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newspapers : surf-shooting, 1906-1914 
Newspapers : Surf-shooting, 1906-1914.


The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

Saturday 2 December 1871, page 6.


Sixteen persons, guests of "Tucker's," at Shark River, had a very narrow escape from drowning on Saturday while taking a surf bath.
The beach is a very safe one, but it so happened that two or three of the bathers in question took it into their heads to make a test of an unexplored portion of it, where the breakers appeared to be the most inviting.
The party consisted of Mr. Frank Hatfield, and his sister Cecilia, Mr. Joe Fox, Mr. Thomas Gilhooly, Miss Hattie Rutter, Miss Fanny Rutter, Mr. Robert Fox, Miss Katie O'Hara, Miss Beatty, Sir John Brophy and his sister Katie, Miss Emily McCallum, Mrs. Rowley, Miss Emma Tucker, Miss Lizzie Garland, and Signor Hermani, the well-known opera singer.
The water was delightfully warm when the bathers stepped into the waves, and they at once began to enjoy themsehes to their hearts' content.
Under the excitement of the moment they neglected to drag the rope, provided for the safety of bathers, after them and to this neglect was partially due the ternble expenence which followed.
The party did not venture out very far, but they found the surf so "splendid" that they forgot all about their bearings and so, when they finally made up their minds to go ashore, they discovered that they had been dnfted a considerable distance north of the rope-stake where they had started into the water.
This "trifle" gave no uneasiness to any of the party, and in twos and threes each made his or her way toward the shore as well as was possible under the circumstances, the sea at the time running very high and the presence of a strong undertow beginning to make itself felt.
The foremost of the bathers had already reached within a distance of thirty feet from the shore when of a sudden the bottom of the sand underneath their feet seemed to drop away, and in another second they were floundering in the surf with the water fully a fathom deep, the fact is, they had walked into one of the numerous holes with which the sea, beating hard upon the soft sand during the gale like that of Fnday, so often honeycombs a shallow beach.
Miss Emma Tucker and Miss Fanny Rutter were the first to fall into the trap.

They sank for a moment out of sight, and on coming to the surface screamed for help.
Their cries attracted the attention of Mr. Gilhooly, who was in shallow water a short distance from them, and he at once rushed to their assistance.
The moment he reached her side Miss Tucker, in going down a second time, threw her arms about him, and clutched him so closely that he was unable to strike for the shore, and the three - Miss Rutter having hold of him also - sank beneath the waves.

Gilhooly managed, on conimg to the surface, to get his arms free, and, telling the two girls to cling to him, made a dash for the shore.
It was a hard tug but the tide, fortunately, was beginning to flood and he finally succeeded in landing ma charges on the dry beach safely, though more dead than alive.
Almost at the same time that this struggle for life began, the other bathers were striking out right and left for the shore, they too having got into one of the storm traps.
So intent was each two or three who happened to be together when they got beyond their depth, that the enes of alarm of the others who were in twos and threes, and were in like danger were unheeded by them Mr., Brophy, like Mr. Gihooly, had a terrible struggle of it not only to save himself, but the ladies who happened to be near him, when they got into the holes in the sand.
He seized his sister Katie with a firm grip with one hand while Miss Hattie Rutter, Miss Beatty, Miss 0'Hara and Miss Lizzie Garland, hung to him - each clinging to whatever part of his bathing dress they could get hold of- with a grasp of death.

To swim, under the circumstances, was an impossible, and the whole party were again and again earned down by the waves.
By plunging forward, the best way they could, and taking advantage of every shore-bound wave that came roaring along, by throwing himself forward on its crest, Sir Brophy, with his load utterly exhausted, at last reached the shallow water.

Miss McCallum and Mrs Rowley had a very narrow escape of it too.
Utterly helpless, beyond their depth, and pulled downward and farther away from the shallow water by every wave that receded from the beach after it had struck, they certainly would hav e been lost but that Mr Joseph Fox, luckily an expert swimmer, discovered them in time.
When he reached them they had already been carried away quite a distance from the line of the stake, but he battled his way through the breakers determinedly, each of the ladies holding with one hand to his back, and was fortunate enough to get them ashore safely.
Mr. Hatfield and his sister had a like expenence to the others.
Thanks to the efforts of the former, and the assistance the others gave him when the danger they were in was discovered, they both reached the shore in safety, but not until they had become almost helpless.
Horace Rutter, a youngster about nine years of age, who was on shore at the time, had presence of mind enough, it should be mentioned, when he finally discovered the peril of the bathers, to throw the rope out, so that those struggling in the water were able to reach it, and pull themselves in out of the breakers when once they had got out of the deep water.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 13 October 1888, page 11.


