January 22 - 28, 2017: Issue 297

Paul Hughes

The gentleman who won the first Big Swim, back in 1974, has been a member of Surf Life Saving since the 1950's, first at Ocean Beach SLSC, then at Whale Beach. A Life Member of Whale Beach SLSC, Paul has spent his life serving others and saving lives. It is swimming and getting in the water that has been his lifelong passion though, that and being on the beach.

Mr. Hughes won surf swims when he began and won swim challenges as he matured, even completing the challenging Waikiki Roughwater Swim when in his mid 60's, a swim Ollie Signorini of Sydney, completed in a time of 59:48, winning the event in 2016. Ollie also came in quickest in the 2016 Big Swim with a time of 29:30. 

Paul was fortunate to have as a coach legendary Australian coach Harry Gallagher when he was a teenager. Mr Gallagher's contemporaries then were Professor Cotton and Forbes Carlile. Paul won and won and won as a Junior, Senior and even took on coaching Ocean Beach's R and R Team. One of his favourite events remains the Big Swim though.

A little about the Big Swim from their website:

The 2017 Macquarie BIG SWIM & URM Little BIG Swim
Thought to be New South Wales longest continuing running ocean swim with its first start in 1974, THE BIG SWIM presented by the Whale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club in association with Macquarie is a journey swim, not around the buoys in a bay, or up and down a beach outside the break but a true ocean swim, from Palm Beach to Whale Beach around the headland through the Tasman Sea.

Held on the last Sunday of January each year with a distance of 2.5 - 2.8 km, it is known as THE BIG SWIM because it is BIG, conditions vary from dead calm to testing south-easterly or uncomfortable nor'easter’s which can arrive early in summer with swells from all directions making for challenging swimming when you breathe to the left. 

It is a huge achievement to complete one swim and some have swum in over 30 swims –who are THEY?
We are searching for those hardy souls who have completed 10 or more Big Swims since its inception in 1974 and would like you to contact us atbigswim@outlook.com to allow us to share the credit of your perseverance and success.

This year’s swim is on Sunday 29th January, 2017 and as a precursor the URM Little Big Swim commences at 8.30am with an 800 metre swim around kiddies corner at Palm Beach. This is a perfect introduction to open ocean swimming with enormous water safety and a fabulous location for a short course swim.

With registration from 7.30am for both events, the Big Swim starts off with the Elite group of swimmers at 10.00am. 
Free transport from our PARKING AREAS at Careel Bay soccer fields or arrive early for a beachside carpark.
This is the final event of the Pittwater Swim Series where by competing in just 3 of the northern beaches swims you can win a trip to the Byron Bay swim.

Visit the Big Swim website for more information and to be part of this iconic swim this year at: www.thebigswim.org.au

This week a small insight into a Pittwater asset, Mr. Paul Hughes - and that first Big Swim.

Where and when were you born?
In Sydney on the 14th of December, 1936.

Where did you grow up?
On the Central Coast, on Ocean Beach. There was lots of bush then, a good spot. We had a very strong surf club, which I joined as a Cadet in 1951. My brother was in there before me.

What did a Cadet have to do - was it different to today?
The only difference was when you did the Bronze Medallion you didn’t do the swim as you were considered too young. You did all the other training; the Resuscitation, the version which was valid at the time, and all the other items you still do today. They called it a Qualifying Certificate – once you did the Bronze you did the swim, and you were swimming with a belt then.

In 1952 I got into swimming seriously and would come down to Drummoyne pool in Sydney where I was being coached by Harry Gallagher. Harry was one of the top flight coaches at the time, and had taught Forbes Carlile. He was also in with Professor Cotton who introduced all the scientific side to swimming which was when we broke all the records in the Melbourne Olympics. Harry wanted me to come down there for stroke correction so he set out a schedule for me and I’d travel down once or twice during the week or at the weekend.  

How did you get selected for that?
I was already swimming up at Ocean Beach and doing alright but my brother said ‘you should be doing better than what you are. I think you better go and let someone have a look at you, and get a coach.’

So he rang up Harry Gallagher who said to send me down and he put my on a schedule each month which I had to follow. That was back in the mile days, I was doing just over three miles a day. I was 16, 17 then.
I’d have to send Harry all the results, I began to win races, surf races. I trained a lot, every moment I could get I trained.

Ocean Beach Branch Title 1954 - see article under 'Notes'

Surf Carnival at Pearl Beach

I then joined the Police Force in 1961 and was shifted around a bit before being based in Sydney. I used to travel back and forth and was still on the Central Coast in 1963/64 when I won the Branch Senior Titles.
My training was spasmodic after I joined as I was given shift work.

