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symonds : maroubra slsc, 1982 
Tom Symonds : Maroubra SLSC, 1982.

Extracts from
Symonds, Tom: Maroubra Surf Club - The First 75 Years.
Lester-Townsend Publishing Pty. Ltd. Sydney, 1982.

Despite claiming to have developed the surf ski in the 1930s, the book has no reference to Frank Adler, reputed by other sources, such as Maxwell (1949). to be the first Australian to build a hollow surfboard about the same time.
Page 10

Harald Baker brother of "Snowy", was club captain in 1909-10 and 1910-11.
He was Australian 100 yards swimming champion in 1907, captained Australia at Water Polo, played in three Rugby Union tests for Australia, was a national boxing and wrestling title holder, and was a noted rower and weight-lifter.
His rescue at Coogee in 1911 (see Meritorious Awards) earned the highest award of the Royal Humane Society, whilst the press of the day castigated him for stripping naked to rescue young girls. In 1910, the campers at Maroubra gave him a presentation in recognition of his one hundredth rescue on that beach.
He later became famous as the leading referee for what was at first called Baker's stadium at Rushcutters Bay.
He was retained by the entrepreuner Wren as the official referee when control changed hands, and was still refereeing boxing at the stadium in the 1930's, having meanwhile found time to coach Randwick Rugby Union first grade for ten years.

Page 21

In the second half of the 1930's another phenomenon was to have a very real effect on Maroubra - the introduction of board riding.
Whilst Maroubra had soon developed some very fine board riders and was later to have arguably the best (George Bishop, Ross Hazelton, Dennis Heussner and Guy Oakley), it was Maroubra that developed the board's variation - the surf ski.
Bill Langford still has a newspaper photo of the first ever ski, which was built by him.
The art was developed by Stan HarVard, later to be killed in World War II.
Stan became famous for his ability to do tricks similar to those performed on the modern wave ski. No club could match Maroubra's record once these events (single and double skis) were established, and more will be said later of the Mulcahy brothers, Dennis Green, Wally Brown, Barry Stuart, Keith Rowswell, Dennis Heussner, Dennis McGuire, Graham Johnson, Brian Trouville and many others.

Page 27

The 1946-47 season saw a number of innovations.
That year also saw Norm and Reg Mulcahy win the first ever Double Ski Championship, an effort they were to repeat the next year, the Beach Relay team came second and the Junior boat crew, third.

Page 31
The 1953-54 season was one of the most successful competitive seasons the club has ever had.
Page 32

Dennis Green, forsaking the boards and boats, joined Wally Brown to win all three titles on the double ski and began an illustrious ski and kayak career.

The next year, 1954-55 a consciousness emerged of the impending Olympics and the three members to capitalize on this were Wally Brown, Dennis Green and Barry Stuart.
The club supported them in this venture and it was to have outstanding success.
Des Renford, who had taken over from Bruce Brewin as chief instructor, began organising fund raising for the International carnival and Australian championships which were to be held at Torquay, at the time of the Olympics the following season.
Competitively the club did well in the titles, particularly the state, but did not. win one national title although placed in five separate events.
That season saw incredible controversy over the expulsion of a member who, for want of a name shall be called Joe, was found in the associates' locker room with a partly clad girl.
There had been furores before - in the 1920's a member had been suspended for throwing sand at competitors during a surf carnival, two others (previously referred to) had suffered the same fate for falsifying ages and one prominent board rider in the early 50's had been given six months suspension for "borrowing" a costume for a swim (it was returned and this was not in dispute). Some other members two years before had been censured for some fairly ribald "initiation type" activities at a reunion but the expulsion of "Joe" caused controversy for a year or so and dominated committee meetings for a long period after.
It also created a desire for younger representation on the committee which slowly took place over the next few years.
In 1955-56, a good year for the club, Maroubra won a surf boat as the pre-eminent competitive club.
In 1956 the club also actively pressured the Randwick Council and other bodies to prevent the mining of rutile on the beach.
Whilst this would be unthinkable now, it was a very real possibility then, particularly as the argument of the day was that rutile was important for defence.
A committee consisting of J. Murray, R. Round, E. Lawler, S. Baker, D. Renford and the writer were busy throughout the year liaising with Dan Curtin, the local Federal member, to thwart this threat.