The principal attraction at this exhibition yesterday was the cut-flower display.
The entries in all classes were numerous, and many of the exhibits reached a high standard of floral cultivation, and considerble artistic taste was shown in arrangement and decoration.
In the sections for girls attending school there was a magnificent display of flower-baskets and table, hand, button-hole bouquets and floral devices.
The arrangements in the annexe were excellent.
Along the top were the loan exhibits, and the entries for competition were displayed below on the one side in turf and on the other among the foliage and greenery.
In one of the Centennial stalls in this department, is a selection of native women's work from Samoa.
The collection, which has been got together by Mrs. J. E. Newell, the wife of one of the missionaries, includes, among other articles, chief's dress with belt, different garments, hats, and some specimens of coral.
On the opposite side of the central space a case is being erected by Mr. Hoffnung, for the display of a number of curios and valuable articles, which have been lent by the Hale Nana or Archaeological Society of Honolulu for the Melbourne Exhibition.
Mr. Hoffnung has decided to show them at the present Exhibition before forwarding them to Victoria.
Among the collection are the following:-  Royal feather cape restored, feather bed quilt, cloak cape and two pillow-cases, two native red and white topees, two native nuhau mats, dining mat, cocoanut wooden bowl,  two stone idols, two wooden fish gods, tobgganing-sleigh for women, hair booth necklaces, round awa bowl, wooden plates, finger bowls, and spittoon, assorted sizes of wooden poi calabash belonging to a famous monarch, dogs'-teeth ankle ornament, stone adze and side axe, rough unpolished adze, women's and men's stone poi powder,  a stone mortar, with powder for medicine, stone dye containers, stone plate and lamp, an unpolished poi calabash, sting slug (an implement of war), ballot balls, a spear made of kanwils wood, pair of rough ti-leaf sandals, primitive telephone instrument, invented in 1806; a dancing and a small auxiliary drum, box of 37 tapa-pounders, carrier stick for bearing burdens, miniature single and double outrigger canoes, ornamented and unornamented water gourd, calabashes and unornamented spitoon calabash "for common people," textile fibre, scrapers and board of the olono, short war club, fine mesh net made of tho olona, ball and twine of the olona fibre, bamboo flute, small nose flute of gourd and miniature native hut, wooden tapa blocks with rough samples of tapa, gourd dancing instrument, bundle of bamboo tapa prints, samples of native tapa clothes, Hawaiian checker board with white and black pebbles, the board perforated with small holes to designate the pieces of the pebbles placed as alternatively as white and black with holes throughout the board, and used as Kriege-spiel or war game board and diplomacy; cocoanut wooden dagger, surf-ridding board, and wooden hook.
Hanging from the central dais is a magnificent  Fijian mat made by native women.
It has been presented to Lady Carrington by Miss Annie Buttel as a contribution to the Exhibition.


P3259 Catalogue, 'Centennial International Exhibition 1888-1889, Melbourne', Mason, Firth & McCutcheon, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1888-1889 (OF).

Read more: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=324715#ixzz16dLXEMvK
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial

The Argus Saturday
16 August 1890, page 4.


Mr. Bruce Price's article on the subject in the present number of Scribner's Magazine.
Mr. Duffield Osborne describes surf bathing past and present, on the American coast, and illustrates the text by drawings and diagrams. 
The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

Tuesday 24 January 1893, page 5.

The Danger of Surf Bathing.

