteads. An excellent and expeditious method of loading the vans is adopted. Gases the size of the vats are kept, and these-are always ready filled to be lowered by the hoist into the place of the empty ones. On the upper floor the stock is well displayed, enabling purchasers to make an assorted purchase, and not aa at the import warehouses, compelled to take one description of stock which, after one or two transactions, maybe left on the purchaser's hands. 

All the work with regard to this branch of the firm's business is under the immediate personal superintendence of Mr. John Forster ; and although the energetic founder of the industry, Mr. Stephen Forster, senr., is now in well earned retirement, he is generally on the scene of his former labours, imparting to his men the benefits of his experience. The firm do a large city and export trade, and have extensive transactions direct with the principal wholesale houses in the country districts, whither Mr. John Forster occasionally travels to extend or supervise their business connections, one cannot help but wish continued prosperity to them-a firm who have developed a trade by honest enterprise without the assistance of the selfish and pernicious principle of protection. S. Forster and Sons' Foundry and Bedstead Manufactory. (1879, March 22). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1919), p. 32. Retrieved from

Australian Beds for Australians' Comfort

MESSRS, S. FORSTER AND SONS enjoy the distinction' of being the oldest-established manufacturers of bedsteads and wire mattresses, with the largest output, in the southern hemisphere. Their business has expanded to such dimensions during 55 years of manufacturing that now the huge factory facing Mary Ann Street, ' Ultimo, has a ground floor of two acres, In addition to which there is a large and commodious wire-' mattress factory in Ultimo Rood. The Arm turns out hundreds of bedsteads each week, and employs, at both factories, 220 'workers in the allied industries. Normal times would bring the total to about 260. Under the supervision of Mr. .A Forster, a grandson of the founder, the business continues to grow apace, and its products have earned a reputation for excellence throughout the Commonwealth. Especially is ; this the case with the well-known hospital bedsteads manufactured by the firm. In addition, the output includes ice chests and metal hospital furniture.  


Despite the big losses suffered in the fire of nearly throe years ago, when the Ultimo factory was almost destroyed, Forster and Sons made a rapid recovery, and might be said to have recommenced their career -with doubled energy since that date. Most of the raw material, in the form of tubing and angle-iron, is imported from England, and, with this' exception, the business Is Australian throughout. Attached to the main factory- 1b a well-equipped foundry, where these lengths, of iron are cut and bent to suit, particular needs, and the constructed frames, tind sections are then trucked away for' painting. The 'preliminary operation is to dip the pieces in a large tank of enamel, then ' follows the fitting of the brass ornamentation. - After that, the various sections, which fit .nto ' each other like a eljfe, Wf> P»1 tppotber, the wire mattress is superadded, and the completed structure would be worthy the- repose of a king. 


An important feature of Messrs. Forster and Sons' business is the making of hospital bed-steads, designed to minimise discomfiture should the patient' have to be removed to the operating theatre. In many hospitals this could only be done by utilising a stretcher' for conveyance both to. and from the operating 'table. With the special bedstead, however, the patient may. be lifted— bed, bedclothes end all— onto the stretcher, and after the operation, put straight back to bed. The removal of a detachable headrail of the bedstead permits this result, which often means the prevention of a good deal of suffering ' through enforced - movement. 

The first model hospital bedstead made in New South Wales was manufactured by S. Forster and Sons, for the Sydney Hospital, and its stability, sanitary completeness, and cheapness captured the market. One strong recommendation was that the parts could be easily assembled, while due regard waB paid to structural strength. Special machinery has been invented for the cutting and bending of the metal work, and all posts are finished with such accuracy as to be interchangeable. The "Nellie Stewart" cot has been adopted by all the leading hospitals as the standard cot. It is strong and light, and the whole superstructure, may easily be detached, permitting nurse or doctor to attend to the child with the utmost facility. 


This fine and growing business was founded in 1859 by a young man of more determination than wealth— Mr. Stephen. Forster, senior, who saw in. Australia's future growth a sphere wide enough for the most boundless activity. With a few assistants and small plant he turned out twelve bedsteads a month, made of solid Iron. This element of permanence has always been a standing principle of the firm, and has been no unimportant factor in the commanding reputation for durability won by Forster and Sons' products. ' 


The big fire occurred on" the night of February 16, 1912, and though the major portion, of the extensive factory was consumed, pro-duction was restricted only for a brief period. Orders were met by purchasing every available bedstead in Australia. In addition, a temporary plant was installed in that portion of the building left undamaged, and willing employees toiled unceasingly to meet as well as they were able the desires of clients. The fire was also responsible for a flying trip by Mr. A. E. Forster to England and America, his mission being to purchase new stocks, and plant, irrespective of cost. lie was so successful that the new factory, as a going concern, is the finest of its kind within the Commonwealth, and the plant is of the most approved and modern description. The raw material is converted into a magnificently finished article, the workmanship being of the best skilled labor in Australia. The separate factory for the production, of mattresses was erected because accommodation at the main factory was found to be inadequate, and .it is of sufficient dimensions to carry" large stocks. 


Mark Twain declared that beds were - the most dangerous places in the world, as- more people died there than anywhere else. Without examining the logical processes leading to such a deduction, one could safely venture the opinion that it would not deter John Jones or Charles Brown from going to bed when he felt inclined. The same Brown or Jones wants n comfortable bed, however, whether he is going to die there or awake rejuvenated and refreshed. Most sleepers prefer the latter alternative, and 'the result is best attained when the bed is constructed with due regard to sanitary' principles, circulation of air, and climatic conditions. All these factors have been the subject of careful and .'painstaking thought by S. Forster and Sons. The result is a highly prosperous and very vigorous industry, and it may be fairly assumed that, with the 'keen attention of the proprietary to the methods that have proved efficacious for so many years, and by the exercise of vigilance for modern improvements; S. Forster and Sons' enterprise will flourish in the future, as its fortunes have grown inn he past. 

A Section of the Foundry, where Frames and Castings for Bedsteads are made. A truckload of Frames about to leave for the Painting Department.

Portion of the Paint Shop, where the Frames are dipped in White, or any Colored Enamel."

Corner of the Erecting Shop. 

General View of the Factory, from Mary Ann Street, Ultimo.

Australian Beds for Australians' Comfort. (1914, December 7). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 4. Retrieved from

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

In the will of Stephen Forster, senior, late of Stanmore, near Sydney, in the Colony of New South Wales, ironfounder.

NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof, application will be made to this Honorable Court, in its Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, that probate of the last will and testament of the abovenamed Stephen Forster, senior, who died on or about the 1st day of April last, may be granted to John Forster, of Sydney, one of the executors In the said will named, Alfred Goldsmith, the other executor, having duly renounced.—Dated this 6th day of May, 1888.


Proctors for the Executor, 88, Pitt-street, Sydney. 3443 6b. 6d. ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTION. (1888, May 8). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 3258. Retrieved from

THE FRIENDS of the late Mr. JOHN NEWLANDS are kindly informed that his Funeral will leave his late residence, Warkworth House, 4, Calder- street, Golden Grove, THIS (Wednesday) AFTERNOON, at 2 o'clock, for the Congregational Cemetery, Necropolis. BOOTS and GOMMESON, Undertakers, 163, King-street, Newtown.

THE OFFICERS and Members of King William III Loyal Orange Benefit Society are respectfully requested to attend the Funeral of their late Brother, JOHN NEWLANDS; to move from his late residence, Calder-road, Golden Grove, THIS DAY, at 2 p.m., for the Necropolis. T. S. TRILL, Secretary.

MASONIC : Lodge Manoah.-The Officers and Members, and also Members of the Craft, are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral or our late esteemed Brother, JOHN NEWLANDS, M.M. ; to move from his late residence, Warkworth House, 4, Calder-road, Golden Grove, THIS DAY, at 2 p.m., for the Necropolis.

By order of the R.W.M. P. FORBES, Sec. Family Notices (1889, March 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from



Probate has been granted in the will of the late Mr. Stephen Forster, who died at Ravensworth, Stanmore, on June 19. Under the will deceased's nephew, Ernest Alexander Newlands, of Mary Ann-street, Ultimo, and Joseph Thomas Juleff, stove manufacturer, of Wells-street, Redfern, are appointed trustees and executors of the estate. The household furniture and effects are bequeathed to the widow, Mary Forster. Deceased's dwelling house at Stanmore and his cottage at Katoomba go to the widow for life, provided she does not remarry. After the widow's death or her remarriage the properties are to become part of the residuary real estate. Testator devises his real estate at Stanmore and Balmain, and his half-share in the Iron bedstead manufacturing business lately carried on by him in conjunction with the representatives of the late brother and partner, John Forster, at Ultimo, and in the freehold and leasehold properties, plant, machinery, etc., belonging to the business; also the residue his real and personal property, to his trustees upon trust. As to the half-share in the business of S. Forster and Co., and the real and personal property belonging thereto, they go to his three nephews, Alfred, Stephen, and Ernest Alexander Newlands, in equal shares, subject to the payment by them in equal shares of an annuity to the widow.

The net value of the estate for probate purposes is £62,245, of which £35,926 represents the business stock, and £11,000 bank  deposits. WILLS AND BEQUESTS. (1907, August 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from


The will of the late Mr. Stephen Forster, of Messrs. S. Forster and Sons, iron-bedstead manufacturers, Ultimo, has been admitted to probate. Testator (who died at his residence, "Ravensworth." Stanmore, on June 6 last, appointed as his trustees and executors Ernest Alexander Newlands, of Mary Ann-street, Ultimo (nephew), and Joseph Thomas Juleff, stove manufacturer, of Wells-street, Ultimo. The net value of the estate is set down at £52,245, of which £35,926 is represented by stock, and £11,000 rests in the bank. To the widow, Mary Forster, testator, bequeathed his household furniture and effects absolutely, and .his dwelling-house, at Stanmore, and cottage, at Katoomba, tor life, on condition that she remained unmarried. In the event of her re-marrying, or dying, the properties are to become part of the residuary real estate. The half-share of testator in the firm at Ultimo, and in the freehold and leasehold properties, plant, etc., belonging to the business, was devised to the trustees upon trust for his nephews, Alfred, Stephen, and Ernest Alexander Newlands, in equal shares absolutely, subject to the payment by them In equal shares of au annuity of £208 to the widow so long as she remained unmarried. The residue of the real and personal estate is also to be held in trust, with instructions to the trustees to sell, and convert it into money, and out of the proceeds to pay the following legacies:— £100 to his niece, Emily Read, daughter of his sister, Mrs. Isabella Read, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England; £100 each to the children of his sister, Sarah Goldsmith, wife of Alfred Goldsmith Brisbane; £200 each to Stephen, Arthur and Charles Simpson, sons of his sister, Mrs. Fanny Simpson; £400 each to Mrs. Ada Juleff, wife of Joseph Thomas Juleff, and Edie Newlands, daughter of Ernest Alexander Newlands- £50 each to Jannelle Joy, wife of Frederick Joy, Mrs. Jessie Webster (formerly Joy), and the six children of Frederick Joy ; and £200 to the churchwardens of All Saints' Church, Petersham, for the general fund of the church. When these have been provided, the surplus remaining with the residuary real and personal estate are to be divided among testator's nephews, Albert Newlands, Ernest Alexander Newlands, Stephen Newlands, and Herbert Baimbridge Forster, in equal shares. LOCAL FORTUNES. (1907, August 16). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 5. Retrieved from

NOTICE is hereby given that the partnership hitherto existing between Stephen Forster, Herbert John Baimbridge Forster, and Arthur Ernest Baimbridge Forster, in the business of iron bedstead and wire mattress manufacturers, carried on at Mary Ann Street., Ultimo, Sydney, under the style or firm of "S Forster & Sons," has been dissolved by reason of the death of the said Stephen Forster as from the sixth day of June last. All debts due and owing by the late firm will be received and paid respectively by the said Herbert John Baimbridge Forster and Arthur Ernest Baimbridge Forster, who will continue to carry on the said business under the style or firm of "S. Forster & Sons."—Dated this sixteenth day of October, one thousand nine hundred and seven.


Signed by the said Herbert John Baimbridge Forster and Arthur Ernest Baimbridge Forster, in the presence of,—

W. S. Gray, Solicitor, 118, Pitt-street, Sydney.


Signed by Albert Ernest Alexander Newlands and Joseph Thomas Juleff, executors and trustees of the will of the late Stephen Forster, in the presence of,— George F. Williamson, Solicitor, 163, King-street. 1278 9s. NOTICE is hereby given that the partnership hitherto existing (1907, October 30). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 6044. Retrieved from


The new bedding factory of Messrs. Newlands Brothers, in Riley-street, Surry Hills, was officially opened by Sir William Lyne on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. A. B. Newlands, before the ceremony, conducted the visitors round the commodious premises, and the various machines were shown in working order.

