January 22 - 28, 2023: Issue 568

 

The First weekenders on the Palm Beach Beachfront + a look into Palm Beach SLSC Clubhouses in the club's 101st season






EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1921). Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 7 Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162484891 - enlarged sections from to show the Hordern place beside first Palm Beach SLSC Shed, Curlewis home, Wolstenholme residence(with cows in front yard!) and Chorley's and the Peters' place, now The Cabbage Tree Club for PBSLSC Members and the Palm Beach SLSC members clubhouse (with horses in front!), where Members still bunk over the Summer Patrol Season. 

Further along James Brown Craig, the middle brother who worked at his father's company, Prescott & co. Pty Ltd "Commission Agents, Produce and Wholesale, Provision Merchants, Auctioneers", had title to three blocks on Ocean road in 1921. Here a house named Tigh-Na-Mara (Scottish Gaelic 'the house of the sea') was built next door to The Palladium but no longer exists - a victim of fire. A property given the same name was rebuilt on the same site and recently sold in 2016.



Tigh-Na-Mara. Enlarged sections from EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (circa 1917-1924). Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 7 Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162484891

This year the Palm Beach SLSC celebrates its 101st Season and remains one of our strongest and largest membership surf clubs, with volunteer patrol members committed to keeping people safe on this popular beach. Palm Beach SLSC is unique among the surf clubs along our peninsula in that it has a history of having purchased the lands and buildings used by members. These are among the earliest homes built along the beachfront and in buying these, and keeping them intact, the club has also contributed enormous heritage values to Pittwater.

However their purchase of blocks along the beachfront pales in comparison when you consider how many blocks of land Alfred James Hordern purchased.

As these original beachfront lots, when first advertised in January 1912, had been marked as sold by the second land sale in December 1912, it may be assumed they had purchased the same during that first land sale and taken advantage of the Barrenjoey Land Company’s offer of a £2 per Lot deposit, with the balance in monthly instalments of £1 per lot for every £30 of purchase. The Registration of Title dates show that came later in many instances.

William Chorley was certainly entertaining people prior to the official registration of Title for Lot 80. The newspapers of the past tell us:

BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY.
How many of the Sydney folk have heard of Palm Beach, situated on the neck of land ad-joining the Barrenjoey Lighthouse reserve and Pittwater Harbor ? One of those most glorious spots, given by Nature to the Sydneyites, where rest from the weary toils of the week may be enjoyed. 

As a comparative stranger in your midst, I would never, perhaps, have feasted on its exceptional beauty and the environs surrounding it had I not chanced upon a small red booklet, circulated on account of a land sale held there on Friday afternoon. I took the trip, at a cost of 2/6 return — cheap enough in all conscience ! — and on arrival at the pretty little jetty on the estate was so charmed with the natural beauties and picturesqueness of the scene that I feel it a duty to enlighten others of this most charming spot. A glorious day, one of happy Sydney's best, and the beauty of the scene at Palm Beach will long live in my memory. The harbor, with its beach of sand, hard and white, its clear and placid waters for the children, the wild, natural scenery of the hills, the living fragrance of the bush and the beautiful Palm Beach for the surfers, with its ever sounding ocean roar, contrasting strangely with the harbor's peace, and calm, the stately palms in the numerous gullies, and the whole scene clothed with a sea and sky, of exquisite blue. From the hills cape after cape comes into view, both north and south, and to the west we wee the Pittwater Harbor, with its numerous bays, "The Basin," Kuringai Chase, the majestic and awe-inspiring Lion island, Ettalong, and several other points of interest. 

If you have never been to Palm Beach, go. It would be difficult for me to express the treat in store. There is nothing I have seen on your coast to approach it, and it is a matter of much wonder to me that with a splendid service of cars from Manly, and subsidised by a regular launch service (1 1/2 hour from Manly), it has not been availed of ere this. 

The opening up of the estate will probably attract the populace, and I am informed Palm Beach is an ideal surfing one, and with all its other natural attractions should bring many an advocate to the shrine of its temple. The land facing the beach has been dedicated to the Council as a reserve for a public park. 

I understand that every lot was sold at satisfactory prices, including the pretty little bungalow residence recently erected, and the vendors must be highly complimented on opening up such a beauty spot for the permanent use of the people.
BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY. (1912, January 28). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126060685

At 7.30 on Monday morning a. very enthusiastic crowd of 80 to 100 friends assembled on the wharf at Palm Beach, Barranjoey, to bid farewell to Mr. W. Chorley and Mrs. Chorley and their daughters, of 'Mount Pleasant,' Cheltenham. The family have been staying over the holidays at 'The Rest,' which is their pretty seaside residence facing the ocean, and situated at Palm Beach. 

At 'The Rest' friends were right royally entertained, and received the Chorley family's usually abundant hospitality. Croquet tournaments were played, surf parties and plenty of music were indulged in, and altogether the holidays were very delightfully spent. There was great rejoicing when Mr. Chorley's private launch came alongside the wharf, which was overcrowded with sincere friends. The Hon. W. Tyler, of South Australia, made a most humorous speech; and Mr. Chorley responded in his usual happy way, and hoped that they and their friends would all be spared to meet again next Christmas. All joined hands and sang 'Auld lang syne' whilst the launch drew out from the wharf and steamed down the river. PERSONAL PARS. (1915, January 13). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86103157

William Chorley was a Master Tailor who also did well with cloth and uniform sales during WWI, although he had land holdings at Cheltenham as well as the Field of Mars. On August 7th 1925 he forwarded $10 to Warringah Shire Council to clear the lantana from the 'Palm Grove' (Wilshire Park), Mr. Hordern contributed the same amount at the same time.

He passed away on the 22nd of April 1935 and the value of his estate when assessed for probate purposes tallied at £63,522. The following records and newspaper extracts otherwise record these details as follows: 
OBITUARY. MR. W. CHORLEY. Mr William Chorley whose death took place on Monday at Cheltenham was a pioneer of that district where he took up land about 46 years ago and named it Cheltenham after his native town In England. He was also one of the first to build a home at Palm Beach. He was associated with all local enterprises at Cheltenham and was a prominent member of the Congregational Church of which he was a generous supporter for many years. 

The founder and principal of the well known business of W. Chorley and Co., Ltd., he had been associated with the business life of the city for more than half a century. He was 75 years of age. He is survived by two sons and seven daughters. The funeral took place yesterday at the Northern Suburbs Cemetery. A short service was conducted at the home by the Rev. R. E. Chapman. The Cheltenham Congregational Church was crowded for the memorial service. [Sydney Morning Herald, 24 April 1935, p. 10] 

PROBATE OF WILL. Mr. William Chorley, merchant tailor, late of George-street, who died on April 22, a widower, left his estate to his family, and appointed Mr. H. J. A. Chorley, his son, and the Permanent Trustee Co. executors of his will. The estate has been sworn for probate at £63,522. [Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 1935, p. 9] 

Misnamed one – is named 'Whale Beach' and actually Palm Beach

EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (circa 1917). Panorama of Whale Beach, New South Wales Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162483691 - view from further back along Sunrise road back towards beach road with Pacific road going up the hill – says ‘Palm Beach No.: 5’ at left hand base of pano. Part of those commissioned by Barrenjoey Land Company - possibly taken around same time those for Whale Beach panoramas and subdivision pamphlets were taken. Palm Beach Land Company cottage sold to Robson Scott on corner of Palm Beach Road and Pacific road opposite what would become stone Maitland home. Peters home still not present on beach, only Chorleys, so certainly circa 1917, possibly 1915-16.


Barrenjoey - Palm Beach Estate - Pittwater - Barranjoey Rd 1912 - part of brochure. Item: c052700024, courtesy State Library of NSW


Barrenjoey - Palm Beach Estate - Pittwater - Barranjoey Rd 1912 - part of brochure. Item: c052700025, courtesy State Library of NSW


Barrenjoey - Palm Beach Estate - Pittwater - Barranjoey Rd 1912. Item c052700030, courtesy State Library of NSW - H. Wolstenholme, solicitor to the estate.


Section from a RAHS photo showing Palm Beach Estate Barranjoey advert circa  1912. Item: c16402_0008_c , courtesy State Library of NSW

This first land sale saw the blocks available being snapped up by people such as Lucy Gullett (Sunrise road) or the members of the Brown family of doctors, on Ocean, Sunrise road and Pacific Roads, along with successful businessmen of that time such as Mr. Chorley, who did well selling cloth and uniforms during WWI and Thomas Peters, an engineer who was then engaged in building the Burrinjuck Dam. 
A few words from one who stated they attended the sale:

BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY.
How many of the Sydney folk have heard of Palm Beach, situated on the neck of land ad-joining the Barrenjoey Lighthouse reserve and Pittwater Harbor ? One of those most glorious spots, given by Nature to the Sydneyites, where rest from the weary toils of the week may be enjoyed. 

As a comparative stranger in your midst, I would never, perhaps, have feasted on its exceptional beauty and the environs surrounding it had I not chanced upon a small red booklet, circulated on account of a land sale held there on Friday afternoon. I took the trip, at a cost of 2/6 return — cheap enough in all conscience ! — and on arrival at the pretty little jetty on the estate was so charmed with the natural beauties and picturesqueness of the scene that I feel it a duty to enlighten others of this most charming spot. A glorious day, one of happy Sydney's best, and the beauty of the scene at Palm Beach will long live in my memory. The harbor, with its beach of sand, hard and white, its clear and placid waters for the children, the wild, natural scenery of the hills, the living fragrance of the bush and the beautiful Palm Beach for the surfers, with its ever sounding ocean roar, contrasting strangely with the harbor's peace, and calm, the stately palms in the numerous gullies, and the whole scene clothed with a sea and sky, of exquisite blue. From the hills cape after cape comes into view, both north and south, and to the west we wee the Pittwater Harbor, with its numerous bays, "The Basin," Kuringai Chase, the majestic and awe-inspiring Lion island, Ettalong, and several other points of interest. 

If you have never been to Palm Beach, go. It would be difficult for me to express the treat in store. There is nothing I have seen on your coast to approach it, and it is a matter of much wonder to me that with a splendid service of cars from Manly, and subsidised by a regular launch service (1 1/2 hour from Manly), it has not been availed of ere this. 

The opening up of the estate will probably attract the populace, and I am informed Palm Beach is an ideal surfing one, and with all its other natural attractions should bring many an advocate to the shrine of its temple. The land facing the beach has been dedicated to the Council as a reserve for a public park. 

I understand that every lot was sold at satisfactory prices, including the pretty little bungalow residence recently erected, and the vendors must be highly complimented on opening up such a beauty spot for the permanent use of the people.
BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY. (1912, January 28). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126060685

The patriarch of the Verrills family, Albert Verrills purchased the surveyors bungalow and, with Laurie Gallagher of Florida House, would be responsible for the forming of many of the roads wending up and over the hills as further parcels of land became part of the subdivisions. 


EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1917). Panorama of Whale Beach, New South Wales Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162483691 - view from further back along Sunrise road back towards beach road with Pacific road going up the hill – says ‘Palm Beach No.: 5’ at left hand base of pano. Part of those commissioned by Barrenjoey Land Company - possibly taken around same time those for Whale Beach panoramas and subdivision pamphlets were taken. Palm Beach Land Company cottage sold to Robson Scott on corner of Palm Beach Road and Pacific road opposite what would become stone Maitland home. Peters home still not present on beach, only Chorleys, so certainly circa 1917, possibly 1915-16.


Enlargement of Section from Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 6, New South Wales nla.pic-vn6149402, Enemark collection of panoramic photographs [picture] courtesy National Library of Australia, circa 1917 - 1924 (circa 1922-24 - Cnr.s of Pacific, Palm Beach and Florida roads with 'bungalow' on corner). Visit Albert George Verrills and Fred Verrills – Builder Of Bridges And Roads Within Australia During WWII – Builder Of Palm Beach Thereafter 

And after all that was done:

NOTICE UNDER REAL PROPERTY ACT.
APPLICATIONS having been made to bring the lands hereunder described under the provisions of the Real Property Act, Certificates of Indefeasible Title will issue, unless Caveats be lodged in accordance with the Third Schedule to the said Act on or BEFORE THE 21ST AUGUST, 1912.

No. 17,737. APPLICANT:—The Barrenjoey Company, Limited. LAND:—County Cumberland, parish Narrabeen, Shire Warringah, 437 acres 2 roods, on Careel Bay, Pittwater, and on South Pacific Ocean, and on road from Manly to Barrenjoey,lots 1 to 18. subdivision of Bassett-Darley Estate, and part 400 acres (portion 18 of parish), granted to James Napper;—exclusive of road 1 chain wide from Manly to Barrenjoey, the area of which is deducted from the total area; adjoining properties of C. Forssberg and M. M. Jones and Crown Land.
Diagrams delineating these lands may be inspected at the Land Titles Office, Elizabeth-street, Sydney.
W. G. H-WILLIAMS,
Registrar-General.
17th July, 1912. [362] NOTICE UNDER REAL PROPERTY ACT. (1912, July 17). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 4485. Retrieved from  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221604355 

Later that year a second subdivision sale was held using the same terminology that had proved so successful in January:

BARRENJOEY. PALM BEACH ESTATE PITTWATER. SECOND SUBDIVISION. 
THE ESTATE occupies an Elevated and Picked Position, Commanding Panoramic Views over THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND PITTWATER HARBOR. -.. The Lots to be offered have Frontages to: — , FLORIDA-ROAD, SUNRISE-ROAD, AND THE RESERVE: The latter are practically OCEAN BEACH FRONTAGE LOTS PALM BEACH ESTATE offers Many Comforts and Luxuries, such as — CLEAR. BRACING AIR. GLORIOUS HARBOR AND OCEAN VIEWS. SPLENDID HARBOR AND OCEAN FISHING. - 
HARBOR BATHS, AND SANDY HARBOR BEACHES FOR THE CHILDREN. Also, A BEAUTIFUL AND EXTENSIVE OCEAN BEACH FOR SURF BATHERS. PAY A VISIT OF INSPECTION. IT IS WISE TO INVESTIGATE, and then make it your WEEK-END HOME ' by securing a Block in this Second Subdivision. 
REMEMBER THAT THE WHOLE OF THE FIRST SUBDIVISION OF 90 LOTS WAS SOLD IN AS MANY MINUTES. THERE IS NOTHING TO EQUAL PALM BEACH THE GREAT FAMILY RESORT. With its many Pretty, Ideal Spots for the Holiday-maker, away from the Heat in the . . STATELY PALM TREE GULLIES. For which this Estate is Famed, with their Wealth of Palms and Ferns. 

THE ROADS ARE ALL FORMED, AND HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE LOCAL SHIRE. TORRENS TITLE. EASY TERMS. ON THE DAY OF SALE. MOTOR CARS AND MOTOR BUSES WILL RUN FROM MANLY PIER AT 9 A.M. AND 11 A.M. FOR BAYVIEW. THENCE BY FREE STEAMER TO THE ESTATE. RETURN FARE 2/6. ALSO A FREE LAUNCH "S.S. CORA" WILL LEAVE HAWKESBURY RAILWAY STATION AT 10.45 A.M. FOR PALM BEACH. TICKETS ON APPLICATION TO THE AUCTIONEERS. 
FOR SALE BY PUBLIC AUCTION ON THE GROUND ON Boxing Day, December 26, 1912 . AT 3 P.M. 
RAINE AND HORNE. AUCTIONEERS, 86 PITT STREET. 
Secretary to the Estate, E. E. G. de GYULAY, Esq., Somerset House, 6 Moore Street, City.
Advertising (1912, December 23). Construction : Weekly Supplement to Building (Sydney, NSW : 1909 - 1914), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article234757315


Barrenjoey Palm Beach Estate, Pittwater - 2nd subdivision - December 1912, the yellowed in lots are sold already. Item: c053460057, courtesy State Library of NSW

As so many Readers have enjoyed the Enemark panoramas digitised by the National Library of Australia shared through such pages as the series on Pittwater Street Names, particularly those used to illustrate the records in the Pittwater Roads II: Where The Streets Have Your Name - Palm Beach page, but have then sent in queries about who bought what and built first, AND Palm Beach SLSC is celebrating its 101st year of serving on the beach, this first page lends some insights into those first landholders, especially along the beachfront.


Palm Beach SLSC had originally been supported by the Barrenjoey Land Company in being allowed to store their original shed, to house a surfboat and equipment, on the block of land beside the Peters residence. They then built another shed which was erected on Horderns Reserve, at the end of Ocean Road. Thereon followed a series of complaints, mostly about noise and the 'ramshackle' appearance of this second shed, from Mr. Hordern, despite his being a supporter of the club from its infancy.  When considering he bought up all the land beside and behind him, he was clearly after unobstructed privacy, peace and quiet and enjoyment of the natural beauty of the place. Mr. Hordern also donated or loaned substantial amounts to the Warringah Shire Council, to finish the rockpool for instance. Researching the Warringah Shire Council records shows his requests were immediately met while others, making the same, were denied similar treatment and often went through months or years of inaction until they pointed out they would have to take legal action. 

Lots 87 and 88, then right at the end of Ocean Road, were first bought by a Gustavus Athol Waterhouse on July 3rd 1913 and then transferred to Alfred James Hordern on December 22nd, 1919.

Mr. Hordern went on to buy Lots 89, 90, 91 and 126, behind him (Vol/Fol 3405-43) in October 1922






Lot 86 was purchased by Ernest Ebenezer Way with the Certificate of Title being issued on May 4th, 1917 (Vol/Fol 2754-135) and onsold to William John Creagh, with the transfer registered on January 23rd, 1919. Mr. Creagh then sold his Lot to Alfred James Hordern with the transfer registered on April 16th, 1921, although this was not ratified until later as Mr. Hordern passed away in the interim. William John Creagh, a solicitor, was, along with Mr. Hordern's wife Caroline, one of the executors of his estate. 


Hordern home on Palm Beach circa 1921 - section from Enemark pano

Alfred James Hordern was the youngest son of John and Rebecca née Carr Hordern. John (1819 – 27 March 1864) was a son of Anthony Hordern, Snr. (1788 – 9 June 1869). A J Hordern (c. 1859 – 15 August 1932) had his main home, "Highlands" in Myra Street, Wahroonga. His father took his own life when he was just 5 years of age, his mother passed away at 48 years of age when he was a teenager. Anthony Hordern Snr. was executor for his father's will and he went into the family business. He had three brothers, John, William and Edward, and a sister, Eda.

FUNERAL OF MR. J. L HORDERN

The funeral of the late John Lebbeus Hordern took place on Saturday morning, leaving the residence of his brother, at Chatswood, for Gore Hill Cemetery. The chief mourners were his two brothers, Messrs. Edward Carr Hordern and Alfred James Hordern, and his sister Miss Borders. The officiating clergyman was Rev. H. G. J. Howe. The funeral was of an entirely private, character, only his immediate relatives and some of the older employees of the firm of Hordern Brothers being present. Mr. Hordern died at Auckland on February 23, aged 61, of pneumonia and heart failure, while on a holiday trip in New Zealand. His body was brought back -by the steamer Maheno, arriving on Friday last. FUNERAL OF MR. J. L HORDERN (1910, March 7). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116054764 

The home at Palm Beach was called 'Kalua' and held by the Hordern family until sold in 1978. He also had a love of his gardens and is credited with planting the first Norfolk pines along Palm Beach. 

Warringah Shire Council records from Meetings show:

R.T.McKay. 16/4/34, requesting that the long oak trees which are decayed at the bottom, on Hordern Park, Park Beach, be cut down, as they are about to fall and will destroy young trees planted by Mr. Hordern, or will injure his fence. Resolved, - That Mr. R. Howlett be given permission to remove the trees. (Crs.Hitchcock., Hughes) 64. Same, 16/4/34, requesting that the Water tables in Florida Road between Scott Road and the park, and between his place and Mrs. Hordern’s place, be improved, suggesting that the material from the gutter on the southern side of Florida Road be placed on the raised area on the north side. Resolved, - That a short section of Florida Road, about 2 chains, be ballasted to prevent the water crossing the road, the cost to be deducted from the Florida road vote. 65. R.L. Mortimer, 16/4/34, requesting an estimate of the cost of gravelling and tarring the frontage of his stores at Mona Vale. Referred to the Engineer for report. 


Palm Beach circa 1926-30, from collection of and courtesy John Cowper - taken from Hordern home grounds at Palm Beach


THE GOVERNOR AND FAMILY AT PALM BEACH. The Governor (Sir Dudley de Chair) has been spending a few days at the Palm Beach (N.S.W.) home of Mr. Alfred Hordern, which was placed at his disposal. The Governor is standing on the left facing Lady de Chair and Miss Elaine de Chair and her brother, Lieutenant Graham de Chair, A.D.C. THE GOVERNOR AND FAMILY AT PALM BEACH. (1930, March 5). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160633195 

LATE MR. A. J. HORDERN.