Perhaps the most ordinary danger of the sea shore - if danger can be called ordinary - is what are known as the three waves.
The breakers, as a rule, come in a series of three.
Sometimes the three are small, and sometimes are very heavy, but, as a rule, the sequences run about the same size.
Imagine a bather inside the surf line, with the surf breaking over a bar about fifty or one hundred feet from shore. Those big green waves that rise higher and higher as they come toward him do not seem very formidable.
The first one rears its head before it reaches him with an angry swish ; a curl of foam, like a feather edge, crops out along the top, and fills the air with spray.
Then the wave takes a more decided shoreward curl, the line of foam becomes deeper, there is a crash as it drops to the level, and the bather finds himself thrown down in a caldron of seething surf.
Say he is in three feet of water on the level.
After the wave has passed he struggles to his feet choking, gasping and half blind with the salt water.
He doesn't really know what has happened, but he has a dim idea that something has hit him.
Before he has time to collect his senses the second of the series is upon him, and he.goes down again.
He is dazed and confused, and he flounders around hopelessly.
The third wave is always the finishing stroke, and gives the life-saver, if there is one, a chance to do some work. Guided by an outstretched arm flung above the water involuntarily, or by a bobbing head with which the surf is playing football, he drags the unsophisticated one out on the sand.
That is the most common danger of the surf.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 26 April 1899, page 6.

"THE SYDNEY MAIL"- Every visitor to Sydney goes, as a matter of course, to Manly and as a residential suburb it has grown from a village, proudly referered to as "Our Village", to a considerable town.
What this progress has been is bought home in a very fine series of illustrations in this week's "Mail,"
which show not only the familiar Manly steamers and the sights of the "Brighton of the South," but include a striking picture of the surf bathing which is indulged in in the early mornings on the ocean beach.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 18 March 1903, page 7.

"Shooting the Breakers," showing a phase of surf bathing at Manly, is the subject of a picture in this
week's " Mail.'' -Advt.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 1 March 1905, page 10.


Mr. D. Hogan, of Manly, writes today that the lifeboat crew did very smart work in rescuing the people whose lives were endangerd in the surf at the ocean beach on Wednesday.
As soon as the crew observed the signal the made for the breakers and skilfully effected the rescue.
Another correspondent also bears testimony to the work of the crew, which did very smart work, considering, that in his opinion, the boat was undermanned.

Mr. Archibal Hannan writes to say that the report of a life saving incident at manly was incorrect, so far as it referred to himself.
He simply went to the rescue of a friend, and got ashore without any assitance.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 16 March 1907, page 16.


This afternoon the first annual Surf Carnival will be held at Manly, when fancy diving, shooting the breakers, and other aquatic sports will form the programme.
Selections will be played by the Manly Band, and there will be a special steamer service.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 15 January, 1908 page 10.


Arrangements are in hand for the approaching carnval of the Manly Surf Club, to be held on 21th inst.
A fancy dress procession will parade through the Corso and along the ocean beach.
One of the chief attractions of the afternoon will be a display of rescue and resuscitation drill by the metropolitan police in full uniform, sanction having been given for this event by the Inspector General.
The landing of Captain Cook will be carried out the boat approaching through the surf from the flagship and will be opposed by a number of blaks in full aboriginal "uniform."
An interesting event that is causing keen interest among surf bathers will be an interclub life-saving competition, for which Bondi, Maroubra, Newcastle, North Steyne, and other clubs are entering teams.
There will be a swimming race out through the surf under the auspices of the Swimming Association, open to members of all affiliated swimming clubs.
A diving exhibition will he given from a springboard on the rocks by C. N. Purcell and other members of the club.
An exhibition will also be given by the Sly Brothers in their surf boat.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 16 January 1908, page 8.


Arrangements have been made for the Sly brothers to proceed to Newcastle on Saturday with the North Steyne (Manly) Lifesaving Club, taking the surf boat to help in the exhibition on the Newcastle Beach on Sunday 19th  inst.
An attractive programme has been prepared by the North Steyne Club, and, given anything like reasonable weather, it is expected that a good object lesson will be afforded to Newcastle people.
A special concert is being arranged for Friday evening next in the band pavilion to defray the cost of sending the surf boat and crew.
A number of members of the council, including Alderman Quirk, Pasaau, and Duggan, will accompany the bathers.

Coffs Harbour Advocate
22 January 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.

- Conrick: Northern Lifesaver (1989) page 95.
Initially noted by Dave Kelly contributing to realsurf.com.au forum, January 2008.

Unfotunately a search of newspapers held by the State Library of NSW indicates the Coffs Harbour Advocate was only published once a week and there is no actual edition for 22 January 1908.

