September 1- 7, 2013: Issue 126
North Narrabeen SLSC
Miles of sapphire lake and forest
Miles of sky and jade sea-mist
Sandy beaches where grass rushes
Till the lake’s fair face Is hidden
In a veil of amethyst mist
Miles and miles of summer glories
Christmas bells and bush ablaze
Miles of seashore, red and golden
Drifting into purple haze.
Where the gum trees scented vapours
Perfume Newport’s sylvan ways.
NARRABEEN. (1924, December 6). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117977980
Narrabeen does not, in common with other parts of Australia, possess an everlasting summer but it is, however, a Paradise for those in search of quiet and pleasure. A more delightful spot for ruralising than Narrabeen does not exist in Australasia. To the wearied and faded business man it affords a haven of rest and retirement such as no other spot within easy distance of the city can. The natural beauties of the district alone are attractions. But added to this there is the best of shooting and the best of fishing and boating, and no finer sport for the artist to indulge his proclivities for sketching, or the young and agile to follow their fancies in the shape of cricket, &c. As a holiday resort it abounds in every essential to pleasure. For those fond of aquatics and fishing there is a magnificent lake, and for those fond of these beauties and excitement of the ever restless sea there is a beach, unrivalled in New South Wales for wild and romantic scenery, stretching from Long Reef to near the far-famed Barrenjoey, with a most beautiful view of sea and coast. There are also salt and fresh water bathing, and boating parties who make the easy trip up the gorge at the head of the lakes will not soon forget its beauties — the waterfalls, the mountainous banks, with every kind of ferns and wild flowers, and tall palms, some 40ft or 50ft high. A visit to Mount Ramsay will also repay the visitor the trouble of climbing to the top, from which a most delightful panorama of coast, sea, and lake scenery is obtained. Now that the steamboat fares to Manly are reduced so liberally, a trip to Narrabeen is within reach of all classes, and a day spent at that quiet, secluded, and most beautiful of our watering places should be a great benefit to a number of people during the holiday season. Narrabeen. (1893, December 23). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112936347
Although officially part of Warringah Shire, North Narrabeen Surf SLSC has a place in the hearts of many Pittwater people and has always had and still does have, members who live on the other side of the bridge. This fine old institution represents the overlap between our two councils and their unity on many aspects of life. The lagoon, its beach and surrounds were one of the first places many settled in before moving further north, south or staying right where they are. The Surfing competitions, well-known surfers who stem from here, and Surf Carnivals, form part of our past and our future.
In the article we ran last summer in our 2013 Summer Houses months, focusing on Boarding Houses, The House at the End of the Road, pointed to the beginnings of a Surf Club and residents and visitors over the season forming patrols to save those who experienced the same rips and undertows on the Pittwater end of this beautiful beach that form the oceanic landscape of any beach.
The early years of this club are marked by having superlative athletes as members – rugby and soccer players who formed part of state and national teams, as well as champion swimmers of Pyrmont and Lavendar Bay journeyed to Narrabeen to be part of this surf and surf life saving club. Sports, like Newport surf and surf life saving club, were a very important aspect of its early years.
Quoting from the North Narrabeen SLSC History Book, ‘The Beach Comes First’,
North Narrabeen Surf Club originated from the Narrabeen Lakes Brigade, which itself was formed about 1905, to originally look after the Lake swimmers. Collaroy surf club members referred to the body as ‘The Mouth Life Saving Club’. These were our original “clubbies”.
In 1911, the weekend volunteer lifesavers brigade made application to Warringah Shire Council to form a surf life saving club on North Narrabeen Beach. This original document was signed by Mr Stan Exton, who wrote that a club had been in existence for some time and that about fifty ‘young chaps’, who were regular weekenders, met on the Beach and directed swimmers where to swim safely and also to ‘watch over them’.
Stan Exton advised that the driving force and main organiser of the existing brigade and proposed surf club, was Mr Bill White.
In the 1912-13 Season, North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club was officially recognised and registered its original cap as navy blue. This was the season that the Club affiliated with the New South Wales Surf Bathers Association; hence 1912-1913 has been declared our “First Official Season”. Consequently 2011-2012 was their 100th season.
There were discussions prior to this ‘official’ recognition;
SURF CLUB AT NARRABEEN
As the result of the large number of persons frequenting the Narrabeen beach for surf bathing a meeting was held on Saturday evening to consider the question of establishing a surf club and the erection of dressing sheds. The chair was occupied by Alderman W. J. Tomlin. Alderman Powell explained what steps had been taken by the Warringah Council and stated that a grant had been obtained for the rate of £ for £ up to a certain amount. All present formed themselves into a surf committee and a substantial sum was guaranteed as their share towards the expenses of the sheds and life lines. A motion was passed that an early application be made to the council. The officers were elected as follows -Mr W. Dorman, president, Miss J Powell hon. secretary, and Mr W. Douglas, hon treasurer. SURF CLUB AT NARRABEEN. (1910, February 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15160637
A successful sale of land brought more seasonal visitors into Narrabeen;
THE NARRABEEN LAKES.