Winning as a 'Senior' 

Paul Hughes - NSW Police Force,circa 1962/63

I then moved down here and was looking for a local club. I’d previously been to Whale Beach when I bought a surfboard off Gordon Woods. I thought Whale was the roughest toughest beach I’d ever been on in my life and thought at the time ‘gee, I wouldn’t like to live here or be in the surf club here’.
But as you know, six months later I was. (laughs)

What sort of surfboard did you buy?
It was an old balsa board, I still have the receipt for it – it cost me £65. Everyone was just starting to ride boards in those days, my passion was swimming, but I still rode a board to spend time with the other guys.

Where were you living when you moved to Sydney?
I started out at Chatswood, then I met my partner and we came out here to Whale Beach.

Which Division were you in when working as a Policeman?
I did the full gambit of it really, over 20 years. Originally I was on General Duties at Central and then they seconded me into Plain Clothes for a while.
I was then transferred to North Sydney and then on to Chatswood, I went onto the motorbikes at Chatswood.

What sort of bikes were they?
Triumphs when I started and then they swung over to the Japanese bikes while I was still there.
From Chatswood I went back to North Sydney again.
My first wife passed away in 1976 – they said they were going to send me closer to home and sent me to Manly. From there I went to Mona Vale for a while and then after 18 years I did a complete turn and ended up back at Central.

What was the best part of serving as a Police Officer?
The best thing about it is that you learn so much about everything. There’s not a thing that surprises me now. You see it all when you do that work – it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how sharp you are, you see everything day in, day out.
I can be in a group of people and within two or three minutes I can sort them out; who’s telling the truth, who’s not, all that sort of stuff.

What was the worst or most challenging aspect?
The deaths of people, it was always a shock, very hard. You saw it every shift, every single shift, you didn’t miss, not once. At North Sydney I had six in one night – all in the one shift.

Six in one shift - what caused that?
At North Sydney we had a variety of things around us – The Mater Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital, the Greenwich Palliative home where people passed away of natural causes – in any of these if they weren’t given a certificate it became a police matter.
You also had as part of that that during that stage North Sydney was transforming from a little old suburb into a high-rise suburb, plus the expressway was going through and we had a lot of accidents from people being unfamiliar with changed conditions.
I left the Police in 1983, I’d done just over 20 years and I’d had enough. You don’t hang around in that kind of profession when you lay awake at night. You would have a really bad job on a shift and your uniform smells and you’d take it off before you go in the house – there were some hard things. 20 years is enough.

When did you join Whale Beach SLSC?
I was still at Ocean Beach SLSC in 1963 as I was coaching their R and R Team and their Seniors teams and still competing up there. I was living at Whale Beach at the end of the year and was already doing rescues at Whale Beach, usually out of patrol hours, because that’s what you do as a Surf Life Saver; it doesn’t matter where you are or what beach you’re on, you are on watch, you rescue people in trouble.
You used a belt and line then and I did more rescues then than what I did after joining up.

One incident I was reminded of recently was a night when a guy was caught in the rip out off the south end of the beach. Jill and I had been at the beach all day and we went home and were sitting out the front having our first gin and tonic when the siren went off.
I told Jill there must be a rescue on, it was just on dark, and I headed down to the beach.

Our President, George McRobert, was there and told me the guy was caught out the back of that southern rip that runs alongside the rocks; ‘Hal Bailey’s gone out but hasn’t come back in – can you go out and give him a hand?’ George said.
They had cars lined up with their headlights on, it was getting darker and darker.
At any rate, I got in the rip to get out the back and once there called out for Hal – you couldn’t see anything by then, it was too dark- all you could see by then was when the waves broke you’d see the white foam edge. It was a big sea on.
I swam over to Hal and stopped – once you’re out the back there that rip just stops. Hal said ‘have you got the belt?’
I said, ‘no, I haven’t. George said to just come out and help you.’
Hal said, ‘alright, I’ll go back in and get it. You stay here with him.’
I said ‘righto’.

We waited and waited and waited and Hal didn’t look like he was coming back out. I said to the guy, ‘look, I’m going to have to go in, I’m starting to get cramped up here’ – this chap was a big fellow, really big.

I told him I was going to take him north, about halfway along the beach, and that, because it was a big sea, when I tell him to take a big breath, as big a breath as he can because we’re about to go down (with a wave) he was to do that and go as far as he can and as deep as he can – ‘because we’re in trouble – you need to do it when and as I say’ I told him.

As we started to go in we got caught in a rip again of course, and away we went down to the south end again. I thought, ‘oh great, he we go again.’
I got to the rocks, had them by toehold and held him like this (gestures with one hand cupped) and the next thing a swarm of life savers came in all around us and grabbed him.

That was a big rescue that one, the worst one I had to do as I had begun to cramp up. I had to stick with him though, I couldn’t let him go or he’d be gone.
We still have to do rescues in that spot now.

At any rate, after one of the earlier rescues, the members said ‘you know you really should join up here’
I said, yes, right, I will – and bang, I was there. The records have me in as 1966 but I think it was a bit earlier 1964 or ‘65. I stayed a member until 1976 when Jill passed away and I hung back then as Jill and I had lived on the beach – I was always going to go back to the club, would say to the boys, yes I’m coming back but it turned out I stayed away for 16 years, even though I lived over the road at Morella.