Without further information, the Coffs Harbour report is unusual in not identifying the riders, as may be expected if they were local residents.
If they were short-term visitors to the area and were accompanied by their surfboards, then they almost certainly arrived and departed in a coastal steamer.
They may be have been Australian boardriders (possibly with a life saving club connection) whose steamer had briefly berthed at Coffs on the way up or down the coast.
Far less likely, but possible, they were international seamen travelling with their surfboards, the obvious candidates, no doubt, of Hawaiian descent.

Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 21 December 1908, page 7.


The vice-president ... whites and natives in the Hawaiian group, breaker shooting at Manly, Bondi, Freshwater, and other ... sweep up on to the beach.
The Hawaiian, although he does not claim , a monopoly of surf-riding, is ... 630 words 
The Daily Telegraph

29 December 1908, page 3.

On Boxing day, at Bronte Beach, experiments with the new unswampable twin torpedo surf boar, were successfully carried out.
As the novel craft leapt though and over the big white breakers, it resembled two huge fish, withseveral men riding on them, presenting a most diverting spectacle  to the onlookers, and suggesting how successfully  such a craft could be manouvred by experienced men, even in a heavy surf.
The vessel is to have a third compartment built between the cylinders at the stern end, also proper seats, giving the crew greater propelling power.

- noted in Young: Cronulla SLSC (2000) page 24.
The Sydney Morning Herald

Thursday 31 December 1908, page 10.


The Manly Surf Club held a meeting at the Hotel Steyne last night, Mr Alderman Adam Ogilvy
occupying the chair.
It was reported that the Government would place the Captain Cook at the disposal of the club on carnival day to act as flagship, and would also arrange for a display with the Government life boat and a rocket display.
The programme of the carnival was settled, it being decided to again have tthe "Birth of Venus" on the harbour beach, and "The Landing of Captain Cook" on the ocean beach; also a fancy dress procession through Manly, in which a representation of Lady Godiva's ride will be given.

All the lifesaving clubs around Sydney will be invited to send representative teams to walk in the procession in club costume carrying their life-saving reels and gear.
There will be a number of competitive events on the ocean beach, land drill, surf swimming and shooting and alarm reel races but the chief event of the day will be a rescue competition with lifelines and reels in which twelve teams will probably take part.
This event last year caused considerable rivalry, and the Bondi Surf-Bathers' Life-saving Club and the Manly Surf Club proved a very close match.
The Sly Brothers will give an exhibition of shooting the breakers in the surf boat.
Every effort will be made to provide the thousands of spectators with a good view of the proceedings, and the council will close the dressing sheds in order that only competitors may be in the water during the progress of the carnival.
The Manly Band will perform during the afternoon.
At the conclusion of last night's meeting of the Manly Surf Club, Mr A W Relph, who has held the position of hon. secretary for eighteen months since the club's formation, handed in his resignation, owing to pleasure of private work.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 19 July 1909, page 7.


H. M.S. Challenger, which recently visited the Cook Group, with the Governor of New Zealand, arrived in Sydney on Saturday and moored in Farm Cove.
The Cook Group has for the past eight years been attached to the Dominion, and the islands visited by the Challenger were Roratonga, Mangala, Atlu, and Altulaki.
At Mangala, where the island is encircled by a fringing reef, the party experienced the exciting sensation of being landed by the system of surf-running in catamarans.
Thero wero 1560 natives and six whites on the island, and everybody but the halt and maimed seemed to have come down to the gala.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 13 January 1910 page 10.


Mr Walter H. Biddell the well known surf enthusiast of Bronte was in Honolulu last month and there lectured on lifesaving methods and excited the Hawaiians' keen interest in the work In g>nn«r what their local press described as "finished exhibitions of the noble art of lifesaving."
Honolulu has a population of 45,000 and is the home of surf bathing, which its tropical climate renders popular all year round.
Shooting the breakers in outrigger canoes and riding the rollers on surf board, about 10ft long there provides exhilarating sport, with occasional drowning accidents.
Large numbers assembled to witness the Sydney lifesaver's public demonstration which General Soper, Dr. Ramus (?), the U.S. Government Medical Officer, and others induced Mr Biddell to give.
The display corrected the mistaken idea that the R.L.S.S. methods of rescue and release were applicable only to smooth water conditions.
The great pains taken to demonstrate their effectiveness under all conditions evoked hearty appreciation.
Various movements were explained immediately before the instructor entered the water, and shown under most difficult circumstances in the water.
Dr. Ramus, who acted the part of a drowning subject, responded vigorously to the rescuer's direction that he should endeavour to break away, and in every way try to foil the rescuer's efforts, so that the methods might be severely tried.
They were proved effective, however, and the doctor was expeditiously landed and promptly resuscitated by the new shafer method, then introduced for the first time at Honolulu.
The Honolulu press made life saving the leading topic during Mr Biddell's visit with the result that widespread interest in the work of the work of the zRoyal Life-saving Society was aroused.
Dr. Ramus formed a large class of candidates anxious to learn the society's methods, and many Hawaiian surf bathers are now the better prepared for emergencies.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 21 February 1910, page 5.