Sir William Lyne then set the machinery m motion, and in the course of a long address said the firm had invested £25,000 in machinery which was capable of turning out 1000 bedsteads a month. He said the members of the firm were nephews of Mr- Stephen Foster, the founder of the bed-making industry in Australia, and had told him that only for the duty on brass tubing, which increased the cost of their output, they could successfully compete with all foreign goods. He then proposed the toast of 'The Firm,' which was drunk with musical honors. Mr. A. E. Newlands, in reply, said he had recently visited England and America, and had imported the best machinery available. There were now about 40 men employed by the firm, but in a few months, when the factory was in full swing, he hoped that about 160 hands would be kept going. NEWLANDS' BEDDING FACTORY (1908, July 9). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved, from 

Stephen Foster Newlands, 1880-1952

Son of ALEXANDER AMELIA MATILDA born at REDFERN married Elsie Louisae Mildred Rofe - Alderman of North Sydney Municipal Council, 1923-1931

Parents marriage: 1512/1873 NEWLANDS ALEXANDER LANE AMELIA  registered at WATERLOO


On the 13th August, at 25, Elizabeth-street, Waterloo, by the Rev. William Bradley, Congregational minister, Alexander Newlands, boiler-maker, to Amelia Matilda Lane, both of Sydney, N S.W. Family Notices (1873, September 1). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 1. Retrieved from 

Children of the union:


Father’s death: NEWLANDS ALEXANDER 13492/1915  parents: JOHN  ANNIE registered at ST LEONARDS

NEWLANDS.—July 7, 1915, at "Sorato," Morton-street, Wollstonecraft, Alexander, dearly loved husband of Amelia Newlands, aged 71 years. By request no flowers. Family Notices (1915, July 7). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from 

His father?:

NEWLANDS.—In loving remembrance of the late John Newlands, late locomotive inspector, N.S.W. Government railways, who departed this life suddenly at his residence, Warkworth House, 32 Calder-road, Redfern, on March 5, 1889, aged 49 years.

However long our life may be,

Whatever lands we view,

Whatever joy or grief be ours,

We'll always think of you.

Inserted by his loving wife, son, and daughters. Family Notices (1910, March 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 

These Notices ran each year into 1922

A quiet wedding was celebrated at St. Thomas' Church, North Sydney, on Monday, August 12, between Mr. A. E. A. Newlands eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Newlands, of Sorata, Morton-street, North Sydney, and Miss Ethel Williams, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Williams, of Wellington, N. Z. The Rev. F. Wilkinson performed the ceremony, and Mr. E. J. Robinson, the organ-ist, played the wedding march as the bride entered the church. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of white paillette silk, with an overdress of lace embroidered with pearls, the tunic being edg-ed with fringe. She carried a shower bouquet of lilies of the valley, and white sweet peas, and wore a gold watch bracelet, set with pearls and turquoise, the gift of the bride-groom. The bridesmaid was Miss Clarice Brit-ton, who wore white silk, with lace tunic, and carried a bouquet of heliotrope stocks. The bridegroom's gift to the bridesmaid was a gold bracelet. Mr. Alex Newlands was best man. After the ceremony the wedding break-fast was held at Sorata, the guests being limited to relatives of the bride and bridegroom. The wedding presents were displayed in the main rooms. Mr. and Mrs. A. E.A. Newlands later left for the Jenolan Caves, where the honeymoon was spent.

Mr. A. E. A. Newlands was tendered a dinner at Sargent's rooms, Pitt-street, on Saturday evening, August 10, by the employees of Newlands Brothers, Ltd , Surry Hills, on the occasion of his marriage, and was presented with a silver tea and coffee service. On entering the rooms Mr Newlands was received by the works manager, the employees' brass band playing the wedding match. The band, under the baton of Mr. P. Smythe also rendered selections during the evening. SOCIAL. (1912, August 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 


At the monthly meeting of. the committee of the Civil Ambulance and Transport Corps the following names', wore added to the list of-life honorary members, in recognition of generous donations to the £1000 fund for the purpose of purchasing an additional motor ambulance for the corps:-Mrs. Julia Levy, Mr A. Thorpe, Sir Allen Taylor, Mr. Samuel Hordern, Mr: Hugh Dixnon, Mr. Orwell Phillips, and Mr. Hartley Sargent. Of the others who gave liberally to the fund the following were already on the list of honorary life members:-Miss Eadith C. Walker, Mr. Lobbeus Hordern, Mr. Louis Phillips, Mr. S. F. Newlands, and Sir Alexander McCormick (£100 each). About £150 is still required to complete the amount needed. CIVIL AMBULANCE APPEAL. (1913, June 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 


A movement has been inaugurated with a view to securing a modern motor ambulance s for North Sydney, and at a well-attended a meeting held in the local town hall on Wednesday the chairman, Mr. A. G. Milson, estimated that about £1000 would be required to place the ambulance on the road. He made an earnest appeal to all present to use every effort to push the movement to a speedy and successful issue, and stress was laid upon the necessity of the local committees at the various centres renewing their efforts to arouse local interest and to raise funds.

Mrs. S. F. Newlands promised £50, and Mr. S. F Newlands undertook to raise £100.

Mr. Williams (president of the Northern Suburbs U.F.S. Ambulance Fund) reported that the United Friendly Societies anticipated being able to raise at least £100 for the fund; and Dr. Isbister informed the meeting that solid support would be forthcoming from the medical profession in the northern suburbs. Mr. J. Cameron, of the Civil Ambulance, has been appointed organising secretary of the movement. NORTHERN SUBURBS AMBULANCE. (1913, September 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

No. 19,966. APPLICANTS:—Alexander Newlands, North Sydney, David Clifford, Petersham, and Joseph Johnson, Petersham. LAND:—County Northumberland, parish Tuggarah, shire Erina, 7 acres 3 roods, 39 perches, at Tumbi Umbi, on Tuggerah or Budgewoi Lake,—part 48 acres, portion o over bar over ix (9

No. 19,967. APPLICANTS:—Alexander Newlands, North Sydney, David Clifford, Petersham, and Joseph Johnson, Petersham. LAND:—County Northumberland, parish Tuggarah, shire Erina, 28 acres 35 percnes, at Tumbi Umbi, on Tuggerah or Budgewoi Lake,—being land originally granted as 30 acres, portion 9 over bar over 11 (portion 122 of parish), to Edward Hammond Hargraves; adjoining properties of A. Newlands, D. Clifford, J. Johnson. NOTICE UNDER REAL PROPERTY ACT. (1915, July 21). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 4203. Retrieved from 

8493, Captain Alexander Newlands. Australian Army Service Corps. Awarded – MBE 6th October, 1919.