Who does not know of the beauties of Narrabeen Lakes?— that charming 'village by the sea,' seven miles from Manly. On one side the ocean beach — three miles long— a magnificent stretch of clean, hard sand — an ideal spot for bathing. On the other side the picturesque lake, fringed with wattle, fern, and lilli pillys, swarming with fish, and the habitat of the swan and shy waterhen, etc. This fine spot is destined to take a big leap forward very soon, as its manifold charms, attractions, and 'get-at-ableness' are commanding the attention of all sorts of people — people who want a quiet place to loaf at, families who want a safe place to boat, fish, and bathe at; quiet folk who are satisfied to ramble 'midst the hills and dells, and gather the beautiful waratahs, native roses, and other wild flowers; and, last, but not least, 'the keen-eyed man, with his optic fixed. on 'the main chance.' On eight-hours Day, at 2 o'clock, on the ground, Arthur Rickard and Company, Limited, auctioneers, of 84B Pitt-street, will sell a fine estate In subdivision — the Narrabeen Lakes Estate, close. to hotel, -school, P.O., church, stores, etc., fronting both lake and ocean. Full particulars of this important sale and the arrangements to convey visitors to and from it are advertised. THE NARRABEEN LAKES. (1906, September 27). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114087901
Above, Below and Right: Narrabeen Lakes Estate, 1906 / Arthur Rickard & Co. Ltd Auctioneers, Sales Brochure. 1906. MAP Folder 114, LFSP 1695, courtesy National Library of Australia.
Arthur Rickard and Co., Limited, report that at the auction held yesterday, on the ground, of the Narrabeen Lakes Estate, Narrabeen, there -was a good attendance of buyers, and bidding was brisk. One hundred and fourteen lots were sold, totalling £2207 10s. Ocean beach lots fetched from £19 to £23, lake frontages from £30 to £40, main-road lots at £45 each, small interior lots from £9 10s to £15 each, and larger lots from £14 . 10s to £27. The balance is held for private sale. PROPERTY SALES. (1906, October 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14827051
The changing of the landscape, the popularity of the waters of the lagoon as a fishing spot, coupled with the extension of the tram line brought even more ‘excursionists, and then a clubhouse was needed for equipment and all-season life-savers, many of whom stayed in these original clubhouses over the season;
NARRABEEN LAKES. WORKS DEPARTMENT'S SCHEME AGREED TO.
A special meeting of the Warringah Shire Council was held to consider the proposed scheme by the Works Depratment for improving the Narrabeen lakes. The proposal is to cut a channel in the rock at the foot of Narrabeen head from the ocean into the lake, in which the tide will flow. Councillor Quirk moved that the Minister for Works be informed that the Council is prepared to guarantee the following-"To Carry out the work of constructing an opening on the on the lines of the plan and specifications submitted, 18ft wide, at a cost of £580 that the council guarantee to put the work in hand immediately the work of constructing the tram is commenced which will allow it to be completed some months before the tram reaches Narrabeenand that a sufficient number of boats will be provided at four different points on the lake " The motion was unanimously agreed to. NARRABEEN LAKES. (1911, May 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15239491
SURF CLUB FOR NARRABEEN.
The Increase In the number of surf bathers at Narrabeen, consequent on the opening of the tram to Collaroy Beach, has made the erection of a life-saving club necessary, with a view to safeguarding bathers at the northern(lake) end of the beach, a meeting to Inaugurate a surf club will be held at Ocean House, Ocean-street (near the lake mouth) tomorrow evening. Great Interest is already being manifested in the new club. SURF CLUB FOR NARRABEEN. (1913, January 24). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113780450
Narrabeen SLSC, like all surf bathing and surf life saving clubs in their first decade in Australia, lost members to conflicts far from home, and this young man, an ambulance driver, also had a brother with him who was injured:
Driver S. P. D. (Keith) Bowd, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. N. Bowd, Crow’s Nest, has been killed in action. He was born in Windsor 25 years ago, and educated at the Public School there. He enlisted in February, 1915, and landed at Gallipoli in August and served there until the evacuation. At the beginning of 1916 he went to the Western front, where he served until his death. The late Driver Bowd was generally prominent in swimming and football circles, being a member of the Lavender Bay League Swimming Club, North Narrabeen Surf and Life-Saving Club, and secretary of the Crow's Nest Rugby League Football Club. SOCIAL CHAT OF THE DAY. (1918, August 31). The Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People (Sydney, NSW : 1900 - 1918), p. 8. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115781534
Like all our clubs, North Narrabeen had to try and run her life saving services on the smell of a salty breeze and equipment, expensive even now, was hard to procure. How ever this surf boat ended up out at sea, it must have been distressing for those who needed to save lives:
SURF BOAT ADRIFT: A surf boat, valued at £90, and belonging to the North Narrabeen Surf Club, was removed from the beach on Wednesday morning and set adrift. Later it was noticed floating about five miles off Long Reef. It was then drifting in a south-easterly direction. The club asks masters of vessels to endeavour to secure it for them. SURF BOAT ADRIFT. (1921, August 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15931756
Raising funds during the formative years of all of Sydney's Northern Beaches and Southern Beaches life saving clubs was done mainly through carnivals where areas were roped off and people flocked by the thousands to fill those prime sandy seats to view the action.