Jill on Whale Beach, 1970's.

In 1992 Bryan Webster was one of the officials at Whale Beach and told me they needed guys on Patrol and asked me to come back. 
When I went back I thought I might get back into the Big Swims again too. I went down to the pool at Palm Beach and thought ‘I’ll do a mile’, in the meantime everything had changed over to metric, I got in the pool and couldn’t even swim two laps. 
So I had to start all over again. It took me months and months to get back a decent level of fitness but I never got anywhere near what I had been before. It was still good to get back into swimming though and I started doing the Big Swims again then.
Unfortunately I then got this stupid infection in 2002 where my fingers would cramp in and that made it impossible to do the Big Swims.

Hal Bailey is a bit of a Whale Beach swim legend – who would win between the two of you at carnivals?
I have to show you this – hold on ( Newspaper Clipping from 1970): they ran this same story in the Sydney Morning Herald. It was always very close between us.

December 28, 1970 - clipping from Telegraph

Why do you like Whale Beach so much?
It’s always a challenge and I like a challenge. Hal and I used to surf the north end all the time, huge waves. We’d come down the beach of a morning and do the jobs we had to do and then we’d all head off up the north end, and this was before it became so popular with board riders – it would be all bodysurfers there.

The Belt and Line you once used for rescues – were these heavy?
They were extremely heavy and more so if there was a rip on because the line went into a bow. We’ve done rescues where we’ve put two lines on, one joined on to the other as you’d get such a bow in the line. It didn’t matter what we did, we used to wax the line to try and make it float but it was always hard yakka.

Let’s talk about the first Big Swim, which you won. How did that eventuate – Bob Lynch put forward the idea, how did he come up with that?
No one knows where he got the idea from but we were all down at the Moby Dick club having a beer and started talking about it then. It was only about a week or a fortnight later before he said ‘right. we’re going to go and do it’.

Rob Berry: just as an aside to that, Bob Lynch was a bit sneaky in that a week before he got one of our guys Col Timm, who was our belt swimmer, to swim on his own to see if it could be done. Col jumped in at Palmy with Bob driving around the headlands watching him, and once Col did it bob said ‘right, it’s on. Next weekend we’re taking everybody’.

There was 38 of us, we trooped off down to Palm Beach all raring to go. He had recruited a few skin divers from Palm Beach Skin Diving club to swim along the bottom and ward off any sharks.
When we took off and by the time we got out beyond Palm Beach, everything we saw under the water was a shark! You’d be swimming along and think ‘did that move?’ and have another look. 
We went off down the coast and there was a howling sou’easter blowing. I breathe on the left and every breath I took I’d get a mouthful of water so I was quickly thinking ‘what in the heck am I doing out here?!’.
We got as far as the headland into Whale Beach and it’s a bit like the Bermuda Triangle; you can’t break away from it. you put your head down and count to a hundred, look up and there’s Orcades still there, that last house on the point there. You put your head down and start counting again, look up and it’s still there. Finally you break away and start coming in.
That was the start of ocean swims for surf clubs here.

1974 - The first BIG SWIM - image courtesy Rob Berry. 

L-R:  Whale Beach SLSC Members Peter Taylor, Paul Hughes and Paul Young at 2014 Big Swim - the 40 year Anniversary. 

How did it feel to win the first one?
The prizes are what I remember – I got a suit through our sponsors, James Cook at Mona Vale, they were men’s outfitters, and I got a tankard, and I received a voucher for dinner for 2 at Jonah’s.

That would have been nice?
Well, I didn’t go there because my next door neighbour in Morella road was Ozzie Fabris who owned Jonah’s. He used to invite us up there all the time so I didn’t cash it in. Then I went to work for him and every time we’d have a fight, and we fought all the time because I wouldn’t cop any rubbish off him,  I’d say I’m going to put my voucher in and have my meal.

He bought Jonah’s back in the 1950’s and did it up, it had only been a tea house up until then. He had men waiters, all done up in their dinner suits – they could cook a meal at the table if you wanted Chateau Briand or Crepe Suzettes. That was very fashionable in those days but only the really expensive ones did it.

Ozzie could be a difficult guy at times. When I retired form the Police he asked me to come and work for him which I didn’t really want to do, I knew we’d have problems and even his wife Irene said ‘Paul, don’t work for him, you two will finish up fighting’.
Sure as eggs we did. I’d go in next door to have a drink with him at night after work and sure enough we’d have a blue about something or other and he’d sack me. Then every morning when I didn’t up he’d ring me up and tell me to come back. (laughs)

Most ocean swimmers have their favourite swims each year but all state they want to do the Big Swim, at least once – why is that do you think?
Well, it’s the original. It’s also the best swim on the ocean swims calendar each year. The Big Swim is a journey swim. When you look at the scenery on the way as you swim from Palm Beach to Whale Beach, it’s beautiful.
One regular participant, John De Mestre, who also does a lot of overseas swims says that when he’s doing these a lot of people ask about The Big Swim – it’s one of those iconic swims – but mind you it has been around over 40 years, so is well known.