The North Steyne Surf Club held its third annual carnival at Manly on Saturday afternoon before a large attendence in excellent weather.
The following were the results:-
Pyjama and Kimono Parade. - H. J. Farrell, 1; O. Blackwell, 2.
Egg and Spoon Race - A. J. Cohen (Bondi)
Cockfight - Coghill and Challis.
Alarm Reel Race - Maroubra (H. W. Baker, J. I. Duff, S. Brown, N. T. Lucas, N. Broyvn, F. J. Fitzgerald).
Sack Race. - Brown.
Tug-of-War - Little Coogee, 1; North Steyne, 2.
Surf-shooting by Lady Surf-shooters - Miss Lewis, 1; Miss J. Sly, 2.
Pillow Fight - Hind.
Surf Race - S. Wright.
During the afternoon collection boxes were handed round, with the result that  £21 7s 7d was gathered in, Mrs. L. Naan being the most successful collector with £3 16s 5d.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 14 February 1910 page 3.


Mdlle. De Dio and the Brothers Martine between them still give the best items in the Tivoli programme, the former by her illusion and the latter by their almost marvellous acrobatic feats.
A new attraction was however staged on Saturdav- the Surf Nymph.
The lady uses the biograph to produce the illusion of the surf breaking on the shore but she herself appears in front of the sheet and by the aid of mechanical effects produces the effect to the beholders of actually sporting in the long rollers that come in.
Her gliding motion gives the idea of swimming, her momentary disappearances behind subsiduary screens at the physcological moments gave the illusion that she becomes covered by the waves, and her reappearances also as the psvchological moments keep up the illusion.
The fault, however, was that the turn was altogether too short.
Miss Olga Grey with her mimicry; Miss Lillie Langtry with her songs; Happ Tom Parker and several others in the variety part of the entertainment keep up the interest to the end.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 21 March 1910, page 10.


Manly was en fete on Saturday's afternoon on the occasion of the third annual carnival of the Manly Surf Club.
In the morning people flocked down to The Village and early in the afternoon the accommodation of the ferry steamers was taxed to their utmost capacity.
An enormous crowd assembled at the scene of the carnival.
The whole affair was a great success from every point of view, the surf conditions were good and it was a beautifully fine day to spend by the sea.
Early in the morning parties took up positions on the hills overlooking the surf and picnicked there to be sure of their view point.
The proceedings commenced with a procession, which started from the pier.
Led by a body of mounted police, they marched through the Corso and several of the main streets before arriving at the beach.
There was a display supposed to represent the arrival of Lieutenant Shackleton and party at the South Pole and it included the party in costume, icebergs, walruses, seals, penguins and bears and the Pole itself.
The Amateur Fishermen's Assoclatlon had also an excellent displays, but Mr. Leslie Curnow won the group prize with a group representing the goddess of health surrounded by a number of little girls in bathing costumes lying about as though on the beach, in background being presented showing a picture of the sea and surf and sunrise.
There were other first-class groups representing the "Early Settlers' Camp" and "The Nark."
Several bands took part including the Manly Band and the Newtown Scottish Rifles Band who aftewards took up position on the beach and played some inspiring airs.
The life saving clubs also marched with their reels and life lines and created a noticeable impression on the thousands of spectators who cheered them heartily as they passed.
A large number of humorous characters were in evidence and the prize for the best sustained character was awarded to Mr George Bell (of the "Sydney Mail") who appeared as Professor David, a special prize being given to "Naughty Tottie", a young surf bather from Newcastle who appeared in a fashionable lady's costume.
The white creamy ponies and carriages of Manly took up the van of the procession and were occupied by Mr F. W. J. Donovan (president), Mr A. W. Relph (secretary) and the committee of the club.
Mr. A. E. P. Gurdon obtained the prize for the best decorated vehicle, a motor car which was handsomely decorated with flowers.