A valedictory was tendered on Saturday, evening at his mothers residence Sorata Merton-street Wollstonecraft to Mr Alexander Newlands a member of the firm of Newlands Brothers Ltd, who is leaving in a few days with the 20th Company Army Service Corps. There was a memorial ous gathering Mr A H Whitney alluded to the esteem in which Mr New lands is hold In business and social circles and paid a graceful tribute to the prompt manner in which he had laid business considerations aside and responded to the call of the Empire Mr Clifford spoke in a similar strain and Mr Anderson presented the departing soldier with a military bolt LIBRARY FOR SOLDIERS. (1915, November 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 

Alexander NEWLANDS
Regimental number 8493
Place of birth Petersham New South Wales
Religion Church of England
Occupation Manufacturer
Address 'Sorata', Norton Street, Wollstonecraft, North Sydney, New South Wales
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 30
Next of kin Mother, Mrs A M Newlands, Norton Street, Bay Road, North Sydney, New South Wales
Enlistment date 3 November 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll "3/1115"
Rank on enlistment Driver
Unit name Army Service Corps 20, Headquarters
AWM Embarkation Roll number 25/106/1
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A66 Uganda on 27 November 1915
Rank from Nominal Roll Captain
Unit from Nominal Roll 14th Company, Australian Army Service Corps
Fate Effective abroad (still overseas)
Medals MBE
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 113
Date: 6 October 1919
Date of death 29 September 1930

He returned via America, doing more research and looking at manufacture methods, as in post WWI 'times' the Newlands did not want to use imported German products anymore and wished to make the beds wholly within Australia. 

A Large and Growing Organisation

The Australian manufacturer is just as enterprising and as up-to-date as his overseas competitor. Granted the opportunity, he can produce articles comparable in every way with the overseas product to the- disadvantage of the latter. And he is in every way just as capable of founding a business and building it up until it becomes a vast industrial enterprise.

Power Bending of Bedstead Tubes.

The multiplicity of activities that are necessary under modern conditions for the production of even the more simple of our household necessities, is astounding. Take the manufacture of bedsteads for an instance. At the first sight this appears to be a commonplace and distinctly prosaic undertaking, free of unusual complications, and distinctly a straight-forward task. Yet the very reverse is really the case. If the manufacturer is to be reasonably independent and is to apply the principles of mass production he must assume control of so many processes and must conduct so many divergent activities that his works become a small self-contained community in themselves. This fact was very forcibly demonstrated recently upon the occasion of a visit to the factory of Newlands Bros., Ltd., of Sydney, who have one of the largest and oldest established manufacturers' of bedsteads, etc., in Australia. 

Raw Material. 

The first point that impressed one was the diversity of raw materials necessary. Ranging from pig-iron and angle-steel to machine needles and enamels and including such articles as acids for plating vats and tailors' cutting's for making flock, the purchase of so many different articles alone is sufficient to warrant the employment of an expert. Lithgow pigiron from the Hoskin's Iron and Steel Co., and steel from the Broken Hill Proprietary's works are used. In fact the Company seemed to take it as a matter of course that Australian products were their basic materials — not only from the point of view of National sentiment, but also because they were the best. This acceptance of the 'Australian-made' principal was general throughout the undertaking.

The Steel Frame. 

The first step in the process of making the frame is the casting of the corner pieces. This is carried out in the foundry, and the rough castings are then treated mechanically to remove the raw edges. For this purpose a rumbling machine is used, where the small castings are revolved at a high speed and working against each other serve to remove any roughness. In this section of the works the steel tubes are cut to the requisite lengths, and bent to the required angles in a machine which makes a .simple job of a once slow and tedious process.

A Multiple Punching Press in Operation.

In another section the angle rods are cut, drilled with the required holes and then welded to the ends an interesting process. From these sections the materials in their semi-manufactured state go to the assembling sections, whore they are brought together to the patterns and designs of which the company has such a wide range. The bedstead then presents an appearance of a rough, crude assembly of vari-coloured iron bars, of anything but artistic finish. But the next stage of their treatment alters all this — they are transferred to the enamelling section. Here the most modern appliances are in operation. A ' room looking like an enormous oven is the home of the 'sand blast.' Here the frame-work Is subjected to a spraying from a pneumatic hose, with fine grain steel sand. From this they emerge thoroughly polished and cleaned. Then they are enamelled by being dipped in a vat of the destined colour — and the public taste apparently demands a great range of shades — thence in racks to the great baking oven, itself as large as two or three rooms of a normal house. From this they receive the final touch by having added the plated pieces which have been produced in the plating, department, where nickel plating, copper plating and lacquering engage the sole attention of a considerable staff. Then to the packing room and on to the retailer. 

Wooden Beds. 

The same organisation is noticeable in this department. The raw material — here wood — is treated by mechanical process as much as possible, and the principle of moss production adhered to. Cut, carved, polished, and assembled, all to standard patterns, the work is carried on with machine-like regularity, ensuring the maintenance of the highest standard of quality. 

Bedding Factory. 

This alone is sufficiently Interesting to absorb the observer's attention. Whilst one section is operating machines that are teasing tailors and dressmakers' cuttings into the finest flock, another section is utilising other machines to tease .raw wool into that fluffy soft down which is now being used so successfully for bedding. Further along sewing machines are ; busy making the ticking into the s shapeless bags, that later on become the familiar mattress. 

Wire Mattresses. 

Here a multiplicity of activities is again discernible: machines threading ; many-ply wire into suitable lengths of mattress; another machine shaping, cutting, and bending the diamond shaped links, that afterwards fitted together become one style of mattress; wooden frames being fitted, trimmed, and stretched; steel frames being fitted — the whole, a scene of bustling activity, resulting in the. steady accumulation of mattresses ready for removal to the despatch room. 


The modernity of the whole plan of operation is Impressive. Not only is every employee engaged solely on repetition work, but he is .also doing this to a fixed specification, thereby ensuring the absence of any fitting work. The next point is the way in which the work in process of manufacture has been carefully routed so as to secure a minimum of transportation and handling, whilst in course of manufacture. It is only by the adoption of such methods that we can hope to maintain the standard of our products. 

The Product. 

The result of all this work is beds — single beds, double beds, twin beds of iron, brass and wood' hospital beds, cabin beds, wall beds, folding beds, in , fact one was reminded of Kipling's South African ballad 'boots, boots, boots, boots' only the refrain was altered to 'beds, beds, beds, beds, ail shapes, sizes, kinds, and classes, etc.' 