THE BIG SWIM Course - Picture courtesy Rob Berry. 

What is the best part of being involved in Surf Life Saving when you were younger and now as an older member?
The best art of it when I was young was the competitions of course, and the fitness. I was a physical fitness freak, loved it.
As I got older it was about doing your bit for the community.
I also have a heap of mates that I met through Surf Life saving, more so than those met through Police work. My class in the Police has a reunion every year at Port Macquarie but we’re thinning out a bit nowadays.
I think that knowing you’re giving something back is one of the most important aspects of Surf Life Saving – it’s great to join when you’re younger because you’re keeping fit, you’re learning skills you won’t acquire elsewhere and gives you discipline, self discipline, and resilience.
It’s not as disciplined as it was when we joined up. In the early days a lot of the old Life Savers at Whale Beach were returned soldiers.

Rob Berry: Paul started Nippers at Whale Beach before it was elsewhere.
Paul: That was back in the 1960’s. Jill had a son who was five years of age when I first met her. When we came down here I was first conned into coaching his soccer team at Avalon in Dunbar Park – I didn’t know one thing about playing soccer, I’d never played it in my life. So there I was trying to learn about soccer but the kids were alright with it because they were as bad as me!

Then there were whispers about starting Nippers up so we did – we at whale Beach bit the bullet and began Nippers. There were not a lot of local kids to begin with, more kids that would travel in. People would travel a long way to go to the beach in those days and we had kids from way over the other side of Sydney.

I made them up a little reel, had some supporting contacts that enabled me to fit them out with costumes and I ran that for six years.
Unfortunately a lot of the parents would bring the kids down drop them off and then they’d take off. I had about 40 or 50 kids by this stage and it was too dangerous at Whale Beach to have that many without help – I had to recruit Life Savers to keep an eye on them when they were there to do their Patrol and in the end it became too much so we gave it away. Monetary wise the Nippers were wealthier than the surf club so we donated all the money back to the club and disbanded it.

Rob: Paul is being very modest yet again here – for the last few years he has been running all the Sunday barbecues on the deck of the clubhouse and making sure those on Patrol get a good feed when they come off the beach.

Are the public allowed to buy snags and such from there?
Paul: Yes, that’s the whole idea of it, that people can come and sit there with that great view of the beach, have something to eat and this raises funds for the surf club and helps us do what we do.
We welcome anyone to come up there and have a relax – you can buy a beer or a wine there, have a bite, it’s a lovely atmosphere.

What are your favourite places in Pittwater and why?
I like the whole area. When I think of ‘Pittwater’ I think of the estuary and all of that is great – it dates back to Captain Phillip. Within days of going into Sydney Harbour he came up here and went across to Ocean Beach and over around Ettalong, and couldn’t get any further because the tide was running too strong.

He came over into Pittwater and went up the Hawkesbury River  - there’s so much history here – I love the history associated with this place and have books and articles I’ve collected for years that I read all the time. That article about Hal and I, I also have a photo in that album of Barrenjoey sand-spit going out further and without a tree on it.

When we were kids over at Ocean Beach we’d sometimes pinch the ski paddles and some boards and paddle over to Barrenjoey and Palm Beach. We’d go around the back of lion Island, then across to Station Beach at the back of the ‘Joey, we’d carry our boards across over that sand-spit, which was like concrete from the westerly sun hitting it, and we’d ride our boards off North Palmy. When it was time to go home we’d carry them back over, hop back on with our paddles and away we’d go.

I’ll never forget one time we were going back, I was a bit tired and lagging behind everyone else, and a turtle popped its head out – I thought it was a Loch Ness monster it was that big – I didn’t even know there was a turtle out there.
He came up real close and had barnacles on him, green moss or something as well – I’d never seen anything like it.
That turtle is a bit of a legend. There's also another one that once played around Lion Island that had legendary status.

What is your ‘motto for life’ or a favourite phrase you try to live by?
Try and do your best in whatever you do or are doing.

Palm Beach Sand-spit - Paul's picture
Lion Island and Central Coast beyond

A meeting of those interested in the formation of a Surf Club at the Ocean Beach was held in Woy Woy on Saturday, 14th February, and the convenor, Mr. C. R. Staples, was voted, to the chair. Mr. Staples said that it was proposed to form a Club primarily for the purpose of providing lifesaving appliances under competent control and direction at the Ocean Beach, Woy Woy. Only a few months ago a lad was drowned on this beach, towards the northern end, through lack of life-saving equipment being available. Such accidents were likely to occur unless safeguards were provided, as the beach was now becoming very popular with surf bathers and holiday-makers generally. The hundreds who visited the beach at the present time were likely to swell into thousands in the near future, as the beauty of the district and the facilities for surf bathing became more widely known. While life-saving would be the principal object of the Club, it was proposed to. erect dressing rooms for bathers of both sexes and to construct sheds for shelter from the weather as well as other buildings for recreation and amusement. 