Probate is being sought of the will and codicil of Mr. Alfred James Hordern, of Myra-street, Wahroonga, who died in August last at the age of 73 years. The value of the estate has been sworn for probate at £79,431; these is also certain estate outside New South Wales. The trustees of the estate are the widow (Mrs. Caroline Hordern), Mr. Bruce Alexander Hordern (a son of the testator), Mr. William John Creagh (solicitor), and the Perpetual Trustee Co., Ltd. LATE MR. A. J. HORDERN. (1932, December 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16938014 

LATE MR A J HORDERN

The estate of Mr Alfred James Hordern, late of Wahroonga, who died on August 15, has been sworn for probate at £79,431. By his will Mr Hordern appointed Mr. W. J. Creagh and the Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd to be trustees and executors and bequeathed and devised his estate for the benefit of his widow and children and other relatives PROBATE OF WILLS. (1932, December 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16938723 

AT PALM BEACH

Although the rain spoiled the garden inspection at Mrs. A. J. Hordern's home, Kalua, Palm Beach, on Saturday, a large crowd visited the gardens yesterday. The proceeds will go to Graythwaite, the Red Cross nome. Mrs. Hordern entertained a house party at Kalua this weekend. Her guests included Mrs. Cecil Hordern, Misses Thelma and Dulcie Sheedy, Mr. and Mrs. Glive Savage, Mr. and Mrs. George Hull, Mr. and Mrs. Jim McLeod, Misses Joan and Lorraine See, Mrs. Vero Read, and Messrs. Arthur and Peter Hordern. [ Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), Monday 6 December 1937, page 10]

Long before he passed away he had been a supporter of the Palm Beach SLSC, until they moved their shed next door. A son of the Hordern family, Arthur, would continue to support and be a part of the club after A J  passed away:

PALM BEACH AWAKE. Palm Beach awoke from its Winter slumber last Sunday, and held its second annual meeting. The following officers were elected : Patron, W. J. Barnes; president, A. J. Hordern  vice presidents, J. Goldsmith, T. Peters, D. B. Wilshire and E. R. Moser; committee, J. Ralston, M. Loxton, A. Goddard, S. Gonsalves, L. Gallagher; captain, Adrian Curlewis ; boat captain, A. Goddard ;vice-captain, N. Holt ; hon. secretary, L. A. Palmer ; hon. treasurer, N. H. Erwin. R. D. Doyle, hon. 

Examiner in chief S.L.S.A.A., was the guest of the club over the week-end. He made a fine speech at the annual meeting, and later instructed the members on the new R. and R. methods. The club is in a flourishing state. The annual carnival will be held on New Year's Day. Palm Beach will entertain all competitors at luncheon. A fine band has been engaged, and entry to all events is to be free. 

Mr. T. Peters has presented the club with a 600gal. tank, two showers, a pump, and sufficient guttering and downpipe for the completion of the clubroomWHAT'S DOING ON THE SURF BEACHES. (1923, December 7). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103537126 

John Thompson Ralston also didn't like the new shed, even though he too was a supporter of the club, his son a member and the man who went in after the gentleman whose loss sparked the formation of the club. Newspaper reports carried the tragedy to their readers far and wide, some even reporting the rescuers had to run over the hill to the store at Gow's wharf to telephone for help, there being no Ocean road yet at Palm Beach, the only access, and telephone, was over the Palm Beach road.

Jean Curlewis, sister of Adrian Curlewis, in her book 'Beach Beyond', a fiction work based on early days at Palm Beach, speaks about this tragedy. Her brother was on the sand that day, as was good friend, 'Jack' Ralston. That newspaper article and Minutes form Warringah Shire Council Meetings:

BEACH TRAGEDY.
A LOST HERO.
GIRL ALSO DROWNED.
MAGNIFICENT RESCUE ATTEMPTS
SYDNEY, Sunday.

An epic tragedy, in which the sadness of death was brightened by cool unflinching heroism, was enacted at Palm Beach, a seaside resort near Broken Bay, this afternoon, when Johanna Rogers, 33 years of age, of Leichhardt, and Lieut.-Colonel Marks lost their lives in the surf.

The picnics party arrived, at the beach, which is far removed from habitation, about mid-day, and shortly afterwards, several of them went into the surf. Johanna Rogers got into difficulties and was carried out to sea.

It was some minutes before her plight was noticed, when two members of the party unhesitatingly plunged in and attempted to swim out to her. But the distance was too great, and the would-be rescuers were compelled, by a common-sense regard for their own lives and recognition of the uselessness of trying to go further without life-lines, to return to the beach, where they fell down helplessly exhausted.

Then a life-line was improvised out of tent ropes and the like, and with this fastened to him, Lieut.-Colonel Marks went out into the breakers. He passed the three lines of surging waves successfully, and was well out into the rolling water beyond, when the line broke. Thereafter the gallant soldier was seen no more.

Other members of the party, undeterred by this tragic event, made repeated efforts to reach the two, fighting for life against current and waves, and eventually a man named Ralston, after a tremendous fight with the pounding waves, reached the girl.

Already very weak from his long and exceptionally hard swim, Ralston seized the still body and doggedly turned back towards the beach.

Then began a battle for life such as has never been seen before on the Australian Pacific coast. Time after time his companions on shore, some already worn out by their efforts, praying for his success, saw him go under; time after time he struggled to the surface again and forged desperately on towards the shore and safety. Fierce waves rolled him over, tossed him about, played with him and the girl which they had claimed as victim, like corks, but he plunged on and on. After what seemed an age to the agonised watchers on the shore, he got into the breakers and was swiftly carried into shallow water. Willing hands pulled him and the girl on to the dry sand, and feverishly set about trying to restore animation in the still body of the girl.

But their efforts were in vain. She was dead.

Ralston soon recovered from his ordeal, and with several others of the party who narrowly escaped drowning themselves, accompanied the saddened party to the nearest habitation, whence the police were communicated with.

There has been no further news of Lieut. Colonel Marks. BEACH TRAGEDY. (1920, January 30). The Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard (NSW : 1913 - 1921), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116182266

23. J. T. Ralston, 19/7/23, protesting against the "so-called Boat Shed." being erected on the Reserve close to his fence at Palm Beach. Resolved, - (Crs. Campbell, McKillop) That the matter be left in the hands of the Representatives of the Riding. 

10. Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club 20/10/24, requesting that the road along the beach be continued to the southern corner of the beach...repairs to....request for urinal...   Resolved, — (ers. Hitchcock, Hewitt) That repairs to the rock-bath be effected without delay and a urinal be constructed in the men's dressing shed, as requested. 

 PBSLSC -The First Shed and First Surf Boat: Left; Merle Loxton, Laurie Gallagher, Tim Gonsalves and Sydney Gonsalves. H.R. Ayres and Harold 'Midge' Gonsalves. Right; Adrian Curlewis, Len Palmer, M Ormsby. Picture Courtesy Philippa Poole - daughter of Adrian Curlewis.


the second shed. Photo: Philippa Poole (daughter of Adrian Curlewis)

Above: Sections and whole of  from Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 7, nla.obj-162484891, PIC P865 Enemark collection of panoramic photographs [picture] courtesy of the National Library of Australia - the shed in the far left corner is the second Palm Beach SLSC Shed and its proximity to Mr. Hordern's weekender.


Palm Beach SLSC 'Sheds' -  Looks like it's their first boat built by W. Holmes within. Photo: Bill Goddard

Electing Mr. Hordern President did not help. Pointing out that launching the surf boat to save people was faster using the channel that runs alongside the southern end rocks did not help. Despite support from SLSA, by August 1929 Warringah Shire Councillors presented a litany of their own complaints against the club, many of them hearsay and not based in facts, culminating in the removal of the shed from the public land that is Hordern's Reserve. At a Meeting held on August 7th the Council voted to remove the clubhouse from the reserve and for the construction of another further along the beach.

Further, there would be added costs for this new clubhouse, which the council expected the members to meet, and atop that, the council stated it considered the materials the members had purchased and used to build the second clubhouse as its own property and these could not be sold by the club to meet those costs. 

By December 1929 this building opened, south of the council dressing sheds. This structure comprised a club room, shower room, casualty room, lavatory, verandah and boatshed. Water came via a well and windmill, with any additions funded by members.


Adrian Curlewis, circa 1929/30 at Palm Beach - photo courtesy Philippa Poole - daughter of the 'Father of Surf Life Saving' - 'During the 1930’s our family spent summer holidays at Palm Beach. This photo (above)of my father standing on his head followed him through life  - particularly later in life when his career moved on to the role of a dignified District Court Judge.'  - Philippa Poole, 2011

WEARY surfers of the afternoon forgot their sunburn, donned bright clothes, and made for The Rendezvous at the Golf Links at Palm Beach last night to dance, in aid of the building fund of the new clubhouse for the Palm Beach Surf Life-Savers. No more propitious date could have been chosen by the organisers, Palm Beach is just full of visitors who are in holiday mood. 
The organising secretary was Mrs. A. Samuel. 
More than two hundred turned up, among them being Miss Elaine de Chair, Misses Marjorie Luscombe Newman, Claire Curlewis, Nancy Bavin, Shirley Dent, Lesly Martin, Barbara Smart, Gwen Brown, Jill Daley, Elspeth Macpherson, Elsie McWilliams, Mr. and Mrs. Pat. Levy, Mr. and Mrs. Graham Pratten, Mr. and Mrs. John Gunnin, Mrs. - Dick Allen, and Messrs. Eric Luscombe Newman, Douglas Levy, Bing Carson, Norman Hill, George Maiden, John Mant, Dr. Geoffrey Maitland. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hynes, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Arnott, the Neville Mannings, Gwen Coombe, Molly Wolfcarius, and Mary Winter Irving. from Bourke to Pitt Street (1929, December 29). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225155970 

Once they had moved in the club members sought further alterations and engaged a Newport builder to complete these. They informed the council of their plans to construct a surfboard locker under the clubhouse to store the members by then 16 surfboards - PBSLSC led the charge in having boards added to surf lifesaving equipment - they also wanted to build a fence. The council objected and refused to allow them to do so. 

The treatment by the council commenced the members decision to remove the council's interference on the club's affairs. There would be a fourth edition, or slight expansion of the building in that same location in 1933, the last under the council dictates:

SURFING
Palm Beach Happy With A Cash Surplus

All is well with the Palm Beach Surf Club, for at its annual meeting last night the financial position showed a surplus of £51/11/11. 

The feature for the year's activities was the erection of what is known as the "Bunkhouse." This provides sleeping accommodation for twelve. The facilities thus provided proved of inestimable convenience to members on patrol. Electric light had been installed throughout the club house, while the casualty room, mainly through the generosity of Mr. G. M. Merivale, was re-lined and thoroughly re-conditoined. 

During the season It was deemed advisable, to facilitate the training, of the boat crew in town; to purchase a boat from Dee Why Surf Club at a cost of £25. A further £19 was spent on reconditioning, so the club now owns two boats, both in excellent condition. Gear had been inspected, and found to be in efficient condition. 