Any phase of the Company's activities is worth a full description, and in a brief survey like this one cannot do justice to the magnitude of their operations, but this fact remains outstanding, namely, that the Company, by modern methods and a careful and thorough attention to all details of their undertaking have built up a business of very great dimensions, with a reputation for quality which is well deserved. BEDSTEAD MANUFACTURE (1921, September 28). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from

This letter from Alex Newlands, from his War Records and when he lost his Returned Soldiers badge, shows the letterhead for the company, listing their products:


The Dyer family had a North Sydney Councillor too in Frederick.

NEWLANDS—DYER.—August 21, at St. Thomas's Church of England, North Sydney, by the Rev. H. N. Baker, Alexander, third son of Mrs. Newlands and the late Alexander Newlands, of Sorata, Morton-street, North Sydney, to Katherine Mary (Kitty), only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred. H. Dyer, Bonnie Vale, Edward street, North Sydney. Family Notices (1922, September 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 


A brilliant setting was witnessed at the residence of Mr. S. Forster Newlands, Woll-stonecraft, North Sydney, when night tennis was inaugurated under ingeniously disposed electric lights on the splendid court attached to Mr. Newland's home. The attendance was large, and a sum of £10 will he handed to the Rawson Seamen's Institute in response to Dame Margaret Davidson's appeal. A tournament ar-ranged for the occasion resulted in a win for Miss I. Fowler and Mr. Claude A. Wood, who won 13 games, which with handicap allowance gave a total of 18. Other results were: D. Bullough and Miss Carr, 13 guinea (1). jg; s Fowler and Mrs. Ferguson, 11 (3),; D. W. Dive and Miss B. Fowler, It! (scr.t, 18; It. J. Goodman and Mrs. Goodman, 13 (scr.), 13. Mr Newlands was highly complimented on the completeness of his wonderful enterprise. NIGHT TENNIS (1922, November 27). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 9. Retrieved from

Alexander Newlands (36), and Stephen Foster Newlands (40) between them control Australia's biggest bedstead and bedding factory, the whole three acres of it. One look Inside their factory is enough to make any man yawn. Fourteen years ago they started with a small place, and did £2000 worth of business In the first 12 months. Last year they hit the £100,000 mark.

Alexander Newlands once earned -6/- a week as a junior clerk In an engineering firm. His brother was a law clerk and later railway clerk. Neither job appealed to him, as he had to wait for someone to die to get a real start on the ladder: They now employ 200 men, and are the first firm to buy steel from the B.H.P.'s' Newcastle works since the re-start. Both the' Newlands believe in extensive travel to improve business education and methods. Their object In life Is to put people right after what Mark Twain said about beds being the most dangerous things on earth, because so many people died In them. The reason, they say, is because it Is the most comfortable place on earth in which to die. Anyhow, making people comfortable is their hobby.  YOUNG AUSTRALIA LOOSENS ZIFFS' GRIP ON COUNTRY'S BUSINESS MILLIONS (1923, June 30). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 9. Retrieved from 


The total amount raised by the appeal committee of the Limbless Soldiers' Association, N.S.W., according to the balance-sheet presented at the annual meeting yesterday, totalled £25,016/6/7. The amount expended on the aquatic club, apart from the actual purchase of the property, amounted to £5896/14/11 the sum of £10,000 was Invested for the club's upkeep, and £8000 was paid to the provident fund trustees. 

Officers re-elected included: President, Lady Street; treasurer, Mr. T. Fox; social organiser, Miss F. Alkman; secretary, Mr. Beyers; executive, Messrs. Easterbrook, S. R. Clark, G. M. Farrow, A. Newlands, M. A. Noble, F. G. Shrimpton, E. L. Sutton, A. N. White and Colonel Solater. LIMBLESS SOLDIERS' APPEAL. (1929, April 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from


Mr. Alexander Newlands has offered to contribute to the North Sydney Municipal Council any sum up to £ 150 to be used for the beautification of the part of Newlands Park under the council's Jurisdiction, on condition that the council should contribute £2 for every £1 offered by Mr Newlands. The matter was referred to the engineer for a report. NEWLANDS PARK. (1929, July 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved  from 

Finding Them Beds

WHEN Mr. Alec. Newlands, of Manly, heard that there were numerous destitute families without beds in North Sydney, he decided it was time to help. He asked the Mayor's relief committee to find 30 families needing bedding, and he would send along 30 new ticks and pillows. The first batch received immediate attention from Newlands Bros.' factory yesterday. People in the "Pic" (1930, July 5). Daily Pictorial (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from 


Mr. Alexander Newlands, O.B.E., director of Newlands Bros., Ltd., died at "Beltinge," River-road, Wollstonecraft, early this morning, aged 45 years. Mr. Newlands, who was born in Sydney, was keenly interested in all public matters. He had four years' service with the A.I.F., and for some time was in charge of the War Chest Club in London. He was a member of the Legacy Club and the Rotary Club, and was a Mason. Newlands Park, in River-road, North Sydney, is named after him. Mr. Newlands was a keen worker in the Ugly Men's competition conducted for the benefit of limbless soldiers. He has left a widow, one son, and two daughters. Alderman S. F. Newlands, of North Sydney, is a brother. The funeral will take place tomorrow. MR. A. NEWLANDS (1930, September 29). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from 


Manufacturer's Death.

Mr. Alexander Newlands, director of Newlands Brothers, Ltd., bedstead manufacturers, died at his home, River-road, Wollstonecraft, yesterday.

Born at Sydney in 1885, Mr. Newlands was educated at Petersham Public School. He obtained his early business experience with his uncle, the late Mr. Stephen Forster, a pioneer in the bedstead industry in Australia. In 1907, in association with his two brothers, Messrs. S. F. and A. E. A. Newlands, he founded the firm of Newlands Brothers, Ltd.

He served for five years with the A.I.F., attaining the rank of captain. He was also deeply interested in the War Chest Club, London, and was created a Member of the British Empire. Upon his return to Australia he was associated with the Legacy Club, Rotary Club, and Limbless Soldiers' Association, of which he was a member of the executive. He was also interested in civic affairs, and some time ago made a gift to the North Sydney Council of an area of land at Wollstonecraft, which is known as Newlands Park.

He leaves a widow, two daughters, Misses Mary and Barbara Newlands, and one son, Alexander. The funeral will leave River-road at 2.30 o'clock this afternoon for the Crematorium, Rookwood.