On arriving at the beach the competitions began.
The hills and beach were covered with a concourse of people, including some hundreds of invited guests who occupied seats in Mr. J. P. Wrights grounds overlooking the surf.
The competitions were contested with a keenness that is characteristic of the surf clubs and the interest of the spectators was aroused from start to finish, the events being run off without a moments delay ,sometimes two or more taking place at once.

Some excellent surf shooting was given by Messrs. Frank Bell, F. C. Williams, J. Holland and R. M'Kelvey and also by Misses Jessie and Agnes SIy and Miss Lewers.
The surf boat gave a number of exhibitions of shooting the breakers and was manned by Captain Stan Jones, A.A. Watson, Alf W. Bye, V. Rowlands and W.A. Kellam.
A spectacular event was the arrival of a raft from the sea manned by supposed survivors of a shipwreck.
As they came in on the surf, they were attacked by a band of cannibals from the beach and just in the nick of time were rescued bv a man-o-war crew in the surf boat.
There was much firing of guns and several of the niggers dropped as though shot.
The proceedings were -julie (?) realistic and the event brought forth rounds of cheers from the spectators.

During the afternoon a fine exhibition of life saving was given by a team of ladies.
The proceedings were carried out under the direction of Alderman F. W. T. Donovan and Mr. A. W. Relph.
Those managing the procession and displays were Mr. W. Tonge and Mr. G. Owens.
Others who helped considerably to make the carnival a success were Messrs. C. D. Pilcher, N. Ilcily, T. E. U. Smith and T. Gunning.
The ladies of Manly under Mrs. Sheridan's management made a collection and took up nearly  £40 ??
After pas ment of expenses it is intended to hand a third of the profit to the Manly Hospital and a third will be spent on life saving apparatus on the beach.
It Is expected that a profit of about £50 will result.

The results of the contests were as follows -
Alarm reel Race - Manly Surf Club 1, North Steyne Club 2, Maroubra Surf Club 3.
Wheelbarrow Race- Brown and Johnson (Coogee) 1.
Surf Race - Cecil Healy 1, S. S. Smith 2, S. Solomons 3.
Rescue and Resuscitation Competition- North Steyne 1, Bondi Surf-bathers 2, Cooeee Surf Brigade 3.
Pillow Fight- A. G. Mason (Manlv Surf Club) 1.
Cock Fight- Brown and Mendel (Coogee) 1.
Rescue and Resuscitation (Juniors) - Little Coogee- 1, Manly Surf Club 2, North Steyne 3.
Tug-of-War - Little Coogee
Boy Scout Race - F. Roberts.
In the evening Alderman Donovan entertained the Mayor of Newcastle (Mr. John Reid) and a number of officers of the Manly Surf Club at dinner at the Hotel Steyne.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 14 June 1910, page 8.


The four masted barque Poltalloch, 2139 tons, which arrived at Sydney yesterday from Portland (Oregon), experienced a rough time from June 1, when about 100 miles off Sydney Heads,  a strong soultherly gale, with very high seas was encountered, and for 14 days the vessel was under lower topsails
The Poltalloch has a cargo of over 2,000,000 ft of timber, and the gale caused some of this to be damaged though none was lost overboard.
Slight damage to the deck fittings was also caused bv the gale.
The barque anchored in Watson's Bay at 6 o'clock last night.

The Poltalloch was identified by Tommy Walker as the vessel on which he visited Hawaii in 1909 and purchased his first surfboard.

The Daily Telegraph
3 November 1910, page 5.


Recently the Warringah Shire Council received a complaint concerning the use of surf-boards at Freshwater.
The matter was referred to the police, with a request that action should be taken as the use of boards in the breakers was considered dangerous and should be prohibited.

- Noted in S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 131.

The Argus (Melbourne)
Tuesday 17 January 1911, page 9.



"I have heard of surf shooting in Sydney," says "W.T.M." (Williamstown), "and, as I am spending some time at Sorrento, would like to know how to practise it.
Can you give me any hints."