Page 37

At the Olympics in Melbourne in December 1956, three members were selected as canoeists, Barry Stuart, Dennis Green and Wally Brown, the latter two being successful in gaining a bronze medal. Previously that year a fund raising committee consisting of Des Renford, Bill Hackett and George Irwin had conducted cabarets and other functions to fInance the importing of a suitable kayak for them to compete in.
Pat Manning won the Australian beach sprint title at Torquay and was selected in and made captain of the Australian "Test" team to compete against the visiting teams from New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
It was at the Australian and International championships at that time that the American competitors introduced the shorter balsa board with a fin, soon to be known as the "Malibu", which has dominated our beaches ever since.
There were, for those who may be confused by some results, two Australian Titles in the 56-57 season - those held at Torquay in December 1956 were for the 55-56 season, whilst those held at Bondi in 1957 were for the 56-57 season.
Barry Rodgers was to win both the State and Australian Junior Belt titles and Barry Stuart achieved the same double on the ski.
The next year 58-59
Barry Rodgers was to win both the State and Australian junior surf titles whilst the incredibly consistent Barry Stuart and Dennis Green achieved the same feat on the double ski.
Two events of enormous significance for the club also occurred; the formation of the South Maroubra Surf Club as the direct result of pollution at Malabar, and the formation of the Seals Winter Swimming Club with Bill Tatersall as president, Col Morris as captain and John Shore as Secretary.

Page 39

The outstanding performance of the 60-61 season was the achievement of Dennis Green and Dennis McGuire in winning the Australian, State and Metropolitan double ski titles.
It was at this time that the club was fInancially beneflting from the "stomp" dance craze which was sweeping Sydney.
Teenagers flocked to these dances from all parts of the metropolitan area.
John Burns was returned as secretary that year, a real glutton for punishment; he is the only one to have relinquished that position and returned at a later date.
However, by this time, surf clubs generally were beginning to suffer a malaise; teenagers preferred riding their own boards and not submitting to the discipline of a club.
The association was fairly inflexible (as were the clubs) in adapting to the changing scene, and inevitably, Maroubra was beginning to feel the effects.
Certainly lifesaving itself was being updated as mouth to mouth resuscitation was introduced at this time (although the Royal Society had introduced it 2 years previously) but clubs seemed to be unable to cater for youth.
This was compounded for the club by the emergence of the Winter swimming club and the Licensed club, both of which tended to attract the surf club's most experienced and capable offlcials, an excellent example of this being the resignation of John Shore at the end of the 61-62 season.

In the 1962-63 season
The Australian double ski title was won by Dennis Green and Barry Stuart, which was the second year of a hat trick for them.

Dennis Heussner again won the Australian Board title in 1963-64, a title he was to win on six separate occasions.

Page 40

The 1964-65 annual report congratulates "old Mick Barlow" on his work in his third year as captain of the club (he was then in his mid twenties).
Barry Rodgers and Dennis Heussner were both in the S.L.S.A. team which toured the United States.
The trip to the United States made by Barry Rodgers and Dennis Heussner initiated an event new to Australian surftng, the Iron Man, which gave carnivals a very necessary "shot in the arm" and Barry Rodgers a new lease of life competitively; in fact his name has become almost synonymous w!th the glamour of this event.
Thus the second half of the 60's associated the person, the event and the club in most people's minds.
Paradoxically, this American idea had been gained in Australia from the South Africans in 1956, then re-imported with the Australian team.

The 1966-67 season
That season saw Barry's ftrst win (of three) in the Australian Iron Man, although in the State title he had to be content with a second to Dennis Heussner.

Page 89

N.S.W. Hall of Champions
Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club has four representtives:
R. Baker All Rounder
D. Renford Marathon Swimming
D. Green Surf & Canoeing
B. Rodgers Surf
Their citations appear below.