Palm Beach followers assembled in force at the first annual meeting last Sunday. Everything is well with the Woop Woops, as the metropolitan clubs dub them. In their first season Palm Beach have handled no less than £201, purchased a surf boat for £93, acquired a clubhouse and all necessary gear. The disbursements amounted to £164, and the balance in hand is £.35.The following officials were elected : —Patron, Sir Herbert Maitland ; president, Mr. Thomas Peters ; vice-presidents, Messrs. W. J. Barnes, J. W. Brown, Dr. H. H. Bullmore. Messrs. J. M. Craig, H.K. Crossman, Judge Curlewis, W. Goddard, W. Chorley. E. D. Gray, A. I. Hordcrn, H. W. Meggitt, R. B. Orchard, M.H.R.. T. Peters. W. H. Raynor, F. Spier, H. A. Wilshire and W. W. Woodley; captain. A. Goddard ; vice-captain, E. H. Sheedy: hon. secretary, L. A. Palmer ; hon. treasurer. E. H. Sheedy ;hon. instructor, A. Dellit ; delegates to S.L.S.A.. E. H. Sheedy and L. A-. Palmer ; hon. auditors, Messrs. Goldsmith and V. H. Rayner ; trustees of club property. Councilor G. W. Hitchcock. Messrs. H. W. Meggitt, T. Peters, W.H. Rayner and H. A. Wilshire ; committee. Messrs. K. Oatley, L. Gallagher, W. Goddard. A. Curlewis, H. Holt. The club is keen on surf-boat work this Summer, and the following have been chosen to man the craft pending a final selection : H. Holt, A. Goddard, A. Curlewis. A. Dellit, T. Gonsalves, and J. Ralston. Holt and Curlewis are Varsity senior oarsmen. The next move of Palm Beach is to erect a boathouse in a suitable position. Meanwhile great preparations are being made for the carnival on Jan. 1. at the double.
NORTH NARRABEEN. Things are going well with North Narrabeen. Eight candidates are preparing for the bronze medallion tests, and a number of the older hands are practising assiduously with a view to annexing honorary instructors' certificates. No news is to hand ofthe missing Barracoutta but a couple of the lads while on holidays, got to work on the old boat and renovated her. The membership is now in the region of 40, a good percentage of whom are Pyrmont swimmers and Soccer players. Palm Beach will be invaded in force on New Year's Day. North Narrabeen promise to give the home lads a shaking up.
THE LIVELY WOOP WOOPS. (1922, December 1). Arrow(Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103446181
NORTH NARRABEEN. North Narrabeen members, twelve in number, submitted themselves for the surf bronze medallion last Sunday afternoon. All passed the land test, but a heavy sea prevented the boat crew from laying the marks for the water tests. Two capsizes were recorded. The hon. instructor, Roy Liston, is pleased with the lads showing. Members are staging an impromptu gala on the Sunday preceding New Year's Day at the lake entrance. The principal attractions will be a burlesque landing of Captain Cook, a pillow fight over water and swimming races. Skipper Roy Liston, the League forward, Dusty White, Bert Tronsdale and Lofty Stean, who toured Maori-land with the last Union team, are enthusiastic workers. Stan Exton, the club's hon. secretary, extends a cordial invitation to surfers to attend the gala.
MONA VALE CLUB. On Sunday morning the newly-formed club at Mona Vale put the following men through the surf medallion test : J.G. Blackwood. J. L. Williams, H. S. Hewitt, W. F. Baldwin, L. G. Blackwood, W. F. Franks, T. C. Johnson, A.A. Slater and J. W.. Austin. J. G. Blackwood was also awarded an hon. instructor's certificate. The financial active members now number 20. Experience will be gained by participation in the Palm Beach carnival on New Year's Day. The procuring of a suitable club house is to be discussed.
PALM BEACH MEETING. Palm Beach Club, at a committee meeting last Sunday, completed arrangements for the carnival to be held on New Year's Day. L. A. Palmer reports that the surf was splendid at the weekend, and that the boat crew enjoyed a great time, despite a number of turtles. Members are still rolling in, 15 having recently joined up. ROAR OF THE SURF. (1922, December 22).Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103443261
The Barracouta surf boat/s point to some core members of the North Narrabeen SLSC during its first decades. The Proudfoot family of father Charles, a champion sprint swimmer, and sons Wallace (Wally) and George were what building Australia was all about:
The race for the 100 yards swimming championship of Australia took place in Sydney last night, and was won comfortably by J. Hellings from C. Proudfoot with A. Holmes third, the time being lmin. 5 12/ secs. B. Gormley won his heat but did not start in the final. No title. (1896, January 23). The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1939), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article123929794
SWIMMING. (By ''NATATOR.”) FLYING SQUADRON TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP OF NEW SOUTH WALES 500 yards
Canning ploughed away In great style, but Proudfoot held his own, while Lane gained perceptibly, but slowly, for he was contending against two very speedy men, one of whom, Proudfoot, was showing his true form that day. On the three champions dashed, neither letting up an instant, and the crowd applauded itself hoarse. As Lane was seen to be moving oubanning the excitement became very great. Would he catch Proudfoot?' some asked; but it was Proudfoot's day out and he gave a fine display, holding the six yards' advantage ho had started with right through'. Ten o fifteen yards fioni home Lane caught Caunning, and they swam together for a few yards', the Newcastle, man surprising everybody with his turn of speed, but 'little Feed.' as his enthusiastic mentor speaks of him, was not to be denied, and by dint of a big effort he landed second prize for his club (East Sydney) two foot— no more— ahead of Canning, who had performed very well indeed under the circumstances. A. perfect storm of applause greeted the three swimmers as they clambered over the basin’s sides, and Proudfoot (Balmain) was carried shoulder-high by his club mates. SWIMMING. (1898, December 21). Referee(Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121517800
Younger readers may wonder what a 'natator' is: it means in the sense used here a 'swimmer' and is from the Late Latin natatorium, place for swimming, from neuter of Latinnatatorius, of swimming, fromnatatus, act of swimming, from past participle of nat re, frequentative of n re, to swim.