The laying out of permanent cricket and football grounds for the use of residents and visitors would require a fairly extensive area of land and necessitate incurring very considerable expense. The Club might consider the question of making application to the Government for a grant of about 10 acres of land, being a part of recreation reserve 45590, Parish of Patonga (which contains 101 acres), and situate fronting the Beach at the foot of Sydney Avenue. The Government also might be asked to make a contribution of £500 towards fencing, clearing, levelling and planting the area. In addition to the sports grounds, the remainder of the recreation reserve might be laid out in ornamental grounds with flower beds, lawns, &c. 

The up-to-date equipment of lifesaving appliances at present on the beach would be handed over to the proposed Club, and later on, a Superintendent, who would be an expert swimmer, skilled in rescue and resuscitation work, would be appointed. The sale and hire of costumes might be included in the Club 's activities, and an annual Surf Carnival with an exhibition of live-saving and aquatic sports could be held. Mr. Staples mentioned that the Secretaries of both the Royal Life-Saving Society and the Surf Bathing Association had promised to give the proposed Club every assistance in their power, and arrangements had been made for the holding of Surf Life-Saving Demonstrations on the Ocean Beach on March 21st. The Secretary of the Surf Bathing Association had promised to arrange for about twelve members of the leading Metropolitan Surf Clubs to visit Woy Woy on that date and give a demonstration. This gentleman also suggested that it would be a good thing to combine with surf bathing other sports to hold the members together during the winter months, and if the necessary ground could be obtained from the Government this would be done. On the motion of Mr. F. Flaxman, seconded by Mr. C. Jaques, it was resolved that a Club be formed, called the Ocean Beach Life Saving and Recreation Club, and that the membership be open to all at a subscription of 2/6 per annum. 

The election of office bearers resulted as follows: — Patron,,Mr. W. M. Fleming, M.P., President Mr. C. R. Staples; Vice-Presidents, Messrs E. L. Aubrey, F. Lenehan and D. K. Stewart; Captain, Mr. Jack Piper; Vice-Captains (1) Mr C. Jaques and (2) Mr. C. Adey ; Hon. Secretary, Mr. C. J. Staples ; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. F. Flaxman ; Management Committee, Messrs O. Bartlett, F. Lynam Frank Piper, T. Maguire, J. Downs,' H. J. Piper, Arthur Wilson, H. T. Woodward, James Piper, and A. Brown.  It was resolved that a further meeting be held in Piper's Hall, Woy Woy on Monday evening, February 23rd, for the purpose of considering the constitution of the Club, and a Committee consisting of Messrs C. J. Staples O. Bartlett,. T. Maguire and H. T. Woodward, was appointed to draw up the constitution. It was resolved also  that the Club affiliate with the Royal Life Saving Society and the Surf Bathing Association. OCEAN BEACH LIFE SAVING AND RECREATION CLUB. (1920, February 19). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate(NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166833266

An announcement appears elsewhere in this issue directing attention to the Ocean Beach Carnival and Wild Flower Display, which, will take place on the Ocean Beach on Saturday, September 25. The prize-money for wild-flower exhibits has been considerably increased above last year's awards, and should result in a splendid display of native flora. Mr. W. M. Fleming, M.P., has kindly consented to open the function, and given good weather there is bound to be a large number of visitors to the Ocean Beach on the day. Suitable arrangements have been made for the conveyance of '-visitors by motor cars from Woy Woy Railway Station, commencing at 9.30 a.m. During the day a big programme of sports, specially catering for the children and the amusement of on-lookers, will be presented, and many novel features are being introduced. OCEAN BEACH CARNIVAL. (1920, September 2 - Thursday). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166832985

The second annual Carnival and Wild Flower Show, which took place on the Ocean Beach, Woy Woy, on Saturday last, was generally voted a huge success. There were probably 600 people present. Mr. W. M. Fleming, M.H.R.. performed the official opening. Owing to presssurc on our space, we are obliged to hold over full report till next issue. OCEAN BEACH CARNIVAL AND WILD FLOWER SHOW. (1920, September 30). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166832503

By the commencement of next season the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club expects to have its own club-house. A site has been selected on the Ocean Beach Park Reserve of one hundred acres, at the corner of Ocean Beach Road. The funds in hand amount to about £70, and it is expected that the balance required to erect a £100 building will be collected during the next month or two. The Club is asking the Shire Council to clear two acres of land, level the sandhills, and, later on, to supply gravel for putting down a tennis court. The plans for the clubhouse show an attractive building with a 'look-out' verandah on the front. At the Surf Club meeting last Saturday night, the hon. secretary, Mr. G. C. Retford, who drew the plans, was congratulated upon his work. OCEAN BEACH SURF CLUB HOUSE (1925, June 25). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166839372