8th February, 1884-1953
Reginald Leslie "Snowy" Baker is undisputedly the greatest all-round sportsman Australia has produced.
He proved his class in world competition as a champion boxer, footballer, swimmer, sculler, diver, gymnast and horseman.
He won Australian amateur boxing championships in several divisions.
At the 1908 London Olympics he won the silver medal in the middleweight division, losing a disputed decision to subsequent English cricket captain J. W. H. T. Douglas.
In Rugby Union he played half-back for N.S. W. in 1900 at sixteen years of age, and the following year gained his Australian cap against England.
Between 1901 and 1906 he excelled in swimming, water polo, diving and rowing winning many championships in individual and team events.
With the N.S.W. Lancers he was outstanding in military competitions such as horseback riding, wrestling and tent pegging.
Born in Surry Hills, Snowy attended Crown Street Public School.
He was a quadruple blue at Sydney University - cricket, rowing, athletics and football.
After the 1908 Olympiad he became an international celebrity, extensively touring Europe, successfully competing and demonstrating in swimming, diving, boxing, wrestling and horseback riding.
Later to become a successful entrepeneur and film star in Australia and America, Snowy Baker will always remain one of this country's most legendary sporting figures.

25th June, 1931
Competed for Australia in canoeing for five consecutive Olympic Games from 1956 to 1972.
In his initial representation in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics gained a Bronze medal in the kayak pairs 10,000m K2 event, partnered by Wally Brown.
At Munich in 1972 Dennis had the honour of being Australian flag bearer.
Won an amazing 64 Australian titles (single, pairs and four) including 18 pairs events with Barry Stuart between 1955 and 1974.
Representing the St George Club, he also won 79 N.S. W. State Titles.
Dennis complemented his canoeing activities by competing successfully in surfIag events, winning seven Australian double ski titles, the Australian single ski championship in 1964-65 and an International single ski race in 1956 at Torquay, Victoria.
Awarded the British Empire Medal for services to sport in 1978.

Page 91

25th August, 1927-
Australia's champion marathon swimmer, Des Renford created a record for the greatest number of crossings of the English Channel.
He registered his fourteenth crossing in 1979 from as many attempts, wresting the title "King of the Channel" from Britain's Mervyn Sharpe.
He first swam the Channel in 1970 and was the first Australian to swim from England to France.
In 1975 he swam the Channel three times in four weeks, a feat never before achieved, for which he was awarded the Matthew Webb Medal.
Des won his first marathon in 1969 and has made several records in Australian waters since.
He swam the icy Derwent River, Tas.,- 40 kms (25 miles) in 10 hours 54 mins.; and from Sydney Harbour to Wollongong - 93 kms (56 miles) in 27 hours 29 mins.
An active member of Maroubra S.L.S. Club since 1942, Des was decorated for bravery by the Royal Humane Society in 1954 for his part in saving the lives of three fisherman in shark infested waters off Cape Banks.
Awarded the M.B.E. in 1976 and honoured in International marathon Swimming Hall of Fame 1978.

7th August, 1941-
Barry proved himself one of the best and most versatile surfers in Australia winning six senior Australian Championships.
After winning the Australian Junior Belt (1957-58) and Surf (1958-59) titles he took the Australian Senior Championship in 1962-63.
He then won three consecutive Australian Iron Man Championships, 1966-67, 1967-68 and 1968-69.
A member of Maroubra S.L.S. Club he gained another two National titles in the Long Board Teams events of 1969-70 and 1972-73.
Barry - of magnificent physique 6'2" and 14 stone - favoured the Iron Man and was unbeaten, best in the world, in this event for some time.
His speciality was the swimming section, and the bigger the seas the better he performed.
Barry represented Australia on three overseas surfing tours to U.S.A. (1964-65), New Zealand (1966-67) and South Africa (1968-69), the latter trip as captain.
He won eleven State titles, including the Surf/Belt doubles in 1958-59 (Junior) and 1967-68 (Senior). Barry continued his success in Veteran Surfing Competition.

Page 93

Maroubra Representative Sportsmen
Sid Godfrey Australian Featherweight Champion 1916-1920
Australian Lightweight Champion 1920-1923

R. L. Baker Australian Middleweight Champion 1905-1906
2nd 1908 Olympics Middleweight

M. Lacey Australian Lightweight Champion 1910

Olympic Representatives
D. Green 1956,1960,1964,1968,1972
(Flag Bearer 1972)
B. Stuart 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968
W. Brown 1956
D.McGuire 1960, 1964
D. Heussner 1972, 1976
J. Trail 1976
W. Brown/D. Green 3rd(Bronze) 10,000m K21956 0lympics

Symonds, Tom: 
Maroubra Surf Club - The First 75 Years.
Lester-Townsend Publishing Pty. Ltd. Sydney, 1982.

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home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2008) : Tom Symonds : Maroubra SLSC, 1982.