RESCUED FROM THE HARBOR. BOY FOUND FLOATING FACEDOWNWARDS.
An exciting harbor rescue took place at Pyrmont on Monday Afternoon, a 6-year-old lad, named Leslie Wood, who resides with his parents in Point-street, Pyrmont, being pulled out of the water in sensational circumstances. The boy, it is stated, wasplaying with a number of other children on the Pyrmont Wharf, when he fell in, and the tide carried him down the harbor. When the little fellow reached the Pyrmont Baths at Point-street, he wan seen by several persons floating face downwards. Fortunately Mr. Charles Proudfoot, the well-known League swimmer and proprietor or the Pyrmont Baths, was in the vicinity and dived in, fully dressed, and brought the lad ashore. Resuscitation methods and restoratives were used. and the youngster returning to consciousness, was taken home. Inquiry this morning found that he had much Improved during the night, and was apparently none the worse for his immersion. This makes the ninth lad Mr. Proudfoot has saved from drowning at Pyrmont.RESCUED FROM THE HARBOR. (1911, December 5).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115281520
This is eldest son George (below), born 1900. Wallace (Wally) was born in 1902.
At a carnival held under the auspices of the Western District branch of the Public Schools A. A. Association, the 13-year-old son of that one-time much heard of natator, Charles Proudfoot (who is now ensconced at the Pyrmont Baths), was successful in three premiership events. They were entitled 'District Championships.' It now appears, by reason of the fact of his having competed again at the Pyrmont Public School's gala on Tuesday night, and repeated his successes in a couple more championship races, he thereby sacrifices his claims to the first prizes In the former contests, under some extraordinary regulation which ordains that only lads who attend schools whichdo not organise carnivals of their own, or, if they do, do not figure in them, are eligible to take part in the competitions decided by the various branches of the P.S.A.A. Association.It is palpable either one of two things is wrong. They have no right to be termed 'District Championships,' or else the rules are sadly in need of amending. Young G. Proudfoot (as a matter of fact there are two scions of that ilk who are very much at home in the water) swam the 55yds lap under 36sce. which Is an accomplishment a 13year-old boy might well feel proud of. Personally, I have not seen him In action, but 'Bull' Helllngs speaks highly of his stroke, and Bull ought to know a good one when he sees it. EASTERN SUBURBS. (1914, March 14). Saturday Referee and the Arrow (NSW : 1912 - 1916), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117418650
Besides being excellent swimmers themselves, these two sons roped dad in to what he seemed to have a passion for anyway. TheClassic Wooden Surf Boats website states: ...at this stage there were no specifications, boats varying in length from the early 18's, a touch longer for the Johnny Walker boats (donated by J.W. distillers) to 22's for the home-made boats at Nth Narrabeen.These three boats, all named Barracouta, were built by Charlie Proudfoot, amateur shipwright and fulltime sweep. A few feet longer, the third Barracouta was the first boat with four thwarts, spreading the rowers evenly through the boat. The beam had come down to a fairly standard 53.:
GOSSIP FROM THE SURF - NORTH NARRABEEN'S NEW BOAT : MANLY MEMBERS AND 400 YARDS' TEST
(By BELTMAN.) Members of North Narrabeen Club do not shirk hard work. Their new boat, after being launched on Saturday at Pyrmont, will be rowed to North Narrabeen, a mere matter of 18 miles. No records will be attacked, but the crew hope to arrive at headquarters in time for supper. Stan Exton and J. (Scotty) Black, of North Narrabeen, report a busy weekend. On Sunday Armistice Day was observed, not only by the club members, but by over 400 local residents. They foregathered in front of the club house, which was bedecked with flags. The club flag flew at half-mast. It was one of the most impressive services held on any of the beaches. North Narrabeen is still enrolling members, and instructor Gee McRae and Captain Scot Black are busy knocking four surf bronze squads into shape. At last Sunday's meeting, Treasurer Cec McRae resigned his position. Stewart White was elected.
A HARD PULL.