Owing to the death of Mr. Newlands, the meeting of the Limbless Soldiers' Appeal at the Hotel Australia, set down for to-day, has been postponed. MR. A. NEWLANDS. (1930, September 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 


The funeral of Mr. Alexander Newlands took place from his home in River-road Wollstonecraft yesterday afternoon to the Crematorium at Rookwood. Rev. H. N. Baker, rector of St. Thomas's, North Sydney officiated at the home and in the chapel. 

The chief mourners were the widow and children, Messrs. Stephen F and Albert E. A. Newlands (brothers), the Mesdames Newlands (sisters-in-law), Mr F. H. Dyer (father-in-law) and Mrs Dyer, Messrs. Alfred Newland and Alexander Bateman (nephews) Mr G. Bateman (brother-in-law) and Mrs Bateman, and Messrs W. and F. Britton, A. and E. Swadling, M. T. and A. Lane, A. Joy, E. J. Newlands, Gordon Murdoch, and Wassell (cousins) and A. Lane (uncle).

Among those present were the Lord Mayor of Sydney (Alderman Marks M.L.A. ), Lieut Col K. A. Mackenzie (representing the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia), Messrs D. F. Middleton, president, C. D. Lockhart, honorary secretary, Grant Hanlon, M. G. Wann, J. O. Sowter, and Sil Rohu (representing the Legacy Club) W. H. Wassall (Citizens' Reform Association), Aldermen Primrose (Mayor), Hardie, Spain, Watt, Brennan, and Brainwood, and Messrs H. E. Perry (town clerk) and A. Buckman (representing the Municipal Council of North Sydney), Sir Clifton Love and Mr C. J. D. Love (representing the Wollstonecraft Progress Community Association), Messrs. H. Cooper, R Allen, F. Dargan, H. Simpson, B. Quarrell, P. Thompson, H. E. Evans and F. Buckley (representing the Wollstonecraft Bowling Club), J. Fletcher (representing the North Sydney Bowling Club), W. M. Land, T. Fox, O. Byers (representing the Limbless Soldiers' Association), M. A. Noble, Harry B. Sievier (president), Frank L. Edwards (secretary), C. V. Potts, C. U. B. Gurnet, T. G. Truman, C. R. Hall and L. Napier Thomson (representing the Chamber of Manufactures), E. W. Beard, president (representing the Furniture Manufacturers' Association), W. M. Hughes, M.P., G. Gardiner, Frank and A. W. Crid-land, A. Williams, T. O. and A. K. McCreadie, H. A. N. Puddicombe, Joseph Griffiths, R. S. Mutton and T. K. Walker (Newlands Brothers Ltd ), J. H. King, W. T. Andrews, P. B. Bateman, M. D'Arcy, J. B. Jackson, S. Robertson, Lieut.-Col. H. J. Salier, Dr J. T. Andrews, Messrs. H. Haddon, A New-marsh, J. Rankin, C. Coyte, C. T. and Allen Elms-lie, T. H. Roseby and A. P. Mackie (Rotary Club), L. R. Weldon (general manager) and H. S. Adams (Manufacturers' Insurance), W. Holden, Albert Nettleton, H Brewells, A. H. North, T. Pitts, W. J. Coats, G. G. Tremlette, W. J. Coy, R. L. Jones, L. A. Southcote, and Rev. P. C. Nall.

Messrs W. M. Wilson, K. Kebblewhite, Stuart Morrison, Stanley Gentle, R. G. Sherlock, R. M. and N. N. Danks, Struan Robertson, F. A. Baylis, H. Crossman, G. C. Whitney, and Captain J. T. Green; Messrs. J. F. Anderson, H. Cleland, R. M. Somerville, John F. P. G. and Edgar Rofe, Rev. A. M. Ogilvie (Beecroft), Dr. C. Chapman and Dr. F. E. Gunning; Messrs. A. J. Seymour, J. Welsh, J. Harrie, H. Gregson, F. Cunliffe, F. B. Hall, J. W. Ellis, C. R. Mead, G. S. Austin, A. A. Campbell, J. O. Gibbs, T. Harrington, R. J. Burns, G. F. W. Dando, H. R. Scott, Forster, A. E. and Reginald Joy, H. Macourt, A. J. Smith, W. H. Anderson, W. Chase, D. H. Henty, and G. F. S. Donaldson, L. D. Clissold, and W. Coltman.

The beautiful floral tributes, which numbered about 80 were brought back from the Crematorium and were placed on the soldiers' memorial in St Leonards Park, North Sydney. MR. ALEXANDER NEWLANDS (1930, October 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved from 


Probate has been granted of the will of Alexander Newlands, late of River-road, Wollstonecraft, company director, who left an estate of £32,806. Testator, who died on September 29th last, at the age of 45 years, appointed the Permanent Trustee Co., Ltd., of New South Wales, his executors and trustees. He left £100 each to the Limbless Soldiers' Association of New South Wales, T.B. Sailors' and Soldiers Association of New South Wales, St. Thomas's Church of England, North Sydney, and the Royal North Shore Hospital. Subject to certain other legacies, the residue of the estate was left for the benefit of the testator's widow and children. LATE MR. A. NEWLANDS. (1930, November 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

In the Supreme Court of Now South Wales


In the will of Amelia Matilda Newlands, late of Morton street, Waverton, North Sydney, near Sydney, in the State of New South Wales, widow, deceased.

PURSANT to the provisions of the Wills, Probate and Administration Act, 1898, of the Testator's Family Maintenance and guardianship of Infants Act, 1916, and of {he Trustee Act, 1925: Notice is hereby given that all creditors and other persons having any claim or demand Upon or against the estate or being otherwise interested in the property and assets of the abovenamed deceased, who died at Waverton, near Sydney aforesaid, on the 4th day of July, 1931, and probate of whose will was granted by the Supreme Court of New South Wales, in its Probate Jurisdiction, on the 7th day of August, 1931, to Albert Ernest Alexander Newlands, the surviving executor in the said will named, are hereby required to send, on or before the 26th day of November, 1931, full particulars of their claims and demands upon the said estate or in respect of the said property or any part thereof to the said Albert Ernest Alexander Newlands, care of Messieurs Dalrymple and Blain', solicitors, 33-39 Hunter-street, Sydney aforesaid, at the expiration of which time the said Albert Ernest Alexander Newlands as such executor as aforesaid, intends to proceed to administer the said estate and to convey and distribute the property and assets of the said deceased to and among the parties and persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims and demands of which he shall then have notice and the said Albert Ernest Alexander Newlands will not, in respect of the, property and assets or "any part thereof so conveyed or distributed, be liable to any person of whose claim he shall not have had notice at the time of such conveyance or distribution.— Dated this 24th day of September, 1931.