You need to begin in shallows where you can stand on the bottom and get the benefit of a jump off with the wave.
Of beginners 99 per cent start too late.
You need to jump off just before the white wave crest appears on the wave which is breaking behind you.
You can only find the right moment by contiuous practice.
When you have judged it correctly in the shallows go out to deeper water.
Take the wave at the same time, making one sweep with your right arm and one kick of the left leg, the left arm being down along the side.
After tjhe first strong stroke the right arm, like the left lies along the side, the legs straight back.
It is altogether a matter of timing and balance, which you can learn with long practice.
In Sydney they say it takes two years' practice to make a good surf-shooter.


While use of surf boards is forbidden in Sydney, but where there are not so many people bathing you can do so fine shooting with it.
The board - as light as you an get it -should be 2ft or slightly under in length, and not more than 18in. in width.
Time the wave as already as suggested.
The board is gripped in the centre at each end, the further edge inclining upward from the water at an angle of less than 45 degrees.
It is held at arms length.
Try it only where there are not many people bathing together at one time.

Queanbeyan Age
Friday 10 March 1911, page 3.


Surf-bathing as a sport is, without doubt, one of our most popular diversions, and notwithstanding the fact that it is attended with an element of risk, as is evidenced by the recent calamity at Coogee, it is safe to say that it has come to stay.
Many of our regular surf-bathers have become highly expert in shooting the breakers, and their exploits in that fascinating pastime are at once the envy and the admiration of the novice.
But, after all, we are only children at the game.
Centuries ago the natives of Hawaii had attained a pitch of perfection at the art of surf riding which would leave our best exponents far in the rear, and the bronze skinned Hawaiian of to-day is just as expert as his ancestors.
There, however, the surf-board is in vogue, and almost incredible feats are performed by the expert riders.
It is quite a common thing for the surfer, standing on his board before the crest of a roller, to be carried over half a mile at Waikiki Beach, near Honolulu; while after a stormn, the rider can start his trip over a mile out to sea and be landed right up on the beach.
At HIIlo Bay there are rollers after a big storm that carry native riders 5 miles at a run, and on the island of Nichau there are


said to be even more wonderful feats performed.
To stand on these frail boards and guide them with the feet is itself an accomplishment requiring skill, nerve, and constant practice; but the Hawaiian riders leap from one board to another at full speed, climb on each other's shoulders; and perform other remarkable feats.
The natives have, however, a serious rival in the white man, who is becoming almost as expert on the surf-board.

A most interesting account of this sport, by one of the Honolulu experts, appears in a new magazine entitled the Mid-Pacific.
This periodical, which is splendidly got up, is published in Honolulu, one of its main objects being to promote tourist traffic across the Pacific, and to boom Honolulu, and other countries such as New Zealand and Australia, which would be included in the tourist's itinerary.
This is with out doubt a matter of great importance to the countries concerned, and the Commonwealth Government has shown its appreciation of the scheme by delegating Mr. Percy Hunter, the Director of the New South Wales Immigration and Tourist Bureau, to represent it at a Pan-Pacific Congress, which is to be held at Honolulu this month.
The Mid Pacific, if it obtains the circulation its promoters anticipate, should do a great deal to arouse interest in travel on this side of the world.

There are two kinds of boards for surf-riding.
One is called the olo, and the other the a-la-la, known also as omio.
The olo was made of wiiiwill- a very light, buoyant wood- some 3 fathoms long, 2 or 3 feet wide, and from 6 to 8 inches thick along the mlddle of ,the board, lengthwise, but rounding toward the edges on both upper and lower sides.
It is well known, that the olo was only for the use of the chiefs; none of the common people used it. They used the a-la-ia, which was made of koa, or ulu.
Its length and width was similar to the olo, except in thickness, it being but of 1 to 2 inches thick along Its centre.

The line of breakers is the place where the surf rises and breaks at deep sea.
This is called the kulana nalu.
Any place nearer or closer in, where the surf rises and breaks again, as it sometimes does, is called the ahua, known also as kipapa or puao.