At last definite news of the arrival of N. Narrabeen's hush boat, the Barracoutta II., is available. The new surfboat (built by the old-time swimmer Charles Proudfoot, father of the two well-known surfers, George and Wally) will be launched at Pyrmont next Saturday, and, manned by the builder. Geo.Proudfoot, Stan Exton, Cec McRae, with Dick Dalton in command, will be rowed to North Narrabeen. The lads do not intend attempting records, but will indulge in some fishing enroute, probably arriving in time for supper. From Pyrmont to N.N. is somewhere about 18 miles — a fair row. A new clubhouse is N.N.'s next move. GOSSIP FROM THE SURF. (1923, November 16). Arrow(Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103540135
The joy finally having this new surf boat brought did not last long:
A HARD LUCK STORY. N.N. were prevented from competing in last Saturday's surf boat race, at Manly regatta, owing to a series of accidents. Leaving N.N. early in the morning, Charley Proudfoot, sen., Cec. McRae, and Jim Bill, hoped to reach Manly in time to hand the Barracoutta over to the racing crew, but they smashed a sweep near home. They returned and got another, but this went bung off Collaroy. Securing a third sweep from a fisherman, they completed the long pull, and entered the Harbor in fine spirits. Before they had time to ship the racing crew, however, the race was started, and N.N. were not in it. Hard luck, after an 18-mile row. TO DEAL WITH SURF FOOLS (swim between the flags). (1923, December 14). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103542127
This surf boat, like all equipment bought by our clubs, came from a series of concentrated efforts and carnival-like events to raise the funds needed where all contacts were pulled in to the campaign:
NORTH NARRABEEN BUSY. That splendid club. North Narrabeen, is working hard for its Easter carnival. If Barracouta II. does not materialise many hard grafters will be keenly disappointed. The gala is listed for Easter Monday with an excellent concert on the previous Saturday night. The programme approved by the S.L.S.A. is bristling with good contests and liberal prize- !money. Stan Exton tells me that a feature of the afternoon will be the Narrabeen Derby. Every tradesman's moke for miles around will be pressed into service. Tomorrow 30 members will journey to Wollongong for the carnival, where the club will be worthily represented by Geo. Proudfoot, J. Lincoln-Black. S. Bethel, W. Grose and A. Cameron. Two squads are preparing for the S.L.S.A. bronze medallion under hon. Instructor Cecil McRae. SURFERS AND COWS. (1923, March 16). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103537619
NORTH NARRABEEN NEEDS SUPPORT. Stan Exton, North Narrabeen's energetic hon. secretary, is appealing to members of metropolitan clubs for entries for his club's gala. A fine programme has been drawn up. The events include : Grand parade and march past, senior surf boat race, senior alarm reel, junior surf boat race, open surf race, brace relay race, challenge camp relay race, and host of beach events- A feature of the afternoon will be a game of push ball. The recently acquired 6ft ball will be used HARRIS AND HERALD WILL COMPETE. North Narrabeen's hon. secretary has just received word that Bill Harris, the famous Hawaiian swimmer, and W. Herald, the Australian 100 yards champion, have consented to appear at the club's carnival. Bill Harris will probably entertain spectators with an exhibition of surf-board riding. HEROIC SURF ACT. (1923, March 23). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103538829
William White Harris, Jr. (October 26, 1897 – March 7, 1961) was an American competition swimmer who represented the United States at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. Harris competed in the men's 100-meter freestyle, advanced to the final, and received the bronze medal for his third-place finish in 1:03.0. He also swam in the men's 400-meter freestyle; he advanced to the event semifinal and posted a time of 5:36.0. He lived in Sydney (at Bondi) for a few years before returning home.
Mr Schultz was the gentleman, with a son as a member, who held the concert mentioned in his North Narrabeen grounds:
NEAR AND FAR." At Narrabeen last Saturday, at a concert In the grounds of Mr. Charles Schultz's, week-end home, 500 people were afforded an opportunity of hearing music "called from the air." It had been transmitted from Mr. Basil Booths wireless station at Clifton Gardens, and received on Mr. Leonard Schutlz's four-valve receiving apparatus. The concert had been arranged by the Narrabeen Surf and Life Saving Club to augment its funds, and as a result of the efforts about … was added to their funds. The Black Cat Concert Company contributed the second half of the programme, the artists being Norman Honce, 15. Cope, P. Walsh, L. Bancroft, M, Bancroft, G. Hynard, J. and A. Roebuck. NEAR AND FAR. (1923, April 3). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16053743
NORTH NARRABEEN'S TRIUMPH. North Narrabeen decided a few weeks ago to endeavor to raise sufficient money to purchase a new surf-boat. A concert was held at Mr. Schultz's residence last Saturday night, followed by a surf carnival on Monday. The concert receipts were something like £60 ; the surf carnival netted £68. The longed-for surf vessel has been ordered. The success achieved by the Black and Whites this season has been remarkable.
HARRIS, CHARLTON AND HERALD
The above-mentioned champions visited Narrabeen on Monday and were accorded a wonderful reception by the crowd. Harris gave a fine display of surf-board riding, despite most unfavorable water. Charlton ' and Herald paddled round meanwhile. Once Charlton almost thudded on a gigantic wave. A less-expert waterman would have been severely injured. The champions were the guests of the club at dinner, and were accorded a rousing send-off.