The Officers Elected 

Regret was expressed that Gordon Morrow was not available this season as permanent life-saver, but the club had been fortunate in securing the services of Mr, J. H. Christie, of Dee Why, .who will commence duty at the beginning of December. Officers elected for the present season were: — Patron. Mr. Percy Hunter; president. Mr. E. R. Moser; vice-presidents; His Honor Judge Coyle, Messrs. R. T. McKay, W. J. Barnes, C. R. Crossman, D. B. Hunter, E. B. Harkness, W. W. Woodley, L. Gallagher, A H. Curlewis, J. M. Ralston, E. A. Box. J. P. Mant, B. B. Wiltshire, K. Hunter, A. M. Lamport, Commander Vitalli, Councillor Hitchcock; captain, B. V. Kenny; vice-captain, J. Hall-Johnstone, boat captain. G. E. R. Brown; hon. secretary, G. Wray; hon. treasurer, L. M. Moyle: hon. chief instructor, K. Hunter; gear steward, N. F. Brown; delegates to S.L.S.A., Messrs. K. Hunter. B. V. Kenny; hon. solicitor, Mr. J, M. Ralston; hon. auditor, N. H. Routley; hon. medical officer, Dr. D. G. Maitland; committee, Messrs. C. N. Walker. I. G. Kell, D. Carr, G. B. Morrow. J G. Rohr, J. H. Pilcher; trustees of club property. Percy Hunter, E. R. Moser. SURFING (1933, October 11). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247166389


Palm Beach frontage, circa 1925 - postcard courtesy Australian Museum

Palm Beach frontage circa 1929-31 - postcard courtesy Australian Museum


Above and below from: Society Colonizes at PALM BEACH (1932, January 3). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230522647 


Palm Beach frontage 1935: PON photos collection

Lot 80, originally bought by William Chorley and which housed his beachfront home called by him ‘The Rest’ has become ‘The Cabbage Tree Club’ – the club also purchased Lot 81 beside it.





Percy Hunter, then Patron of PBLSC, and Eldred Roger Moses, who had first mooted the idea of a 'club' at Palm Beach and bought Lucy Gullett's Lot up on Sunrise Hill, along with Kenneth 'Pete' Hunter, Captain of the club, arranged the mortgage for the purchase of Chorley's when William Chorley passed away. 

The purchase came at a time when the club was seeking to extricate itself from being under the rule of the then Warringah Shire Council and during the time the same was rearranging what would be on the beachfront, which then included the clubhouse/bunkhouse, to build what would become the Palm Beach Pavilion. PBSLSC was further helped when the original asking price for the large premises was reduced from £1750 to £1520. 

With an interest free loan from the son of J T Ralston, John Malbon Ralston, an early Palm Beach surfer and club member, along with raising funds through appealing to those visiting the beach and new memberships, the club secured their first step into autonomy and ceased being a tenant of the council.

Left to right. Miss Sue Russell, John (Jack) Ralston PBSLSC with Alrema Samuels on right circa 1934-36 with 9 foot surfboard. Image No.: hood_02985, and below: hood_02978h. Titled 'Man and woman with 9 foot wooden surfboard' - Jack and Alrema again. Both courtesy State Library of NSW.

Unfortunately Mr. Moses passed away soon after the mortgage was arranged although his family held onto his weekender on Sunrise road until recently.



Lucy Gullet Lot 151 - sold to Eldred Moses in 1922

OBITUARY.
MR. E. R. MOSER.

Mr. Eldred Roger Moser, chairman of directors of Schute, Bell, Badgery, Lumby, Ltd., woolbrokers, died at his residence at North Sydney on Friday. He was one of the oldest personalities in the wool trade in Sydney, having been associated with it for more than 50 years. He was one of the original partners of Schute, Bell, and Co., Ltd., which began operations in 1906. He was also a director of the Sun Insurance Office, Ltd.
He was president of the Palm Beach Sun Club, and a member of the Union Club and the Royal Sydney Golf Club. He was unmarried.
The funeral took place privately at Rookwood on Saturday.
OBITUARY. (1937, September 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17398590

Eldred Roger Moser bought his house from Dr. Lucy Gullett  and named it "Four Winds". The 1534 sq m Sunrise Road holding with sandstone cottage has been in the family since 1922, when wool broker Eldred Moser bought it for £1025 from pioneer doctor Lucy Gullett, who had paid £100 to the Barrenjoey Company in 1917. 

''Eldred Moser was an eccentric old bachelor who wore a panama straw hat and outlandish clothes and lived with a spinster sister named Mildred. The holiday cottage was at 40 Sunrise Road, Palm Beach on Spinsters Hill, and often had groups of the office staff down there on week-ends, I had been included in one such party in 1929. Mildred Moser kept a daily diary of events, written in a household note-book, which is a family treasure. In it there is a record of the roof blowing off in a storm in 1928, and the decision to re-name the house "Jeeda."- from ''A  life Enjoyed'' text - The memoirs of James Russel Shorter.

Spinsters Hill, overlooking Palm Beach Golf Course, was the locals' name for Sunrise Hill; so called because, when the area was subdivided for sale, nearly all the blocks were bought by women. 
Other sources state Eldred Moser bought his house from Dr. Lucy Gullett in 1917 and named it "Four Winds."

He was a foundation member of the Palm Beach Golf Club and President of the Surf Life Saving Club from 1933 to 1935. 


Sections from: Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, No. 9 [picture] / EB Studios - from National Library of Australia Album, PIC P865 LOC photographs in Hurley Stack 52/4-Enemark collection of panoramic photographs [picture] PIC P865/207/11 LOC Nitrate store/nla.obj-162486332

Percy Hunter was the founding Director of the NSW Government Tourist Bureau, formerly the NSW Immigration and Tourist Bureau, in 1906. His official trips to England and particularly America promoted Australia as a country for travel and investment. In 1913 he was appointed jointly by the Governments of NSW and Victoria to organise the amalgamation of their respective immigration offices in London. He was a Honorary Vice-President of The Hands Around the Pacific Movement, organised in Hawaii in 1908 to advance the interests of all Pacific communities. His son, David Blair Hunter, was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1923. He was also among those who helped establish Perisher ski resort, along with Charles Kerry and Careel Bay habitué, Herbert Schlink

Kenneth Hunter was an early Captain of Palm Beach SLSC.


Chorley's - section from Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 7, nla.obj-162484891, PIC P865 Enemark collection of panoramic photographs [picture] courtesy of the National Library of Australia.



Chorley's - current Day Cabbage Tree Club, PBSLSC


The Members celebrate their acquisition:

PIRATES AT PALM BEACH 
PALM BEACH was en fete yesterday afternoon for the super cocktail party given by the committee of the Palm Beach Life Saving Club in celebration of the acquisition for a club of Mr. Chorley's former home and about two hundred visitors went for the fun. As the Pirates' dance, organised by the club, was held later in the evening at Howlett's store, many of the guests went along in their pirate clothes. The greatest revelry was the order of the day and night, and everyone of the Palm Beach habitues was present. Among the crowd assembled were: Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Curlewis, Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Curlewis, Mr. E. Moser, Miss Moser. . Mr. and Mrs. Warwick Fairfax, Mr. and Mrs. George Campbell, Miss Sheilah Pring, Mr. and Mrs. Graham Pratten, Mrs. Alrema Samuels, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Langley. Mrs. Byram Mansell, Captain Rex Beale, Mr. and Mrs. Laurie Foster. Mr. and Mrs. Dan Carroll, the Misses Rutherford, Mrs. W. Barnes and the Misses Barnes, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Meyers, Mr. and Mrs. Moss, Mr. and Mrs. John Ralston. Mr. Hagon. Dr. and Mrs. R. M. Mackay, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Spencer. COLORFUL LEAP YEAR CARNIVAL (1936, February 23). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 36. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230085108 

PIRATES at PALM BEACH
ONE of the cheeriest dances of the season was the Pirates' Dance, staged by members of the Palm Beach Surf Club, at Howlett's Store, Palm Beach, last Saturday.

Apparently the idea of the correct costume for a pirate is not a universal one, for the dancers displayed a marvellous variety of ideas in their dress. Massive ear-rings, knotted bandanas, and a profusion of blood-curdling scars, half-covered by long, black moustachios and beards, were the chief disguises of the men, but further than that they refused to agree.

Some of them wore full, short skirts of garish cotton cloth; some were in shorts with knee-boots; and others proclaimed by their costume that no pirate wore anything but long, black trousers with black shirts and gaily-coloured scarves round the waist.

Tattooed skull-and-cross-bones across their chests and backs were featured by many of the men, while dozens of bottles of red ink must have been used to achieve the gory stains on daggers, cutlasses, and ragged shirts.

"A piratical maid-of-all-work"-Miss Jean Black. 
Mrs. F. R. Gale is captivated by Mr. Colin Gildefs realistic piratical make-up.
Miss Joy Flower looked a very attractive "pirate" lass as she danced with Mr. O. Davis.

FEW WOMEN AS PIRATES.
Very few of the women appeared in full pirate dress, preferring to wear their ordinary shorts or slacks with a bright spotted or striped scarf tied round the waist, with sometimes a matching scarf at the neckline.
Those who did dress the part had brief tattered shorts and torn shirts with bizarre coloured bandanas, and brilliant red and black was used for most of the costumes. Black was used, too, for the hats, with a white skull grinning above crossed bones.

(Top, left.) Commander C. M. E. Gifford and the leader of the orchestra entertain the "pirates" with a concertina song-and-dance. (In circle.) As Mr. Jim Singer swings his cutlass, Miss Marjorie Middleton and Miss Betty Munro express joy and horror respectively. (Above.) A fierce struggle between Mr. Geoffrey Moss and Mr. Des. Carr is watched by Miss Joy Flower and Miss Josephine Powell.

Not so very long ago, dancing in Sydney was looked upon as solely a winter pastime, as none of the men cared to wear their thick dress-suits and career around a dance floor during the hot summer months-and, after all, the girls could hardly have a dance without any male partners.
But since some bright soul had the brilliant idea of holding a "beach dance" to which the guests were bidden to come in shorts and shirts, the vogue for summer dances has been steadily increasing.

At all the popular summer resorts such at Palm Beach, Collaroy, and Terrigal, scarcely a night passes with-out someone entertaining at one of these informal parties.
Women have quickly adapted their fashionable wardrobes to provide for these occasions. In addition to their more useful outfits for day-time wear at the beach, they now appear in the evenings in slacks or shorts of gaily patterned silks with matching shirts or quaint sun-tops.
"Pirate" stories are being exchanged in this group.-From, left to right (standing): Miss Laurie Barnes, Mr. Geoffrey Major, Mr. Len. Randerson, Miss Jean Hosking, Miss Cynthia Butler, Miss Margaret Anderson, Mr. Peter Ruelberg, Mr. Des. Carr, Miss Joy Flower, Mr, O. Davies. Sitting (from left to right): Miss Bobbie Mayo, Miss Josephine Powell, Mr. Bill Bathgate, and Mr. J. Else-Mitchell.

NEW CLUBHOUSE.
The dance was held to celebrate the acquisition of Mr. Chorley's former home as a new clubhouse for the members, and they entertained at a cocktail party there before the dance. It is a two storied house, facing right on to the beach, and has two wide verandahs, which will probably be used for many of the surf club dances next season.