Rough seas for McMaster's Beach surf carnival
In the ski race, Trevor Gallard and Gordon Lambert had their usual tussle but there was no question about it being Gallard's race. Ron Sumner gave a dogged performance, and despite being jtossed off his board several times, battled determinedly around the buoys and home, to applause from the spectators. There were plenty of thrills in the board race. Tim Stuart (Ocean Beach), after battling against the waves for some time, managed to get a lead which he kept until around the buoys. However, Dick Gee (The Entrance) crept up on him, and they both caught and lost several small waves which brought them to the beach together. The problem of the deadheat was solved by the donation of a second trophy by Fred Kyte, of Masmaster's Beach. In the other events, the only surprise was the defeat of Paul Hughes in the junior surf race. Hughes, who won the title at the Branch championships last weekend, was beaten by team-mate M. Hayes. Results: March Past: Avoca Beach (13.7) 1, Ocean Beach (18) 2, MacMaster's Beach (18.3) 3. 
Open Surf Race: C. Gallard (A) 1, P. Page (E) 2. B. Langford (OB) 3. Senior Surf Teams: Avoca Beach 1, Ocean Beach 2. Junior Surf Race: M. Hayes (OB) l, P. Hughes (OB) 2. Juuici Surf Teams: Ocean Beach 1. Senior Boat Race: Ocean Beach 1. Junior Boat Race: Ocean Beach 1. Surf Board Race: Dick Gee (E) Tim Stuart (OB) ciead-heat 1. Single Ski Race: T. Gallard (A) 1, G. Lambert (T) 2, R. Sumner (T) 3. Beach Sprint: Barry Buxton (T) 1, A. Williams (A) 2, J. Annand (K) 3. Musical Flags: T. Breasley (E) 1, K. Graham (T) 2, J. Annand -(K) 3. Chariot Race: Ocean Bcach 1, Terrigal 2, MacMastji's Beach 3. Pillow Fight: C. Ryan (E) 1. B. Stewart (E) 2, P. Page (E) 3. Cadets Race: M. Gallard (A) 1, J. Greentrees (McM) 2, K. Hunter -E) 3. Ladies March Past: Terrigal 1, MacMaster's Beach and Killcare 2. The heat of the beach girl contest was won by Helen George.  Rough seas for McMaster's Beach surf carnival (1954, March 9). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167380770

Surf Test win to Australia at Royal carnival

Australia won the surf Test against New Zealand today by taking four of the first five events at Bondi Royal carnival. Australia won the R and R, beach relay, junior belt and junior surf to give them five points against New Zealand's one.Australia' Australia' gained two points for the R and R and one each for the other events. With only three events to be decided, the senior surf and teams race and the single skis, New Zealand is in a hopeless position. New Zealand beat Australia in two of the three Tests in New Zealand in 1950, but they were no match for Australia today. Garry Winram starred for Australia. He had easy wins in the junior surf and belt to give Australia two valuable points. Winram is regarded as one of the best juniors of recent years. Close fight New Zealand started well. John Jarvis won the senior belt race from Steve Wilkes (Aust.) and Don Morrison (Aust.) Jarvis is New Zealand's 440, 880 and mile champion. Jarvis won after a desperate struggle with Wilkes. The pair swam stroke for stroke over the last 100 yards, Jarvis touching the buoy about a foot ahead. Australia had an easy win in the R and R. Brian. Hutchings was the patient and Alan Johnston the beltman. Both won their swims to give Australia an advantage. Jack Ryan was the patient and Scotty Priest the beltman for New Zealand. Many surfers complained about the long swim in the surf and belt races.