DALRYMPLE AND BLAIN, Proctors for the Executor, Perpetual Trustee Chambers, 33-39 Hunter-street, Sydney. PROBATE JUBISDICTION. (1931, September 25). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 3374. Retrieved from

Mr. Alfred Stephen Forster Newlands — you've read his name in many advertisements and heard it innumerable times over the radio (he makes beds and sleeping equipment) wasn't very original in his alibis for absence from home. He used to tell his wife, Joyce May Newlands (formerly Berner), 27, of Miowera Road, Northbridge, that he was working back at his office. This week, on the ground of his adultery with Mary Anne Knight, of Addison Road, Manly, Mrs. Newlands was granted a decree nisi by Mr. Justice Nicholas. In March, 1940, she married Newlands, who was 31 at the time. Their married life was normally happy, according to Mrs. Newlands' story, until 1943. Then Newlands started coming home late. Always he used the same excuse — working back at the office. Said Mrs. Newlands: "After I'd heard this a few times, I rang his office to. see if he really was there. He wasn't. Then I got an inquiry agent to watch his movements. "In October this year we saw him pick a girl up outside Petty's Hotel, and we followed his car to French's Forest. It was night time. His car went off the road and parked in the bush. The inquiry agent went and peeped through the windows, but he came back again, and we didn't go over to the car. About a month later we followed my husband's car to Ramsgate at night. This time we went to the car, and I opened the back door. "My husband and this girl Knight were on the back seat. They were both naked to the waist. They sprang apart. The girl's scanties were on the floor of the car. She put them on hurriedly. I took her handbag and her shoes. They were on the front seat. She gave me a receipt for them. Both my husband and the girl signed a confession." PRESENTS REAL -- LIFE (1943, December 19). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 26. Retrieved from

Night Tennis Pioneer Dead

Mr. Stephen Forster Newlands, a pioneer of night tennis in Australia, died on Thursday, aged 71. Mr. Newlands, governing director of Newlands Pty. Ltd., hospital equipment suppliers, lived at Milner Crescent, Wollstonecraft. Mr. Newland was instrumental in installing the first lights for night tennis at White City. Night Tennis Pioneer Dead (1952, January 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

John Mort Family Notes


Mr. Laidley Mort, one of the leading men in the commercial community of Sydney, died at his residence, "Cadaxton," Double Bay, on Wednesday evening, the 21st inst., at 6.30. Mr. Mort was in his usual health on the previous day, and not the slightest indication of illness was perceived by either his business associates or the members of his family. At 4 o'clock on Wednesday morning, however, he was stricken with paralysis and remained unconscious until he died. He was attended by Dr. Scot Skirving and Dr. Morton, who did all that was possible to relieve the patient, but without avail. The Rev. P. B. Kennedy, O.F.M., of St. Joseph's Church, Woollahra, attended him in his last moments, and administered the consolations of the Church. Mr. Mort passed peacefully away, surrounded by the members of his family. 

The deceased was born in Sydney 63 years ago. His father, the late Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, who was one of the founders of the great wool and frozen meat industries, and a statue to him stands in Macquarie Place, Sydney. T. S. Mort also founded the great wool-broking firm of Messrs. Mort and Co., now Messrs. Goldsbrough, Mort, and Co. 

Young Laidley Mort entered Eton College, England, when he was thirteen years of age, and remained there for five years, when he returned to Sydney. After spending some years in New South Wales, he went back to England and managed the London branch of Mort and Co. for two or three years. He then returned to this State and was for a time in the head office of Mort and Co., of Circular Quay, Sydney, and when the amalgamation with Goldsbrough and Co. took place, he retired from the firm and became chairman of directors of Mort's Dock and Engineering Co., in succession to his late father. Mr. Mort remained Chairman of directors ever since, about 25 years, and in that position he upheld the high name in business of the founder of the firm. Mr. Mort was also chairman of directors of the Fresh Food and Ice Company, and of the Bodalla Estate, and in these positions his kindly consideration endeared him to everyone who knew him. Mr. Mort was a convert to the Catholic Church of some years' standing, and was devoted to the exercise of his religion. He left a widow, one son, who is studying to be a mining engineer, and seven daughters ; Mr. W. E. Mort, one of the directors of Mort's Dock; Mr. E. M. Mort, of Bodalla, and the Rev. Ernest Mort, of Gravesend, England, brothers; and Mrs. Selwyn, widow of the late Bishop Selwyn, of Melanesia, and Mrs. Atkinson Wills, wife of Admiral Atkinson Wills, sisters. 

The funeral took place on Thursday last. The remains were conveyed to St. Joseph's Church, Woollahra, during the morning, where a Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the deceased was celebrated by the Rev. Father Kennedy, O.F.M., in the presence of a large congregation. At 3 o'clock the cortege was formed and proceeded to the South Head cemetery, where the interment took place. The procession was a lengthy one, the funeral being attended by a large and representative gathering. The whole of the employees of Mort's Dock, the Fresh Food and Ice Co., and the Bodalla Co., were conveyed to South Head by special trams, and outside the cemetery they formed a procession and marched in front of the hearse to the graveside. The following priests took part in the offices at the grave; O.F.M., Rev. G. P. Birch, O.F.M., Rev. P. B. Kennedy, O.F.M., Rev. J. C. Coleman, O.F.M. Rev. G. P. Birch, O.F.M., Rev. P. B. Lawler, O.F.M. 