A quaint flight of curved stone steps leads up to the back of the house, where there is a flagged stone porch opening on to the lawns, surrounded by palm trees and natural bush.
Many of those who attended the cocktail party in their beach shorts and shirts were quite un-recognisable when they appeared later at the dance in the pirate disguises. Pirates (1936, February 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12 (Women's Supplement). Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17333452 







The Cabbage Tree Club is filled with Palm Beach SLSC memorabilia, including John Ralston's original surfboard. Fiona Rae, Annabelle Chapman, Diane Van Ooi and Karen Begg, that multi-medalling Palm Beach SLSC Ladies Masters team used the clubhouse as where to conduct the 2015 interview for their Profile. Guests are allowed.

The wonderful and lovely Ian Curlewis (R.I.P.), son of Adrian, also provided a quick tour in 2016 when Pittwater Online was finalising a page on John Ralston's surfing - some pictures:









Doug and Sandy Menzies at 2016 Sir Adrian Curlewis Twilight Carnival for Masters, then SLS SNB Branch President (Doug), while Sandy was President at Newport SLSC, with Mayor of Pittwater, Jacqueline Townsend and Ian Curlewis


The Cabbage Tree Club as it was in December 1937 after the club members and supporters funded some upgrades after its 1936 purchase of Chorley's


From Beach Beyond (page 63); 'It was claimed at the time that this Blue Russell board was the longest in the world. Standing with Russell (left) is his co-rider Elton Ifould (centre) and another admirer. 

Sean Brawley, in Beach Beyond - A History of the Palm Beach Surf Club 1921-1996Palm Beach SLSC member Reginald Keightley Russell, 'Blue' Russell, after studying the greater buoyancy and easier turning of the hollow surf skis, which some were using as surf boards (sans paddle) trialled and adapted his ideas to something that was much better than the heavy solid boards. 

Russell had been a keen board rider whose interested had turned to design and construction. In 1937, after the collapse of his wool brokerage business went the way of many businesses during the Australian Depression, he could focus on designing these, with early models being built in a workshop under the clubhouse and tested in the nearby waves. His deep voice was often heard bellowing 'board wave!'.

A pioneer in hollow board design, his surfboards were longer than traditional ones, ranging in size from 11 feet (3.15 metres) tp the 13 foot (3.96 metres 'Queen Mary'. The superiority of these boards was immediately apparent and remained the Australian standard until the arrival of the 'Malibu' in 1956.

One of the most popular lads among the life-savers this year is "Blue" Russell, who, when not doing the most spectacular stunts on his board, is surrounded by young things on the beach. "Blue" is looked upon as the champion surf board rider among the crowd down there, with Pete Hunter and the Barnes boys close rivals. CATTY COMMUNICATIONS (1938, January 1). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 21. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article234540875

BLUE RUSSELL built himself a hollow surf-board for the Bondi Carnival, and to uphold the honor of Palm Beach he has been practising round Elizabeth and Rushcutter Bays. THE JOTTINGS Ill (1938, December 4). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 35. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169095748



The Peter's Residence - 'Powhokohat' - memorabilia
  

 



The acquisition came at a good time for Warringah Shire Council in some ways as well - they were applying to the State Government to build what would become the Art Deco styled Pavilion as public facilities to replace the, by then, much stormed upon original change sheds, first erected in 1924 to stop 'indecency in the bushes' - apparently it was beginning to stink. By the end of 1936 and for the Season of 1936-37, the council was able to removed many of the ramshackle sheds and water towers and old clubhouse an replace them with the still in place Pavilion building:

PALM BEACH SURF PAVILION.

The new surf pavilion at Palm Beach, opened on Saturday by the Minister for Works and Local Government (Mr. Spooner), was the ninth of these buildings erected on the beaches in the Warringah Shire during the past two years. The total cost to the shire council of these was more than £25,000. The Palm Beach pavilion cost £3800, which included £1000 for the foundations and sea wall. Of an appearance unusual on the metropolitan beaches. It was planned according to the most modern ideas. A spacious vestibule In the centre is flanked by the dressing quarters, with circular walls, giving to the general design an attractiveness quite in keeping with the modern bungalows around this popular resort. The interior arrangements are compact, providing space sufficient to accommodate 200 bathers. A wide promenade runs along the whole of the frontage.

Mr. Lindsay G. Scott was the architect, end Mr. T. Lockhart, of Newport, the builder.

“Dressing sheds of ample proportions are provided at either side of the vestibule.

“Accommodation, with lockers, is available for 200 of each sex.

“Every consideration has been given to the general comfort and requirements of surfers.

PALM BEACH SURF PAVILION. (1936, December 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17293648

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION
PALM BEACH,
Attractive Surf Pavilion

Warringah Shire Council has 13 beaches under, its control. These stretch from the boundary of the Manly municipality to the Hawkesbury at Barrenjoey. On each of the 13 beaches satisfactory provision ls made for public requirements. The most attractive of all the council's pavilions is that recently opened at Palm Beach.

This building is architecturally pleasing. It is commodious, and does not detract from the beach space available to the public. The building ls 156ft by 40ft, one story In height. It can be entered from either the promenade or the beach. There ls a spacious vestibule, In which are turnstiles which automatically register the number of persons using the sheds. Entrance and exit to the pavilion are so arranged that they can be easily controlled and. directed by one attendant.

Arrangements have been made for the sale, or hire, of costumes and other bathing requisites in the vestibule. Dressing sheds of ample proportions are-provided at either side of the vestibule. Accommodation, with lockers, is available for 200 of each sex. Pro-vision is made for fresh-water, showers, There ls an adequate system of septic sewerage.


NEW SURF PAVILION AT PALM BEACH.

Every consideration has, been given to the general comfort and requirements of surfers, The building, as shown in the illustration, has beer, designed on modern lines. The walls are off white bricks with raked joints. The roof is covered with multi-coloured semiglazed Spanish tiles. A wide promenade surrounds the building. There is a sea wall on the ocean side, with steps at either end leading to the beach. 

The building was erected by T. Lockhart, Newport. The plans and supervision were by Lindsay G. Scott, architect, Sydney.  BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION PALM BEACH. (1937, January 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27988699


Palm Beach aerial, circa 1939, showing pavilion and PBSLSC boatshed (?) still present just north of this

North Palm Beach SLSC Members in front of the surf Pavilion and showing the seawall and prior to steps being installed - circa 1938-39:

NORTH PALM BEACH –Senior beach sprint K Hardaker 1 J Mann 2 N Fairley 3 Musical flags N Fairley 1 D Oliver 2 R Watson 3 Wheelbarrow race R Watson J Mann 1 N Fairley K Hardaker 2 B Lappan J Semmens 3 Junior beach sprint B Lappan 1 R Wilson 2, B Savage 3 Relay race K Hardaker’s team 1 N Fairley’s team 2 Obstacle race R Watson 1 J Mann 2 J Semmens Stick race J Semmens B Savage 2 K Hardaker 3 Chariot race J Semmens’s team 1 J Mann’s team 2 SPORT DETAILS. (1950, November 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18184693 

At SLS SNB Branch Carnival a few years back:



Lot 81 on the southern side being acquired in 1948 meant extensions to Chorley's could take place and these included a place to store those surfboards!:







Lots 76 and 77 were purchased by Thomas Peters, and transferred to him on September 12th 1916, houses the heritage members building. Thomas Peters is known for his 'Powhokohat' home, which became the PBSLSC Members clubhouse.



Mr. Peters bought 4 blocks of land in the initial 1912 sale and his family became an integral part of the local community and surf club:

COVETED SURF AWARD
Saved Girl From Shark Palm Beach Presentation

At a gathering of residents and members of the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club on Sunday, including Mr. A. G. Parr, president of the Warringah Shire Council, and the leading officials of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia, Mr. C. D. Pater-son, president of the S.L.S. Association, presented Mr. Austen Dellit, a member of the Palm Beach Club with the first Bronze Meritorious Award of Merit awarded for conspicuous acts of bravery In the surf. Mr. Dellit, it was stated, had shown extraordinary bravery by jumping between an onrushing shark and a girl aged 13 In the surf at Palm Beach on January 16. Mr. Paterson pointed out in presenting the medallion that the award was the only all-Australian award Issued for acts of bravery, and he congratulated Mr. Dellit on being placed by his act in the same category as the two famous Chalmers brothers. Mr. Dellit was also presented with a cheque for £76 10s from the residents and members of the Palm Beach Club. At the same function Mr. Thomas Peters was presented with a silver model of the club's surf boat, and a framed photo of the club's march-past team, in recognition of the valuable assistance rendered the club in his position as president. COVETED SURF AWARD (1924, June 3). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 14 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223401139 

Mr. Peters was building the Burrinjuck Dam  at that time and local lore has it that much of the concrete was diverted from the build to Palm Beach.

Burrinuck is a heritage-listed major gated concrete-walled gravity dam hydro-electric dam at Burrinjuck, Yass Valley Shire, New South Wales. It has three spillways across the Murrumbidgee River located in the South West Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia. The dam's purpose includes flood mitigation, hydro-power, irrigation, water supply and conservation. The impounded reservoir is called Lake Burrinjuck. It was designed by L.A.B. Wade (of the New South Wales Public Works Department) and built from 1907 to 1927 by Lane & Peters, Sydney. It is also known as Barren Jack Dam and Barrenjack. 


Building the Burrinjuck dam wall. Photo from the Godson Collection, courtesy State Library of South Australia PRG 1258/2

The building, described as grey in colour in one newspaper report, was constructed during 1920:

ANOTHER little clique is formed by the Tom Peters (the engineers), whose great grey bungalow juts right on to the beach. The Peters remain as oblivious of the regular Society fans who overrun the resort each summer as they do to the occupants of canvas town, settled near the golf links. PRIVILEGED PLAYGROUND THAT IS PALM BEACH (1936, January 11). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article235824868

From Warringah Shire Councils' Minute of Meetings of June 14th, 1920:

27. Barrenjoey Co , 31/5/20, intimating that the Company does not desire a local rate levied at Palm Beach ; Received, 28. Barrenjoey Co. , 31/5/20 asking that steps be taken to prevent the removal of sand from Beach Road,  Palm Beach. Resolved - (Crs. Quirk and Lodge) That Mr. Peters be informed of the Company's report, and that he be notified to desist. 29. Barrenjoey Co., 31/5/20, drawing attention to washaway on Florida Road ; Referred to Engineer.


Enlarged section from EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1917). Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales2 Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162481294 - includes sections showing Peters home with tents still in it and Chorleys holiday home already built.



[RIGHT : The residence of Mr. and Mrs. T. Peters, on the beach front. —Photos by Women's Weekly.]

The Peters' home in Beach Rd. is one of the most outstanding. Mr. Peters, who is the engineer of Burrinjuck fame, bought the land long before he built the house. During the war years he considered it would not do to build, so the family camped on the land in a most complicated and wonderful system of tents—tents which were far superior to most seaside cottages for comfort. - "BEAUTY Born of MURMURING SOUND" (1933, December 16). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 27. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article53243910 

Like Mr. Hordern he chose a Hawaiian name for this structure, no doubt influenced by the original Cabbage Tree 'Palm' chosen and naming Palm Beach during those 1912 land sales and original subdiviison.