Buoys were placed well out to sea and John Bloomfield (Coffs Harbor) needed 650 yards of line to win a heat of the senior belt race in a non-championship event. Bloomfield, a former Australian champ ion, said he had swum in many title events but the belt swim today was the longest of his career. Bad luck New Zealand had bad luck in the beach relay and the junior surf race. In the beach relay one of their runners, Pasley, fell when New Zealand looked like winning with only a leg to go. They struck further misfortune when Col Billing suffered from stomach cramp and had to return to the beach in the junior surf race. Billing struggled back to the beach and teammates rushed to his assistance. He was placed on a stretcher and taken outside the area. When the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived 58 teams lined up for the march past. 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at a surf lifesaving carnival at Bondi Beach, 1954. National Archives of Australia, A1773, RV164. 
Visit - The Breakers at Beach Beyond 1901 – 2011 by Philippa Poole
TEST Senior Belt. — J. Jarvis (NZ) 1. S. Wilkes (Aust.) 2. D. Morrison (Aust.) 3. Junior Belt, — G. Winram R. Morris (Aust.) 3. Beach Relay. — Australia (Lazarus, Morrison. Mills, Lumsdane) 1. New Zealand (McLean, McNally, Laing, Billing) 2. R and R: Australia 10.2 1, New Zealand 11.4 2. Junior Surf: G. Winram (Aust.) 1. P. Garretty (NZ) 2, R. Morris (Aust) 3. Senior' Surf: W. Pasley ( Z) 1, B. Hutchins (Aust) 2, P. McNally (NZ) 3,T. Barnett (Aust) 4. Senior Teams: New Zealand 17. 01, Australia 19.0 2. 
OTHER EVENTS Beach Sprint. — Heat Winners: R. Mascord (M'bar), W Sutherland (N. St.), B. King (Pt. K), D. Manning (M'bra), J. Bliss (NN), D. Rath (Pt. K), K. Raymond (K'care), N. Pittman (Woonona). F. Slater (NN), B. Johnson (Cron), R. Jackson (SN), G. Barclay (T'curry). B. Arms (N'cie), J. Shand (Tam), B. Henry (Tarn), J. Bonser (D Why), G. Forsyth (Q'cliff). D. Marshall (Q'cliff), B. Lovegrove (D Why), R. Arndell (Wanda), P. Jackson (Tam). Final: J. Bliss (NN) 1, F. Slater (NN) 2, A. Arms (Newcastle) 3.March March Past. — Maroubra 10.0 1, Freshwater 10.2 2, North Bondi 12.0-3, Queenscliff 13.5 4. Senior Boat. — Corrimal 1, Maroubra 2, Bronte 3. Single Ski. — Heat 1: P. Coles (N. Bondi) 1, C. Pratt (Nobbys) 2, R. Budd (Stan. Pk.) 3. Heat 2: R. Burkhardt (Nobbys) 1, T. McKenna (N'cle) 2, R. Smith (Stan Pk) 3. Heat 3: J. McKenna (N'cle) 1, W. Brown (M'bra) 2, B. Doyle (Bilgola) 3. Heat 4: B. Stuart (M'bra) 1, G. Lambert (Terrigal) 2, D. Jones (Stockton) 3. Heat 5: J. Johnson (Dixon Pk) 1, C. Longhurst (W'gong) 2. Heat 6: M. Watt (Avalon) 1, W Mclntosh (Dixon Park) 2. Senior Belt. — Heat 1: J. Bloomfield (Coffs H). Heat 2: D. Twight (C'roy). Heat 3: H Bailey (Whale Beach). Heat 4: T. Dalton (D Why). Heat 5: K- Hoskin (Bilgola). Final: J. Bloomfield (Coffs Harb.) 1. T. Dalton (D Why) 2, D. Twight (C'roy) 3. Board Race. — Heat 1: 5 Denman (Bronte) 1, J. Mitchell (Man.) 2. M. Notley (M'bra) 3. Heat 2: D. Marrott (Tam.) 1, J. McMahon (Bronte) 2, O. Ramsay (Whale B) 3. Heat 3: R. Sid-dons (M'bra) 1, J. Power (N. Bondi) 2, A. Morris (W'gong) 3. Heat 4: J. Sorrell (Coogee) 1, W. Wallace (Bronte) 2, K Lane (Nobbys) 3. Heat 5: R. Hazel ton (M bra) 1, B. Agnew (N Bondi) 2. J. Ferguson (Bronte) 3. Ileat 6: G. Bishop (M'bra) 1. G. Nichols (Q'cliff) 2, A. Maxwell (N. Bondi) 3. Heat 7: E. Cahill (Coogee) 1, J. Illingsworth (Q'cliff) 2, B. Brook (M'bra) 3. Heat 8: P. Wilson (Coogee) 1, B. Keane (Cron.) 2, W. Powell (M'bra) 3, Heat 9: B. Clenhall (M'bar) 1, A. Boorer (Q'cliff) 2, G. McGuire (N'cle) 3. Heat 10: D. Dietz (N Cron) 1, G. Jackson (M'bra) 2, R. Firkin (M'bar) 3. Junior Boat. — Final: South Curl Curl 1Whale Beach 2, North Bondi 3. Beach Relay. — Heat 1: Maroubra 1, North Palm Beach 2. Heat 2: Newcastle 1, Queens-cliff 2. Heat 3: Port Kembla 1. Tamarama 2. Heat 4: Woorrona. Heat 5: North Narrabeen 1, North Curl Curl 2. Heat 6: Manly 1, Dee Why 2. Heat 7: North Steyne 1, Wanda 2. Cadet Surf. — M. Garretty (N. Bondi) 1. B. Lawrence (N'cle) 2, P. Rayner (Manly) 3, J. Donohoe (Bronte) 4. Junior Belt. — Heat Winners: Passive (Coffs Harb.), Burke (D. Why), Rogers (M'bra), Gilllies (Kempsey), Annard (Qld), Brown (Cron.). Open Surf. — R. Barnwell (N'cle) 1, D. Marrott (Tam) 2, B. Barry (Manly) 3. Junior Surf. — Heat 1: J. Rodgers (M'bra) 1, D. Williams (F'water) 2. R. Boswava (Bronte) 3. Heat 2: K. Hiscoe (N Bondi) 1, B. Walker (Bronte) 2, E. I Abbott (N Bondi) 3. N.Z. LOSE 4 EVENTS (1954, February 6). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 13 (LAST RACE LATE CRICKET). Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230870747