THE CARNIVAL. North Narabeen carnival was an unqualified success. Stan Exton. North's bustling hon. sec, and his committee, must be awarded pats upon the back for the splendid manner in which they organised the event. A GREAT PAIR. In winning the brace surf relay race, George Proudfoot and J. (Scotty) Black (North Narraben) again proved they are among the very finest of our surf swimmers. The go between him and Goya Henry was sensational. They contested every foot of water until they reached the broken, heavy surf, which tumbled with great force. Proudfoot took a big dumper and survived; Goya let it go. SENIOR ALARM REEL RACE. Newport's beltman (G. Robertson)was declared the winner from George Proudfoot (North Narrabeen).
SURF CARNIVAL FILMED. (1923, April 6). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103539856
The North Narrabeen club recognised other needs in the community and did their best to meet them:
The Narrabeen Surf and life Saving Club, under the leadership of Mr. Allan McLean, are working hard to make the masquerade ball for Furlough House, on November 22, a big success. The location is the Arlington Hall, Narrabeen. TEA-TABLE GOSSIP. (1923, November 4). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120537708
COMPETITION FIXTURES. The following events have been arranged : Johnny Walker Competition : Surf relay, N. Narrabeen, December 29 ; alarm reel, Manly, February 2 ; surf race, ! Newcastle, February 16 ; R. and R., South Coast Association, March 15. Cecil Healy Memorial Shield : Surf teams' race, N. Steyne, December 22 ; surf race, Manly, February 2 (subject to Manly accepting) ; R. and R., New castle beach, 11 a.m., February 16 ; alarm reel, Maroubra, March 1.
NORTH NARRABEEN. A great misfortune has befallen North Narrabeen. Stan Exton, secretary, has resigned his position. Stan was one of the best and hardest workers of the S.L.S.A.A. His approaching marriage and pressure of business are responsible. Dick Dalton has been elected in his stead, and N.N. are indeed fortunate to obtain such an able successor. The lads are working steadily, preparing for their carnival on December 29. Surf Board Champion of New South Wales, who last season effected sensational rescues at Manly with his board when the surf life boat could not get near the patients. WHAT'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
Clearly North Narrabeen had the wherewithall to win many a surfboat and swim belt-man event at the carnivals the club attended during the 1920's, and win they did in the surf and in the pools:
PROGRESS OF PYRMONT. Pyrmont Club promise to be a power in the swimming world this season. Mr. Ern Matthews has been elected hon. secretary for the eighth successive season, and is as keen as ever. The competitive strength of the old club will be added to by the inclusion of Harold Degotardi, who last season captured East Sydney's 220 and 440 titles, and swam second in the 100 yards event. Degotardi will prepare seriously this season, and should develop into a fine all-rounder. In, Tas King, 440 yards Western Districts champion, and Jack Barrett, the old club have a fine brace of youths. With George Proudfoot and Scotty Black (who, by the way, recently returned from the Olympic Games, and has been elected captain of Pyrmont S.C. and North .Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club) to complete the team, Pyrmont looks good enough to retain the Western Districts premiership for the seventh successive season. TAKAISHI INSTEAD OF WEISSMULLER. (1924, October 24). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103546222
North Narrabeen's R. and R. team at Manly tomorrow will be selected from the following stars: George Proudfoot. J. Black, W. Grose, Tas. King, H. White, J. Cameron, and , W. Barnett. One man will be omitted. : The club's representative in the alarm wheel race will be George Proudfoot. THE CHAMPIONSHIPS. (1926, January 22). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105948935
George Proudfoot will take a lot of beating in the championships, this season. His return to form has been sharp and sudden. He won the belt race at Freshwater on top of his success at Manly carnival. Ward was expected by many to put in an appearance at Manly but did not do so. He was unplaced at Freshwater in the Johnny Walker surf race. However, belt races are his long suit, and a man would be game to name a swimmer likely to beat him. George Proudfoot may do so, but the big lad from the North gave tipsters a terrible twist last season when the cracks lined up. CHAMPIONSHIP HEATS. (1926, January 29). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105945644
RIVOLI HALL CUP. 'The belt race for the Rivoli Hall Cup will take place at Dee Why Beach on Sunday, February 22. Clubs within Warringah Shire are eligible to compete. The meeting between J. Johnson, the Freshwater crack beltman, and George Proudfoot, of North Narrabeen, ought to be worth going miles to witness. The Freshwater man beat Proudfoot a fortnight ago at Manly, but was disqualified for swimming to the wrong buoy. Whether he can beat George again remains to be seen. Both are at their top just now. WONDERFUL SURF WORKER. (1925, February 13). Arrow(Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103543532
The drill work of the North Narrabeen team in the R. and R. event at South Steyne gala last Saturday was magnificent. With meteor rapidity, North Narrabeen has risen in a few seasons from obscurity to eminence, and this year promises to carry all before it. Numbered among its members are such sterling performers - as Wal Proudfoot, W. Grose, Tas Jung, J. Black, Hec White, and J. Cameron. NORTH STEYNE CARNIVAL. (1927, December 23). Arrow(Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103437079
What North Narrabeen became renowned for winning was the March Past:
A POPULAR WIN. The victory of North Narrabeen in'the Grand Parade and march past at North Bondi was most popular. It was Narrabeen's first win in an event of this kind in good company and much credit is due to Roy Liston, their hefty skipper for the manner in which he has knocked his lads into shape. The squad made a great show in their new black costumes which showed off the nut brown pelts of the winners to perfection. They richly deserved the win although, they just managed to squeeze their entry in and they did not appear on the programme as competitors. AMONG THE SURFERS. (1923, January 12). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103538786
THE MARCH PAST at the North Bondi Surf Carnival yesterday was the spectacular event of the day, and for the sixth time this season North Narrabeen won it. No title. (1928, January 8). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 10. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article122815075
Above 1930 March Past Winers. Picture above right is from 1927 Surf Carnival.