Prior to his death a conversation had taken place about Palm Beach SLSC acquiring the property on his demise. When he passed away the home was put up for sale for thousands more than the surf club could afford. Fortunately no one else could afford it either. The Peters home and current heritage-listed clubhouse, Powhokohat, was purchased on May 4th 1954 for £16,000 to become the Palm Beach SLSC’s clubhouse. Active patrol members who do not reside in Palm Beach (during the early years younger members were students at schools like Shore, or lived at Mosman) stay during their patrols over Summer. This was the same soon after the building was bought by Palm Beach SLSC. Ian Curlewis recalled he stayed there once he became a cadet member. Although his fathers' brother had one of those beachfront houses, he and sister Philippa and their mother Ethel (Turner) Curlewis would stay in the camping area at North Palm Beach, especially during the Summers of WWII when the two children would serve as members on the beach. Their father, a member of the 8th Division during that conflict, was in Changi and then on the Burma-Thailand railway.


L to R: Bill Tulloch, Ken Coles, Peter Barnes, Pat Barnes, Philippa Curlewis, Jim Tulloch – photo courtesy Philippa Curlewis, who stated this is 1940. 

Other members included Ian Curlewis, Bruce and Laurie Seaman, Pat Tulloch and Ken Coles. The JSLSC ran for three seasons and includes Australia’s first female Nipper – Philippa. 

One of the sale advertisements provides a description of what was in the building -: 

Under Instructions From the Administrator.
ESTATE LATE THOMAS PETERS.
Of interest to investors, scholastic institutions, commercial houses for recreational purposes, residential flat developers, sporting and residential clubs
PALM BEACH-PALM BEACH
VACANT POSSESSION ;
That Prominent and Well-known Palatial Concrete Residence "POWHOKOHAT," OCEAN ROAD (adjoining The Pacific Club and fronting the beach)
ACCOMMODATION 
GROUND FLOOR Front verandah approx 50ft x 10ft 6in Smoke room Billiard -room-
SOUTH SIDE Living room bedroom kitchen two shower rooms separate lavatory verandah (the above accommodation suitable conversion one s c flat unit) NORTH SIDE Verandah approx 48ft x 10ft 11in Six shower rooms storage room drying room sufficient area two flats units)
FIRST FLOOR Main residential section approached by exterior concrete stairway-Open verandah about 50ft x lill lounge (stone fireplace) 20 x l8 dining-room 20 x 13 smoke room kitchen servery (cup-boards) enclosed verandah 36 x 12 seven bedrooms (all of which have built In cupboards) TWO bathrooms three separate lavatories and wash rooms (3 basins) maid s bedroom and bathroom
DETACHED (a) Concrete building-fibro root concrete door containing two car garage bedroom lavatory-storage room and concrete water tank (b) Storeroom fibro walls and roof concrete floor attached concrete storage room fibro roof
SEPTIC TANK COKE HOT WATER SERVICE GROUNDS laid out In perfect lawns-concrete paths and drive
THE RESIDENCE Is erected about 80ft back from the street alignment and this area is available for further development
LAND 122ft x 201ft 7fn and 20Oft with rear 147ft 5ln
TORRENS TITLE
If desired an amount up to 50 p c of the purchase money can remain on first mortgage for five years
INSPECTION BY APPOINTMENT THROUGH AUCTIONEER
Solicitors to the Estate MESSRS NORMAN C OAKES &. SAGAR. Advertising (1951, November 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 29. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18237552 



Ian Curlewis and Jack 'Johnny' Carter inside the Peters building in 2016.



In between these, Lot 79 was purchased from James Robson-Scott by Mr. Chorley on the 28th of April 1925 and subsequently sold after he passed away to PBSLSC while Lot 78 was purchased by Mr. Peters at the same time and onsold to the club after he passed away. Here the Pacific Club was built in 1937.

Wife of James Robson-Scott, Charlotte, had bought Lot 29, with the Title registered in February 1914. The 'pretty little bungalow' at current day 30 Sunrise Road was apparently purchased by James Robson Scott, paying £300 according to some records, from the Barrenjoey Land Company, on corner of Palm Beach Road and Pacific roads, opposite what would become stone Maitland home.










In total the club and its members and trustees oversee six Lots of Palm Beach beach frontage where some homes are advertised for $40 million plus in 2022/2023.

MASSES of colorful hydrangea will decorate the new Pacific Club at Palm Beach for the opening on Sunday. The big clubroom, which will accommodate 400 people comfortably, is nearing completion. A polished jarrah floor has been laid for dancing and the furnishings are in cream and green. Cane tables and chairs in these shades have been chosen for the room, which has large windows facing the beach to the sea. An alcove at the back of the room will provide a suitable place for an orchestra. Underneath the clubroom are comfortable dressing-rooms, showers and cubicles, which have also been decorated in cream and green, and a kitchen, which will soon be well stocked with: cream and green glass and china. ()NE of the biggest dances of the year at Palm Beach will take place at the Pacific Club when the Palm Beach Surf Dance is held-on December 27. SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIETY (1937, November 23). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 11 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232020775

PACIFIC CLUB TO OPEN ON SUNDAY—THE SOCIAL ROUND

(1937, November 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17411874




Lots 82 and 83 and part of Lot 93, along with Lot 94 were purchased by Harry and Edith Lucy Wolstenholme with the Title registered on August 26th, 1915. Harry was a son of Maybanke Anderson, and a keen birdwatcher, hosting members of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales at this Palm Beach residence, and had visitors such as Ella McFadyen. The couple were also part of the group that formed the Barrenjoey Land Company, with the original deed of transfer for all those lands at Palm and Whale Beach registered in Edith's name. 

The couple also had Lots at Whale Beach, registered in Edith's name.


EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1917). Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales, 7 Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162484891 - enlarged sections from to show the Wolstenholme residence(with cows in front yard!)


Chisholm, Alec H. (1928). Portrait of Harry Wolstenholme at Wahroonga, Sydney feeding a thrush [1928] Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-150662503


Their Lots  (Vol/Fol 2634-174 – this cancelled and become Vol/Fol 3820-145) - his children did not sell the holding until 1952:



Lot 84 and that part of Lot 93 owned by the Wolstenholmes became Wilshire Park, along with Lot 92, with the request to the Council from fellow Barranjoey Land Company Director that:

J. T. Ralston. 14/1/25. submitting; for affixing of Council's seal, transfer of Lot 84, Lot 92A and the residue of Lot 93, Palm Beach, requesting that the whole reserve be known as Palm Gully Reserve: Resolved. - (Crs. Hewitt: Hitchcock) That the Council approve of the name "Palm Gully Reserve", and that the seal be affixed to the memorandum of Transfer.

By the Spring of that same year:

Palm Beach Progress Association. 12/9/25; suggesting that the Golf links area at Palm Beach be called Phillip Park. Resolved; (Crs. Hitchcock, Ellsworth) That the name Governor Phillip Park be approved. 8. Same; 12/9/25. suggesting that the Palm Grove Reserve behind Mr. Curlewis' residence be called Wilshire Park Resolved; (Crs. Hewitt, Hitchcock) That the name be approved 

The 'Wilshire' was to honour Architect Henry Austin Wilshire, who was connected with the Barranjoey Land Company and also among the earliest land holders in Palm Beach. He was also a great supporter of Furlough House in Narrabeen

Also worth noting:

A.J. Hordern. 24/9/25, suggesting the erection of a bridge over the Creek in Palm Grove Reserve, and enclosing cheque for £6 to cover cost and ; - (Crs. Hitchcock, Hewitt) That the offer be accepted, and the work be done under the Engineer's supervision.


When Mr. Wilshire passed away in August 1923 Australian papers, and particularly Sydney papers, paid tributes - although these were thin compared to what he had done over his lifetime:

WILSHIRE. — August 6, 1923, at his residence, Gundimaine-avenue, Neutral Bay, Henry Austin Wilshire, youngest son of the late Hon. James R. Wilshire, M.L.C. (By request no flowers.) 
WILSHIRE.— The Funeral of the late HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE will leave his residence, Gundimaine Avenue, Neutral Bay, THIS TUESDAY, at 9.30 a.m., for the Congregational Cemetery; Northern Suburbs, via Fuller's Road (Motor Funeral). Mrs. P. KIRBY AND SON. LTD.. cor. Myahgah Road. Mosman. Family Notices (1923, August 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16085890

MR. HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE.
The death occurred recently of Mr. Henry Austin Wilshire, a well-known city architect, who, amongst other things, was closely asso-ciated with Furlough House, Narrabeen, the well-known seaside holiday resort for the wives and children of soldiers, of which he was honorary architect and adviser. He was one of the pioneers of Palm Beach, and was one of the founders of the Australasian Pioneers' Club.
The deceased was the youngest son of the late James R. Wilshire, M.L.C., Sydney's second Mayor, whose grandfather (James Wilshire) arrived in Sydney in 1792 as Deputy Commissioner-General [sic: he was deputy commissary from about 1808], and married Esther Pitt, a relative of Admiral Lord Nelson.
In the Registrar-General's Department are some quaint references to the grants of land given to James Wilshire, including 570 acres extending from Strathfield to Cook's River, and several acres at Brickfield-hill, Sydney. The deceased leaves a widow and one daughterMR. HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE. (1923, August 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16089284

LATE MR. H. A. WILSHIRE
Well-known Architect
By the death of Mr. Henry Austin Wilshire, the well-known architect, and son of the late Mr. J. R. Wilshire, M.L.C., Sydney loses a well-known personality and a pioneer, belonging to one of our oldest families. He had been ill for so long at his home in Gundimaine-avenue, Neutral Bay, that the news of his death did not come un-expectedly to his friends. Five generations of Wilshires, from James Robert Wilshire, the pioneer who came to the colony, have been identified with N.S.W. The recent exhibition of interesting relics of the early history of N.S.W. was reinforced by many objects collected by the late Mr. Wilshire, who was a member of the Pioneer Club. 

Palm Beach was for many years Mr. Wilshire's favourite home. His was one of the first houses to be built there, and the flora and fauna of the surrounding neighborhood was well understood by this enthusiastic naturalist and botanist. During his explorations he discovered some of the large rocks bearing designs carved by the Aborigines. 
Mr. Wilshire understood how to build homes suitable to the exigencies of this climate. Dunvegan, the home of Mr. W. MacLeod, at Mosman, bears witness to his architectural ability. Mr. Wilshire leaves a widow.
H. A. Wilshire. LATE MR. H. A. WILSHIRE (1923, August 11). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 6 (LAST RACE-RESULTS). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224091033

His daughter Lena was born in 1889 after his 1888 marriage:

WILSHIRE-STEWART.--April 4, 1888, at Woollahra Congregational Church, by the Rev. Samuel Bryant, Henry Austin Wilshire, youngest son of the late Hon. James Robert Wilshire M.L.C., Sydney, to Hephzibah Maude, youngest daughter of the late Kenneth Stewart, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Family Notices (1888, April 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28345224


Bert (Albert) Verrills and his building crew in 1920. Back of the photo lists the names of those pictured, from left to right from back to front row, and shows this includes Architect Henry Wilshire (at the back, 3rd from right with rag hat and tie), who had so much to do with so many early buildings in Palm Beach, such as Windyridge, atop Sunrise road. Photo: Bill Goddard





As J T Ralston passed away in December 1923 it would be his son John Malbon who was actually handing over the land to the council.