Also see: Thrills For Queen At Bondi Carnival (1954, February 7). The Sun-Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1953 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28659152

AGED TURTLE Caught in Broken Bay.
Strong protests have been entered by residents of the Palm Beach district, yachtsmen, fishermen, and naturalists against the action of a party of fishermen in catching a big black- turtle off Lion Island, Broken Bay, this week. The turtle, which weighed about a ton, was of a great age, and had frequented the waters of Broken Bay as far back as the memory of some of the oldest residents of the district. It was a familiar object to yachtsmen and fishermen visiting the locality over many years.

A resident of Palm Beach stated last night that people living in the district had regarded the turtle as an old friend, and they were incensed when they learned that it had been caught with a rope, hauled ashore, and shot.

A veteran yachtsman said he had been visiting Broken Bay for more than 50 years, and during that period he had often seen the turtle. It was almost tame, and never did any harm. Sometimes it was mistaken for an overturned skiff. He was particularly sorry to learn that it had been caught.

The honorary secretary of the Palm Beach Surf Life-saving Club, Mvr J. G. Rohr, said he had been directed by his club to express in the strongest terms disapproval of the action of the fishing party which caught the turtle. In doing so, he though he was voicing a feeling of resentment which much be very general among those who were acquainted with the waters of Broken Bay. The old turtle was, as far as was known, the only specimen of its kind in the area, and possibly it was one of the few survivors on this section of the Australian coast. It was a familiar and welcome sight to members of the club and to yachtsmen and boating people who visited Pittwater. "So frequently had our members met with the old warrior when bringing the surf boat around barrenjoey, that most of us felt that we were almost on speaking terms with him," he added.

The secretary of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Mr. S. A. Lord) said he would institute an inquiry into the matter.

Mr. T. C. Roughley, economic zoologist at the Technological Museum, said he Joined In the protest against the catching of the turtle. Its capture could serve no purpose: it seemed to him futile, and cruel. It was obvious from the weight of the turtle that it was of a great age, as the rate of growth among turtles was slow. AGED TURTLE (1936, March 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17341700

The current issue of the 'Sydney-Mail' contains a particularly fine view of Pearl Beach and Broken Bay — one of the most striking photographs in an issue devoted to showing the scenic splendors of the State. Pearl Beach is the new estate which is being opened up by C. R. Staples and Company, Ltd., .who are constructing a road around the seaward side of Mount Ettalong in order to provide access for vehicular traffic. This new road is expected to be completed by about the end of the year, and will provide a marine drive of fascinating interest and beauty, one probably without a rival along the Australian coast. PEARL BEACH. (1925, November 5). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166841530

Scenic Beauty at Broken Bay and Newcastle

Scenic Beauty at Broken Bay and Newcastle (1925, October 28). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160082875

Harry Gallagher OAM - Coach - Swimming
Courtesy Sport Australia Hall of Fame where Mr. Gallagher was inducted December 5th, 1989
Harry Gallagher's life in swimming began inauspiciously. He taught himself to swim so as to save himself from drowning, having fallen in a filthy, polluted river in Sydney. He went on to become one of Australia's most astute and successful swimming coaches and is credited with first recognising Dawn Fraser's swimming potential.

Gallagher became a swimming coach by chance in the army, teaching his comrades how to save themselves in the slurries and flurries up in the tropics, because most of the soldiers he was with couldn't swim. 

Working with exercise physiologists as early as 1953, Gallagher went on to coach some of the biggest names in Australian swimming, including Dawn Fraser, Jon Henricks, Lorraine Crapp, Michael Wendon, Brad Cooper, and Lyn McClements among others. He coached the 100m gold medallist at four successive Olympics to amass a total of nine gold, six silver and three bronze Olympic medals. Had the 50m and the 200m freestyle events been included in the Olympics, his total could have been many more. At the British Empire and Commonwealth Games his pupils won 12 gold, six silver, and three bronze medals. His pupils also went on to win 201 Australian titles and create 52 world records.

Gallagher played a large role in Australia's swimming success at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and was the sole Australian swimming team coach at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where the Australian team, with an average age of 16, returned to Australia with world records and 17 medals, including many golds.

Gallagher was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale in 1984 and in 1986, received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to swimming.
Barrenjoey headland from West Head