Note there is certainly
no mention of surfboard riding at Town Beach in 1908 as reported by Newcastle
surf lifesaving historian, Chris Conrick:
"Reports of surfers using planks of wood on which to ride waves were not unknown at this time, as evidenced in the following newspaper report in 1908:-
"Board Riding Noted on Town Beach - Riders were observed using 10 feet lumps of wood to ride the waves and in this there appeared an element of danger."
 Coffs Harbour Advocate 22-1-1908.
John Bloomfied was a successful competitor
for the club and after his transfer to Newcastle, page 36.
He published Know-how in the Surf in 1959
Angus and Robertson, 89 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 1959. Reprinted 1961.
Though it was held under a gloomy sky, a total profit of (pounds) 52-7-2 was reported, a very impressive result for the period.
Note the details of events.
Above, detail from Carnival poster, note:
"Remarkable Feats of BOARD AND CANOE RIDING of the Royal Life Saving Societies' Representative from Sydney."
In the early 1930-s a new surf club was started at Woolgoolga.
Coffs Harbour Club sent two demonstration teams to assist with the formation of this club.
It also assisted and encouraged the formation of a surf club at Sawtell.
At the time, the
national depression was beginning to really bite and with no work and nowhere
to shelter a considerable number of people camped under the forest canopy
behind Park Beach.
Many joined the surf club as it was the cheapest recreation around with membership at five shillings a year and a pair of Speedo costumes - which would last almost four years and turn white from the salt water - another five shillings.
The total population of Top Town and The Jetty was about 2000, but the travellers swelled the surf club membership to 50 or so.
There were some
15 club members who lived west of Top Town, beyond Shepherd's Lane.
A few had bicycles to ride to the beach, but the majority walked down to the clubhouse and home again after their day's patrol.
Beach I, 1936.
Crew at launching
A quote for a
new set of oars and sweep received by the club from Mr Wattie Ford, of
Balmain Road, was: Sweep; three pounds 15 shillings, oars two shillings
and three pence per foot, cartage to steamer, nine pence per oar.
The first boathouse used by the club was 30 ft long, 6 ft high and 8 ft wide, made of galvanised iron.
It was a real oven and "Miss Park Beach" suffered in it.
The shed was moved to a sheltered position under some trees when the creek changed its course. Later the boat was stored in Gaffs Greek opposite Mr Deproe's home.
It was always a problem to find members to lift the boat from the water to put her away.
It was not so bad in the morning, but in the afternoon everyone seemed to have "gone home".
(From 1945 Onwards)
The club did not have a boat at that time as Miss Park Beach had finally fallen apart, in spite of all that Bill King did to keep her in one piece.
demise of "Miss Park Beach"; the club accepted the offer of the Mills family
of the use of their fishing boat to lay the competition buoys on Sundays.
A new surf boat was ordered and the old boat shed was sold to John Lawler for twelve quid.
Mr. Humphreys, of Newcastle, built the new boat at a cost of 190 pounds.
It was delivered in October 1946, and named Miss Park Beach II.
The main problem then - as it is today - was that the best educational and employment opportunities were in the cities, and surf clubs in the country consistently lost their members to city clubs. Amongst our club's losses were: John Mills, to Freshwater; John Loader, to ...
and John Bloomfield, to Newcastle.
John Bloomfield came to Coffs Harbour from the Kiama area with the Australian junior belt title to his name.
In his first year as a senior with our club he won the NSW senior belt championship at Byron Bay and again next year at "The Caves".
In 1953 he was 3rd in the senior belt race and a member of the R & R team that finished 3rd at Terrigal.
John won the senior belt race at the Royal Carnival at Bondi in 1954; toured with the Instructional Team to Hawaii in 1951; and was a member of the Australian team that toured South Africa in 1954.
At a committee meeting held at the Plantation Hotel on November 3, 1955, M. Bartlett and B. Seccombe moved "that boat builders Bailey Bros. be asked to supply one cedar tuck stern surf boat with spruce oars and an Oregon sweep oar at a cost of four hundred and sixty pounds; delivery by January 5, 1956."
The new boat was
delivered in March and named Miss Park Beach III.
Boat captain Boyce Seccombe was delighted with his new craft.
In 1975 Ted Janus
came to Coffs Harbour from North Bondi Club and introduced some new ideas
into our training methods.
It was Ted who started John Olive on his highly successful ski paddling career.
was a top competitor as a cadet and junior.
His main achievements were a silver medal at the State titles in 1978-79 and a gold medal at the 1980-81 State championships.
As a cadet in
the 1978-79 season John Olive won a silver medal at State level and a gold
at the Australian championships in the single ski.
Phil Hartmann was John's main training partner for his first two years. In the 1980-81 season John won two Australian silver medals and two gold and one silver at State titles.
Paul Denne proved his ability when tie won a gold and silver medal at the State titles in the 1980-81 season.
Wayne Clare, having
his first season with Coffs Harbour, won three gold and one silver medals
at the NSW Country Championships and three gold at the State championships.
He represented Country NSW to tour NZ, 1983.
Nick Kuhn won
the Branch and NSW Country Championships in the cadet class in his first
season as a ski paddler.
He has made the State final for the past two seasons and was placed 6th in the National Championships in Tasmania in 1983.
Our club has won
the junior ski relay three years in succession at country championship
level and two years in a row at State level.
It has also won the junior double ski three years in a row at Country level.
|First in Cadet
Second in Junior Single Ski
Second in Junior Double Ski
First in Junior Double Ski
First in Junior Single Ski
John Olive, Paul Denne
John Olive, Wayne Clare
|Second in Junior
Second in Junior Wave Ski
Second in Cadet Single Ski
Second Junior Single Ski
First Junior Single Ski
Second Junior Single Ski
First Junior Ski Relay
First Junior Ski Relay
First Junior Wave Ski
First Junior Double Ski
John Olive, Paul Denne, Mike Mills-Thorn
Wayne Clare, Stuart Ogilvy, John Olive
Wayne Clare, John Olive
The club's current
stars are Phil and Wayne Clare, John Olive, Stewart Ogilvy, Phil Hartmann
and Mike Mills- Thom in the senior ranks and Nick Kuhn in the juniors.
Wayne, John and Stewart won gold medals in three events at the Curl Curl State titles, and John won the National junior ski and with Wayne, the National junior double ski championships at Moana 1982.
Placings in major events by Coffs Harbour ski paddlers ... (not included).
|Miss Park Beach
Miss Park Beach II
Miss Park Beach III
|1936-44 (ex Cronulla)
Hoey Moey Aug.
1982 (ex Dixon Park)
A. C. Bastian
A. C. Bastian
A. Maxwell, D. Pickering
Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club -
The First 60 Years, 1923-1983.
Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, NSW, 1983.