OBITUARY.
MR. J. T. RALSTON.
The death occurred at his residence, Gulaston, Ranger's Road, Neutral Bay, at about 8 o'clock last night, of Mr. John Thompson Ralston, the well-known Sydney solicitor. Mr. Ralston, who was a son of the late Mr. Alexander James Ralston, the first secretary of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, was admitted as a solicitor in the early Nineties, and had practised his profession in Pitt-street continuously since then.
For some time Mr. Ralston was an alderman of the North Sydney Council, and he displayed much interest in all matters affecting the welfare of the Neutral Bay district, where he has resided for many years. He was a director of several companies in the city, including the Barrenjoey Company, Ltd., of which he had been chairman of directors since its inception. He was also an ex-director of the Co-operative Assurance Company, Ltd. 
The Barrenjoey Company opened up large areas of land in the Palm Beach district, and on portion of this land he carried out the experiments in amateur horticulture. He carried on a correspondence with other parts of the world with the object of advancing horticulture in Australia. Among other Interests he was a member of the Lodge Athenaeum, of which he was a Past Master. He leaves a widow, one son, Mr. John Malbon Ralston (who was in partnership with him), and two daughters. Mr. Acting Justice Ralston is a brother.  
The funeral will take place on Saturday at the Northern Suburbs Cemetery. OBITUARY. (1923, December 28).The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16116882 

OBITUARY.
MR. J. T. RALSTON.
The funeral of the late Mr. John Thompson Ralston left the residence, Gulstan, Rangers Road, Neutral Bay, on Saturday and proceeded to the Presbyterian section of the Northern Suburbs Cemetery. There was a large and representative gathering at the service, which was conducted at the house by the Rev. P. H. Waugh, assisted by the Rev. S. B. Evans. The principal mourners included the widow and two daughters of the deceased, Mr. John M. Ralston (son), Mr. Acting Justice H. G. Ralston (brother), Messrs. A. W., J. W..and Gavin Ralston and Mr. E. R. Raine(nephews), Mr. Tom R. Raine (brother-ln-law),Mr. David Vaughan, and Mr. E. C. M'Mondie and Miss M'Mondie. The service at the grave-side was conducted by the Rev. S. B. Evans. The following Masonic brethren, in regalia, accompanied the coffin to the graveside: Messrs. W. F. Hinton (W.M.), Edmund Read(I.P.M.). E. M. Mitchell, E. A. Scott and H. B. Allard (P.Ms.), H. Beardsmore (S.W.), R. H. Goddard, W. Boyce, C. L. Boyce, Walter F. Gale (Temperance), and Tooso (Athenaeum).Others present Included Messrs. Fred. L. King, A. L. Charlton, E. P. Carr, G. Mason Allard, E. W. de Gyulay, A. E. G. do Gyulay, G. R. Allard, H. Wolstonholme, T. W. "Seaver, Edward L. Ramsay, J. Allen Ramsay, Herman Fawl, Robert Guthrie, J. B. Huntor, W. N. Keast, V. W. Williams, N. L. Gilfillan, A. R.Stafford (Ballata), Frank Saunders, Prof. J. P. Peden, A. D. Peden, H. M'Kinnoy (representing H. G. M'Kinnoy, M.I.C.E.), W. J. Cunningham, W, A. Cunningham, J. T. Kerr, A. Kerr, E. H.E. Lodge, .James Paton, E. R. Scott, J. Nowack, J. H. Beatson, E. Bignold, J. F. South, N. Harding, C. Barker, and T. W. B. Oxenbould. OBITUARY. (1923, December 31). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16119140 

FOR HIS FAMILY
SOLICITOR'S BEQUESTS.
Mr. John Thompson Ralston, solicitor, of Neutral Bay, who died on December 27, left an estate which has been valued for probate purposes at £20,600. Subject to a legacy of £50 to his managing clerk, Alfred Leslie Blackshaw, testator left his estate for the benefit of his widow and children. FOR HIS FAMILY. (1924, March 5). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119216523 

THE REDFERN RAILWAY ACCIDENT.
£3,500 DAMAGES AWARDED.
SYDNEY, THURSDAY.
An action brought by John Thompson Ralston, solicitor, to recover £12,000 damages for injuries caused by the Redfern railway accident, was heard to-day before Mr. Justice Simpson and a jury. It was shown that the plaintiff had received frightful injuries, and was quite a wreck of his former self. His business, which before the accident was worth £700 a year, was now practically ruined. The jury awarded him £3,500 damages.  THE REDFERN RAILWAY ACCIDENT. (1895, August 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9372615 

DEATH OF MR. J. T. RALSTON
The late Mr. John Thomson Ralston, of Neutral Bay, whose death Is announced to have occurred at his home on December 27, was an old and well known solicitor of Sydney. He was one of the victims of the Redfern railway disaster about 35 years ago, when his injuries set him aside from the work of his profession for a year. 

He was a nephew of the Hon. J. Malbon Thomson, formerly a Minister of the Crown in Queensland and a son of the late Mr. Alex. Ralston, first general manager of the Australian Mutual Provident Society. 

The late Mr. J. T. Ralston was a prominent Freemason, but he never sought Grand Lodge honours, he was also a successful gardener, and in a suburban plot he used to grow masses of rare and lovely flowers. Of late years he spent much of his time in retirement at his seaside home at Palm Beach. DEATH OF MR. J. T. RALSTON. (1923, December 29). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article178444395 

His father Alexander James Ralston, was born April 19th, 1833 at Launceston, Tasmania, to Gavin and Emily Ann (nee Vardon, born February 12th, 1812 at Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London), the second of 11 children. Gavin Ralston was born in 1805 in Ayreshire, Scotland and died in Prahan, Victoria, in 1874, his mother in 1903.

John Thompson Ralston, who many credit with the commencement of the original land sales and formation of the Barrenjoey Land Company, owned many of the blocks in the corner, on the other side of Hordern Park. Some of these lots were sold and some were handed over to the Palm Beach Land Company when that was formed in late 1924, although the land lots were still being sold under the Barrenjoey Land Company until they finalised the transfer in 1925 and the company formed by these men or their children was not liquidated until 1929.






Lot 85 was purchased by Clive Pemberton Curlewis with the Title registered on March 8th, 1918 (Vol/Fol 2831-199)




Clive Pemberton Curlewis (1876 - 7 Jun 1940) was a brother of Herbert Raine Curlewis. Herbert was the husband of Ethel Mary Sybil (Burwell – and Turner) Curlewis — married 22nd April 1896 in St. John's Church, Gordon, New South Wales, Authoress of Seven Little Australians. As well as writing under her own name, Ethel used the pen names E.S.T., Dame Durden and Princess Ida. She was awarded a number of prestigious literary awards and is listed on The Australian Women's Register. The Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature is awarded annually under the auspices of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.


C P Curleiws home on Palm Beach circa 1921, section from Enemark pano to the right you can see the track leading up into what would become 'The Palm Grove Park' renamed Wilshire Park.

They were the parents of Ethel Jean Sophia (nee Curlewis) Charlton and Adrian Herbert Frederic Curlewis, a founder of Palm Beach SLSC and known as the 'Father of Surf Lifesaving'. As explained by Ian Curlewis, the other Curlewis family members who frequented Palm Beach did not use this home, although Judge Herbert Curlewis did visit Palm Beach.


Judge Curlewis, though no surfer, looks leniently on those who are. His son, Adrian, is with him. 
PRIVILEGED PLAYGROUND THAT IS PALM BEACH (1936, January 11). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article235824868 

GAY NIGHT AT PALM BEACH SURF CLUB REVEL
WONDERFUL SUCCESS
Considering that the night was very wet; that it was the first time the Palm Beach Surf Life-Saving Club had held a dance near the city; the club dance at Warringah Hall, Neutral Bay, last night, was remarkably successful.
APPARENTLY it would not have mattered where the dance had been held; for everyone was gay — as gay as they are, at those jolly little "hops" at Palm Beach. A busy morning was spent by the committee in decorating the hall with the green and black pennant of the club, bunches of green balloons, from which black streamers looped and twisted to the walls, and black and green streamers down the length of tables, and round every little vase of flowers.Mrs. A. Samuels (vice-president of the club), who wore a smartly-draped frock of black lace, was busy all day.
Mrs. A. Curlewis, Mrs. R. Cowlishaw, Misses Bonnie Applcton, M. Carr, Alice and Peggy Carruthers, M. Conroy, Claire Curlewis, A. Flnck, Joan Hammond, Elsie McWilliam, E. McKay. Helen Phillips, and Messrs. .R. Brown, Rex Cowlishaw, A. M. Lamport (secretary of the club), K. Hunter (captain), L. Hammond, and O. Smith, were members of the committee. Opportunity was taken for the presentation by the club president, Mr. C. P. Curlewis, of the cup given by Mr. Alan Box, to the winners of the point-score competition. Messrs. K. Hunter and Rodney Brown, who tied for first place. Mr. Owen Smith, who was runner-up, received a gift of sleeve-links from Mr. Box. 
Well-Known Figures 
Some of the most familiar Palm Beach figures were Mr. Adrian Curlewis, who has been a member of the club for years, and his wife, whose moulded green satin frock, combined with the black lace one worn by her sister, Miss Marjorie Carr, reflected the club colors. Miss Molly Wolfcarius, whose well-built figure looked as handsome in her royal blue close-fitting moire frock as it does in her bathing costume, and Mr. John Mant, welcome at every party, were two more whose presence pleased everyone. Every year since she was a small schoolgirl, Miss Marjorie Rutherford has spent the holidays at Palm Beach so, in her pretty floral georgette frock, she was another to receive greetings from many old friends. Miss Nell Cob-croft wore a becoming white satin frock, relieved with touches of silver and green. Miss Pauline Copland also chose a color for relief. Her frock was black, of chiffon, and very full, and she wore many fine strings of red beads to brighten it. A startling effect was achieved by Miss Naomi Waters, whose gunmetal stockings were in such contrast to her frock, of egg-shell moire, and shoes of the same tint, that they looked quite black. Parties were entertained by Miss Claire Curlewis in a simple pink lace frock, Mr. and Mrs. L. Foster, Miss Alice Carruthers, who looked quaint and charming in apricot lace with a circular shoulder cape of lace edged .with tulle, and Iter sister Peggy, who wore sheath-like frock flared from the knees, of black velvet, Mr. John Stanton, Mr. R. Burge, Mrs. Vernon Allen and Mr. J. Ralston. Miss Elizabeth Robinson chose floral chiffon for her frock, Miss Jan Tyrell…. Topics for Women (1930, June 24). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 19 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224264054 