The chief mourners were:— Mr. John Mort (son), Messrs. W. E. Mort and E. M. Mort (brothers), the Rev. Wallace Mort, and Messrs. S. E. Laidley and J. A. Dowling (cousins). Among those present were:—Messrs. M. Lesley Herring, Kelso King, and Digby Smith (directors of Mort's Dock and Engineering Company), Mr. J. P. Franki (manager of Mort's Dock), Mr. Cecil Turner (accountant, Mort's Dock), Messrs. W. E. Mort, James M. Sandy, James Moir, and P. T. Taylor (directors of the Fresh Food and Ice Company), Mr. D. M'Fadyen (manager), and Mr. W. B. Doust (secretary) of the Fresh Food and Ice Company. There were also present the full clerical staffs of Mort's Dock and Engineering Company, the full clerical staffs of the Fresh Food and Ice Company, Messrs. L. A. Johnstone, T. W. Morton, and E. J. Sherwin (representing the Bodalla Company), also the clerical staff of that company, the Lord Mayor of Sydney (Alderman T. Hughes), Alderman J. Lane Mullins, Sir Fran-cis Suttor, Mr. F. E. Winchcombe (president Sydney Chamber of Commerce), Messrs. James Falconer and J. A. Wotton (representing Goldsbrough, Mort, and Co.), Mr. E. W. Knox (Colonial Sugar Company), Baron Zezza, Dr. Scot Skirving, Dr. Antil Pockley, Mr. Walter M. Noakes (general manager Clyde Engineering Company), Mr. Arthur Wigram Allen, Mr. E. P. Simpson, Mr. Frank J. M'Donald, Mr. Walter Macarthur Allen, Mr. Archibald A. Rankin (Newcastle), Dr. Kendall, Mr. Neville Griffiths, Mr. H. M. Stephen, Mr. A. P. Bedford (Permanent Trustee Company), Mr. C. R. Burnside (secretary of the Union Club), Mr. C. C. Lance, Mr. Robert Hay (representing the N.S.W. Butter-shippers' Association), Mr. H. M. Makinson (Makinson and Plunkett), Mr. David Anderson (manager Orient s.s. Com-pany), Messrs. Alfred J. Cape and Charles Cape (Cape, Kent, and Gaden), Mr. R. H. L. Innes, Mr. Haydon Cardew, Mr. H. B. Fran-cis (manager Riverstone Meat Company), Messrs. C. W. Wren and N. F. Christie (re-presenting T. S. and A. Bank), Mr. H. P. Owen, Mr. Henry Austin, Mr. Augustus Rob-son, Mr. Lucas, Mr. W. B. Foley (Foley Bros.), Mr. W. E. Booth (representing Mr. David Fell), Rev. North Ash, Captain Mark Breach, Messrs. H. A. Thompson, C. E. Finch, W. S. Clarke, Cecil Griffiths, F. Curtiss, B. Franki, G. D. Dampney, F. M. Rothery, E. B. Shaw, A. F. Robinson, Herbert Mann, Moffitt Burns, W. C. Scott, W. J. Agnew, James M'Mahon, E. C. Fosbery, F. W. Learoyd, J. W. Johnson, F. J. Bethune, G. M. Meri-vale, E. Moate, J. W. Street, W. H. Rothe, W. J . Rhoades, and others. There was a very large number of wreaths laid upon the grave. These included those sent by the board of directors, the manager, and the staff of Mort's Dock, the directors, manager and staff of the Fresh Food and Ice Company, and from the management and staff of the Bodalla Company.—R.I.P.

THE LATE MR. LAIDLEY MORT. (From a photo, by Freeman, Sydney.) 

MR. LAIDLEY MORT. (1907, August 29). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 22. Retrieved from



A quiet but pretty wedding took place yesterday morning at St Stephen's Cathedral when Mr J L Mort (only son of the late Mr James Laidley Mort and Mrs. Mort, of Sydney) was married to Miss Lucy Liebling Parker (daughter of Mr Erskine Parker, of Launceston) The Rev. P B Breen officiated. The bride, who was given awav by the Hon E B Forrest MLA, wore a beautiful gown of white satin, with ninon tunic, ornamented with cord and silver trimming, and finished with corded girdle. After the ceremony the Hon and Mrs G W Gray entertained the bridal party at a wedding breakfast at "Eldernall" Those present included Ins Honour, Mr Justice Real and Mrs Real, Miss Real, Hon and Mrs J.G Appel, Hon and Mrs E B Forrest, Rev Father Byrne, Mrs and Miss Jopp, and Mr and Mis G B Gray. Subsequently Mr and Mrs Mort left for Coolangatta where the honeymoon will be spent. WEDDING. (1911, June 8). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 7. Retrieved from


The funeral of Mrs. Mary Josephine Mort, widow of Mr. James Laidley Mort, took place yesterday morning in the South Head Cemetery. Prior to the funeral a requiem mass was held at St. Joseph's Church, Woollahra, by Father Corrigan, who also conducted the service at the graveside.

The principal mourners were Mr. John L. Mort (son), Mesdames G. V. Ebsworth, A. H. O'Connor, and H. P. Willis, and the Misses Queenie and Marjorie Mort (daughters), Miss Coveny (sister), Messrs. G. V. Ebsworth and A. H. O'Connor (sons-in-law), Mesdames Charles Webb and Leslie Victor and Miss Elsie Austin (nieces), Mr. Harry Austin (nephew), Mrs. Edmund Barton, Mrs. Harry Austin, Miss Crace, and Mr. H. S. Mort.

There were also present Mr. and Mrs. Ed-ward Knox, Miss Morehead, Mr. and Mrs. George Merivale, Mrs. Cyril Shepherd, Mr. F. Duboise, Mr. Arthur Duboise, Miss Gladys Owen, Miss Cape, Mrs. Harold Fairfax, Mrs. N. Macrae, Miss Macrae, Mr. Hanbury Davies, Mr. A. A. Wren, Mr. A. W. Jones, Mrs. Griffiths, senior, Mr. Cyril Griffiths, Mr. Owen Griffiths, Mr. Arthur Dowling, Mrs. Alex. Cox, Miss Cox, Mr. A. H. Martin, Mrs. Alex. Macleay, Mr. Hogarth, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. John Hughes, Mrs. Irving, Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Walter Merewether, Mr. Davis Allen, and Fathers Piper and Bartlett. OBITUARY. (1926, March 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from


The wedding of Miss Mary Mort, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs John L Mort, of Point-road, Balmain and granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Laidley Mort, of Bodalla to Mr Rupert White, of Wollongong, was celebrated at St Marys Cathedral on January 19, when the ceremony was performed by the Rev Father Gerald Bartlett.

The bride who was given away by her father, wore a gown of parchment satin. Her veil of cream tulle was held in place with orange blossom and pearls, and she carried a sheaf of cream gladioli, roses, and frangipanni.

Miss Jean Mort (sister of the bride) and Miss J. Martin were the bridesmaids. They wore frocks of maize organdie with tricorne hats to match. Their bouquets consisted of autumn-tinted flowers. Mr Ernest White (cousin of the bridegroom) was the best man, and Mr Jack White (brother of the bride-groom) was the groomsman.

The reception was held at the home of the bride's aunts, the Misses Laidley Mort, of Double Bay. The guests were received by Mr. and Mrs. Mort, the latter wearing a dress of black net with a hat to match.

When leaving for the honeymoon, which will be spent in Melbourne and Tasmania, the bride wore a coat of cream satin trimmed with black velvet. WHITE—MORT. (1932, January 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

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