Although the surf carnivals attracted a lot of attention, it was for the saving of lives, or attempting to, that these early gentlemen members of North Narrabeen SLSC are best celebrated:
George Proudfoot, Jack Cameron and W. Barnett, members of North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, have received certificates of commendation from the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia for the parts they played in the rescue of two men named Young and Downing at North Narrabeen on Christmas Day. George Proudfoot is a son of Charlie Proudfoot, the old-time swimmer, and present proprietor of Pyrmont Baths. George is a wonderfully powerful swimmer. He has won seven belt races of the eight in which he has started this season. Can anybody beat this achievement ? George beat the State champion, Claude Ward, at Manly a fortnight ago. A worthy vice-captain of the club, Jack Cameron shines on the football field in Winter. He plays second row forward for Y.M.C.A. First Grade fifteen. He is no mean swimmer, and is captain of the Y.M.C.A. Amateur Club. W. Barnett is a native of Willoughby, a member of the North Narrabeen team, and a resident of the district for some years. STARS WILL BE IN THE SURF. (1925, February 6). Arrow(Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103544506
BATHER DROWNED. NARRABEEN FATALITY.
Although a gallant rescue was attempted, Harold Spooner, a baker of Pittwater-road, Narrabeen, was drowned in the surf not far from his home yesterday. The bather had been In the surf for a brief time before he was seen to throw up his hands as If trying to attract attention. Mr. William Lloyd, a member of the Narrabeen Surf Club, immediately went-to the rescue. The club's life-saving appliances were too far from the scene to be of use, but Mr. Lloyd pluckily plunged into the surf without their aid, and attempted to reach the bather. His efforts, however, failed, and Mr. Spooner disappeared. The body has not been recovered. BATHER DROWNED. (1925, February 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16202590
SURF THRILLS TRAGEDY AT NARRABEEN.SHARK RUSHES AT RESCUERS
Sunday was one of the most sensational days in the history of surfing at Sydney. Lives were imperilled on many beaches, and surfers in danger were rescued by the score. There was a tragic drowning at North Narrabeen, the victim being W. Dawe, aged 25, of North Sydney. 'According to an eye-Witness, the remarkable part of the heroic attempt at North Narrabeen was the fact that the five men who tried to save Dawe did not lose their own lives. Dawe was carried out with another man named R. Brothers at 5.30 p.m. W.Lloyd, beach inspector, was the last of the patrolmen of the club to leave the beach, and he did not go until he saw that all bathers had left the water. Dawe and Brothers must have gone into the water just after the patrolman had left. Apparently Dawe was swept out as soon as he entered the water, for Wilfred Gay, a well-known Rugby Union footballer, and a friend, strolled onto the beach and saw the two swimmers being carried out. Gay and the other man were dressed in '' whites,'' but they rushed to the rescue. Gay donned the belt. Brothers, though caught by the current himself, tried to help Dawe, who clutched hold of him and forced him under the water. Exhausted, he had to let Dawe go, and he was swept further out. Gay, after a tiring swim, reached Brothers and brought him to the shore. He set out again to rescue Dawe, but the swim through the breakers in the belt was too much, and, after getting into heavy water, he could make no progress. In the meantime somebody had rushed to the surf shed and rung the alarm bell. By a stroke of fate he rang the bell at practically the same time as the dinner gong of a nearby boarding house is sounded. The bell and the gong have a similar tone, and members of the Narrabeen Club, who we're not far from the beach, at first mistook the bell for the gong. They did not realise what was wrong for a few minutes, but when the ringing continued a crowd raced to the beach. W. A. Grose, J. Cameron, Tas. King, Wally Proudfoot, and Tom Gallacher, five of North Narrabeen Club's best swimmers, rushed into the water. They were told that a man had been carried out, and had disappeared, and saw Gay still gallantly battling through the surf. Grose swam out to Gay, took the belt from the exhausted swimmer, and tried to get out through the heavy seas. King, Cameron, Proudfoot, and Gallacher swam out with him, King also being in a belt. The two beltmen quickly realised that they had no chance of pulling the line through the sweeping current, and soon discarded the belts, but continued swimming to sea. The five swimmers were fighting against great odds. Big waves broke over them and forced them under, but they slowly forged ahead. Eventually they got clear of the surf, and, swimming almost abreast, struck out to deepwater, where Dawe had disappeared. They made a long search, and, finding no trace of the body, swam back to the beach.