MISS CLAIRE CURLEWIS, a member of the committee organising the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club's annual dance, to be held at Warringah Hall, Neutral Bay on June 22. The "Allan Box Cup" will be presented at the dance to the winner of the club's point score competition for last season. Other members include: Mesdames R. Cowlishaw, A. Curlewis, H. Dalziel, L. Poster, R. Macdonald, S. Samuels, Misses M. Carr, M Coyle, F Coyle, C. Curlewis, E. Edwards, P. Cuilfoyle, Ena Edwards, P. Cuilfoyle, J. Hammond, Jean Hcrron, C. Howarth, H. Phillips and J. Thomas.Topics for Women (1931, June 15). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 9 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224708019 

DEAR Alfredo. — Probably there were more sartorial gaffes made at the Surf Club dance at Palm Beach, than there have been at any other social or otherwise function this year. Rushed as the Invitations were, we are at a loss to understand why, unless it was to have earned the privilege of having one's bare toes crushed by society and near society. However, every one who thought they were anyone was there from Edna Samuels, the popular Queen of  Palm Beach, to the local fishmonger. Pat Levy accentuating studied neglect .In. the briefest of possible shorts, succeeded In looking extremely kanaka, displaying, at the same time, his indifference to the social importance of the affair. Claire Curlewis, with the family trait for correctness in all things, arrived, of course, with her partner In full evening dress. Gretel Bullmore as usual, was present in the snappiest of snappy pyjamas. Really with her opportunity to borrow from the rack, she certainly has the advantage over most of us. As the evening went on the band was partially submerged 'neath the clinking of glasses and the sighing of broken promises. Towards midnight an observant onlooker would have realised that after all the Colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady are the same women under the skin. CATTY COMMUNICATIONS (1932, January 2). Smith's Weekly(Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 27. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article234575421 

OBITUARY. JUDGE'S BROTHER DIES IN OFFICE. Clive Pemberton Curlewis, 64, Burrawong Avenue, Mosman, collapsed and died yesterday in his office in Abercrombie Street, Chippendale. Mr. Curlewis Is a brother of Judge Curlewis. He was managing director of C. P. Curlewis and Co., Ltd.. chemical manufacturers, Mitchell Road. Alexandria, and also of Lun's Pty., Ltd., Chippendale. The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954) Sat 8 Jun 1940, Page 4: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/247759153

View down to beach from Wilshire Park beside the Curlewis home in 1934:


PALM BEACH, NEW SOUTH WALES. - - Among the most beautiful bathing beaches in Australia, Palm Beach is situated on a peninsula fifteen to twenty miles north of Sydney. Close by, the waters of the beautiful Hawkesbury River flow into Broken Bay. On one side of the peninsula, which is but a few hundred yards across, is the surf of the Pacific Ocean, and on the other are the calm waters of the historic Pittwater, the scene of many aquatic carnivals. At one time there were many palms in the locality, but few remain, and these are jealously preserved. photo by H. CAZNEAUX PALM BEACH, NEW SOUTH WALES. (1934, October 1). The Australasian(Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145241972 

In 2022:


Looking back up the hill into the Wilshire Park:


Lots 73 and 74 were also purchased by Ernest Ebenezer Way, Barrenjoey Land Company, on October 6th, 1917 (Vol/Fol 2801-161) who sold both in 1917 and 1918:



With around 1100 Members, along with Associate Members, Life Members and the Ladies who run fundraisers through the Pacific Club, many of them active members of 5+ years, and with 101 years of serving the community achieved, it is little wonder Palm Beach SLSC's focus on keeping the history of its buildings intact and its service on the sand is celebrated not only throughout Pittwater but across Australia, and through the visitations of International guests, throughout the world.

Congratulations on your 101st Season PBSLSC - Thank you all for your service.

Palm Beach Estate - Ocean Rd, Northview Rd, Sunrise Rd, Floric052700043 - and sections from, courtesy NSW State Library Subdivisions folders: Palm Beach - shows Lots being sold by the Palm Beach Land company after  R T Ralston had passed away and who already had homes/weekenders at Palm Beach and where these were - circa 1925-1929






On the Beachfront in the 1950s after the demolition of the old changerooms and clubhouse is Johnny Hawkes surfers bazaar, circa 1951 - possibly built on the remnant of the 3rd and 4th PBSLSC Clubhouses on the beachfront. Paradox here is this would become the favoured place t store surfboards for members of the original Palm Beach 'Beachcombers Surfboard Riding Club' in the 1950's.

Ron Turton (R.I.P) said in 2017:

This began when Johnny Hawke’s Beach Buffet was on the southern part of the dressing sheds. Upstairs was where the food was sold; pies and hot dogs, that sort of stuff. What he sold the most of was that Golden Circle Pineapple juice. He was onto a great thing there; people used to visit Palm Beach in the thousands on the weekends.

There was Howlett’s store where the bus terminates and then John Dunne’s, who had the Cock and Bull, came along later. That was next to Howlett’s.

Johnny Hawke used to sell a pie for 1 and sixpence; the profit he must have made would have been enormous. The juice sold like hotcakes.

Downstairs they’d originally tried to sell souvenirs but it just didn’t work. He said to us one day, ‘look, we’ve got this spot downstairs, you guys can have it.’ – to use to put our boards in. I used to carry mine back to the Golf Club and they were bloody heavy then.

My first board was a balsa board, and then the foam board revolution came in. I remember working at Johnny Hawke’s and saving up all this money for a board – he used to give me one pound a day, which was a fair bit but I would work from six in the morning until six at night. Dad held that old principle where if you wanted something you earned it and saved your money up to buy it.

So I’d be there working my guts out serving hundreds and hundreds of people while all my mates were surfing. And of course that view from where we served looked right down the beach from over the dressing sheds.

This became the place where the gang gathered.


Palm Beach 1959 beach buffet John Pine Prosser Ron Turton photo


Some original Beachcombers Surfboard Riders Club Palm Beach NSW 1961 near the present day dressing sheds. Note Johnny Hawkes Beach Buffet in the background washed away in king tides. The Beachcomber’s Club was underneath the Beach Buffet. Back row – Ken ‘The Blue Streak’ Mackey, John ‘Pine’ Prosser, Richard Parkinson. 
Front – John ‘Olly’ Oliver, Ron Turton, Johnny McIlroy (with hat on)Pearl Turton, Glenys Pearson, John ‘Beaver’ Gonsalves, Ronnie Berczelley (smoking!)and Laci ‘Hompus Stompus’ Berczelley. Note the jackets with the initials on them. ‘Cooky’ Burnes style from 77 Sunset Strip! photo- Ron Turton.



Standing: John ‘Pine’ Prosser waxing board, Rodney ‘Rouge’ Harris
Sitting – Steve Campbell (blond child) Leigh Campbell (with hand on head) Lee ‘Bombie’ Beacham (white jacket), Alan Ward (guy talking to), Rodney Campbell (white jumper) and Laci ‘Hompus Stompus’ Berczelly (smoking). 
The gentleman in background looking like he’s doing The Stomp is Tony Bradley.
Check out Col Brown’s famous Ford Twin Single Spinner it went on many a surfing safari. Picture taken at Palm Beach dressing sheds. South Palm Beach in the background the washed away Beach Buffet and Beachcomber’s club. Photo - Ron Turton.

What a spot, looking straight out over the ocean. The name of this place became ‘The Beachcombers’ but I was a club in name only. We didn’t register it, we didn’t take membership, no minutes or anything like that.

Our claim to fame was though that we were the first surfboard riding club in Australia, until proven otherwise. If you look at the Surfing Australia: a Complete History of Surfboard Riding in Australia (2012), that Phil Jarratt put together, he sort of acknowledges that. There were these others from South Bondi who put forward a similar claim but I ask you – where was South Bondi ?!– here we were in this little part of Australia called ‘Palm Beach’!
We were the centre of the universe! Nothing else existed!

We never copied anyone – anything we did down there was from our own skills and thoughts. It was decided we’d call this club ‘the Beachcombers Surfboard Riding Club’ and a photo was taken, which I’ve sent to you, which has been in every single book about the peninsula; half of them haven’t even got captions under it. I still have the negative of this.

Who took the photo?
We think it was Alex McTaggart and we think this because he wasn’t in it. We know he was there - his brother is in the photo.
There has been a lot of argument as to who took it. One day Pearl and I were going through these old surfing magazines we had and in an envelope among these we found the negative.
Alex says he only knew a few people in the photo – his brother, Johnny Oliver and Frank Gonsalves, but I’m pretty sure it’s him that took it.


The first Australian surf board riding club – the ‘Beachcombers Surfboard Riding Club’ of Palm Beach NSW and their boards 1959. 
Seated (left to right) – John ‘Olly’ Oliver, John ‘Johnny Mac’ McIlroy(drinking soup),  Ron Turton, Neridah Wright, Joy Gassman, Billy McTaggart, John ‘Pine Apple’ Prosser. 
Back (left to right) unknown, John Pullenger, John Dunn, Peter Dever, Frank ‘Speedy’ Gonsalves. (photo Ron Turton).

The most interesting part about all that is, and there were two generations together in there; the older blokes who were around two years older than I, and I tell you when you’re 14 someone who is 16 seems really mature, us younger ones, Johnny McIlroy, Johnny Prosser, Laci Berczelley and me decided we should have a jacket. 

What you have to remember about those days is there was all this guff about the surfers and the rockers and how we were trouble – the clubbies and the surfers did not get on. There were a lot of problems there for a few years; the Surfers and the Rockers and the Widgies and Bodgies, there was this thing about Surfers being layabouts and we all smoked these foreign cigarettes – that was another thing.

These jackets were unbelievable – they were black and had white seams in plastic down the side and on the back was ‘Beachcombers, Palm Beach’.
There was a show called ‘77 Sunset Strip’ and a bloke called Cookie Burns who was always combing his hair backwards in a real Elvis Presley style. In the Archie comics all the blokes had their initials, like in the college style. 

We decided we’d have that too – I had a big R on the front, Ken Mackey had a big K – we were so cool!
We were half Surfer half Rocker – we loved all the Everly brothers music, Johnny O’Keefe etc., but we also loved surfing.

We ordered about a dozen of these jackets and we thought we were so, just, ‘cool man’. We couldn’t wait to wear them – we’d wear them down to Avalon and strut around – when I think back we must have looked like West Side Story, only of Palm Beach!

EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1917). Panorama of Palm Beach, New South Wales2 Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162481294 Has 'No 2 Palm Beach' written in lower left hand corner- includes sections showing Peters home with tents still in it and Chorley home with car outside, cows, etc.. and Black Rock section from south end, what would become Rock Bath Road and Pool
Threads Collected and Collated/Current photos: A J Guesdon.