After resting they set out again. After, a second battle through the seas they got out beyond the breakers. They swam about for a long while, and then decided their quest was hopeless. In the meantime, W. Schultz (who took the sweep) and others, ran out the surf boat. They got through the breakers—a remarkable feat—and cruised around searching for the body. The five swimmers had struggled back to the shore a second time when somebody said that ho had seen the body floating just under the waves far out from the beach. What he thought was the body was a shark. Though they were practically exhausted from the buffeting they had received, the same surfers raced into the water again, and though the spectators thought they had no possible chance of getting out, so exhausted did they seem, they reached deep water once more. While swimming along slowly Proudfoot passed over a seven-foot shark. So close was it that he could almost touch it. He was horrified to see it turn and rush towards King, who was treading water. Shouting out an alarm, Proudfoot commenced -thrashing the water, and the others did the same. Then, bunching together, they struck out for the shore, fearing at any moment the shark would attack them. They had just enough strength left to reach the breakers, and then practically let themselves be washed to the beach. In the three attempts at rescue the five men were nearly on hour in the water. SURF THRILLS. (1926, December 7).Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954) , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81086486
As with all SLSC's of any number of decades, there are more facts to be shared about this great club then should be crammed into one mere page and we will re-visit North Narrabeen too. The final note for this first page illustrates their participation in ensuring lives on beaches further north could be saved by skilled and knowledgeable surf men:
The first representative team selected since the inception of the S.L.S. Association departed by the s.s. Wollongbar for Byron Bay on Tuesday. The team, which is under the management of Hon. Secretary Donald McIntyre, with Tib Fletcher, Bondi's captain, as instructor,consisted of Ben Abbott (Collaroy),Harold Pidcock (Freshwater), George Proudfoot (North Narrabeen), Goya Henry (Manly), L. Walker (Bronte),Eric Whitehead (North Steyne), and R.Scott (Coogee), with G. Bretna (Coogee) as a visitor. The lads (who presented a very smart appearance. Their straw 'boaters' bore royal blue bands embellished with the letters N.S.W. and a reel in white) were accorded a rousing send-off by a big crowd of surfers, among whom was noticed Mr. John Garlick, Under-Secretary for Local Government, a great surfing enthusiast, to whose efforts the Association mainly attributes the Government grant of £200, which made the trip possible; the president, Mr. C. D. Patterson, Messrs. R D Doyle, L. V. Hind, and H. Rathborne.
THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE TEAM OF SURFERS SELECTED BY THE S.L.S.A. OF N.S.W. TOURING DEMONSTRATION TEAM, NOW VISITING NORTH COAST BEACHES Left to right: D. D. Mclntyre (hon, sec, S.L.S.A., (hon. manager), G. Proudfoot (North Narrabeen), E. Whitebead (North Stoyne), W. II. Abbatt (Collaroy). L. Walker (Bronte), C. Scott (Coogee), G. Henry (Manly), H. Pidcock (Freshwater), IH. B. Fletclier (Bondi). — PHOTO: BOWL GOSSIP. (1923, February 2). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103537298
A GAY SHIP.
The ship's side was festooned with streamers. A unique one — some 4in wide, in yellow, and perforated at intervals — was the envy of the team, Don Mclntyre was aboard early. His principal item of luggage consisted of an outsize trunk carried aboard by a perspiring porter, containing all descriptions of surf life saving handbooks, etc., for distribution at the various centres. The following beaches are to be visited: Yamba, Ballina, Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Cudgen, Tweed Heads, Coolangatta, and Kirra.
NORTH NARRABEEN KEEN. Stan Exton, North Narrabeen's hon. secretary and oldest inhabitant, says his club is experiencing its greatest boom. Ever since the victory in the marchpast at North Bondi members have been rolling in, and the lads were never keener. They are very proud of having George Proudfoot selected as a member of the metropolitan demonstration team which left last Tuesday for the North Coast beaches. The club-house contained a good-tempered crowd last Sunday when they foregathered to accord Proudfoot a send-off, at which he was presented with a handsome travelling case as a token of esteem. Next Sunday the weekly practice will be continued. Five teams are being prepared for the surf bronze examination by instructors Roy Liston, A. McRae and Bunny Felton. The club's comedians, Bert Trousdale and Lofty Steans, who created such great fun at Palm Beach gala, have been specially invited to visit Newcastle and disport at the northern club's annual carnival on February 16.
MODEST BILL HARRIS. When Bill Harris surfs he wears a bluish-colored woollen costume bearing a badge on chest — a black flying fish upon the letter H. Whilst surfing together at Cronulla last Sunday week, I asked him what the badge represented, and he replied, 'Oh, just a new badge we've got over home.' I discovered today that the new badge is one recently issued by the Hawaiian A.A.U. to athletes who had rendered signal services to swimming, in reality, a representative badge. My news was contained in an American letter from Handley, the famous coach, who remarked that it was a fitting mark of recognition to accord representative swimmers.
Are Surfers Amateurs?. (1923, January 26). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103538310
Narrabeen Pool circa 1934, showing first swimmers clubhouse and lavatories - section from:
Compare National Museum of Australia's Josef Lebovic collection postcard, Surf Carnival at North Narrabeen, circa 1925-1927 nma-acc-20182027-1775-wm_o3_1100 - showing pre 1927 North Narrabeen SLSC Clubhouse at left:
Above: from 'Narrabeen surf carnival, March 1936' Image: hood_12830 from Home and Away Series, courtesy State Library of NSW.
North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club - Part I threads collected by A J Guesdon, 2013.