There are only two kinds of surfing in which riding is indulged; these are called Kakala, known also as lauloa or long surf, and the ohu, sometimes called opuu.
The former is a surf that rises, covering the whole distance from one end of the beach to the other. This, at times, forms in successive waves that roll in with high, threatening crest, finally falling over bodily.
The first of a series of surf waves usually partakes of this character, and is never taken by a rider, as will be mentioned later.
The ohu is a very small comber that rises up without breaking, but of such strength that it sends the board on speedily.
This is considered the best, being low and smooth, and the riding thereon easy and pleasant, and is therefore preferred by ordinary surf-riders.
The lower portion of the breaker is called honun, or foundation, and the portion near a cresting wave is termed the muku side, while the distant, or clear side, as some have expressed it, is known as the lala.

During calmn weather, when there was no surf, there were two ways of mIaking or coaxing it practised by the ancient Hawaiians, the generally adopted method being for a swimming party to take several strands of the sea coavolvulus vine, and, swinging it around the head, lash it down unitedly upon the water until the desired result was obtained.

The swimmer, taking position at the line of breakers, waits for the proper surf.
As before mentioned, the first one Is allowed to pass by.
It is never ridden, because its front is rough.
If the second comber is seen to be a good one it is sometimes taken, but usually the third or fourth is the best, both from the regularity of its breaking and the foam-calmed surface of the sea through the travel of its predecessors.

In riding with the olo or thick board, the board is pointed landward, and the rider, mounting it, paddles with his hands and impels with his feet to give the board a forward movement, and when it receives the momentum of the surf, and begins to rush downward, the skilled rider will guide his course straight, or obliquely, apparently at will, according to the spending character of the surf ridden, to land himself high and dry on the beach, or dismount on nearing it, as he may elect.
This style of riding was called kipapa.
In using the olo great care had to be exercised in its management, lest from the height of the wave- if coming in direct - the board would be forced into the base of the breaker, instead of floating lightly and riding on the surface of the water, in which case, the wave-force being spent, the reaction throws both rider and board into the air.

In the use of the olo the rider had to swim around the line of surf to obtain position, or be conveyed thither by canoe.
To swim out through the surf with such a buoyant bulk was not possible, though it was sometimes done with the thin boards, the a-la-ia.
These latter are good for riding all kinds of surf, and are much easier to handle than the olo.

Kaha nalu is the term used for surf swimming without the use of the board, and was done with the body only.
The swimmer, as with a board, would go out for the position, and, watching his opportunity, would strike out with hands and feet, to obtain headway, as the approaching comber, with its breaking crest, would catch him, and with his rapid swimming powers bear him onward with swift momentum, the body being submerged in the foam, the head and shoulders only being seen.
Kalha experts could ride on the lala, or top of the surf, as if riding with a board.

Also see:
Percy Hunter : July Skiing in Australia.
Extracts from The Mid Pacific Magazine, January, 1911.

The except is likely to be from:
Duke Kahanamoku: Riding the Surfboard, Part 1.
Mid-Pacific Magazine, Volume 1 Number 1, January 1911.
"Conducted by Alexander Hume Ford"
Duke Kahanamoku: Riding the Surfboard, Part 2.
Mid-Pacific Magazine, Volume 1 Number 2, February 1911.
The text, largely reproduced from Thrum's Hawaiian Surfriding (1886), is discussing ancient surfriding, and not contemporary practice.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 24 March 1911, page 10.


The customary procedure in the surf at Manly when a channel is formed is for men to be continually rescuing ladies from the dangerous water.
This, however, was reversed about 9.30 o'clock yesterday morning, when Miss Ivy Schilling, the well-known dancer of "Our Miss Gibbs" Company, saved Mr. Tom Walker, one of the most skilful surfers who frequent the South Steyne beach.

Walker had been shooting the breakers for some time, when a wave carried him into deep water.
He states that he then was seized with violent cramp in the stomach, and threw up his hands.
Jack Reynolds, the Manly life-saver, was basking on the beach, not being on duty; and he took no notice of Walker going under for the simple reason that he knew him to be a strong swimmer.
Walker said he realised this would likely occur, and felt his position to be all the more desperate on that account.
Just as he was faced with this ordeal he noticed someone swimming strongly towards him.
He was taken hold of, and assisted into shallow water.
By this time "Happy" Eyre, the relieving beach attendant, had dashed in to his assistance.
Both were surprised to see that Walker's rescuer was a girl.
She had handled the emergency coolly and expertly, and there was considerable enthusiasm when she helped the beach attendant drag Walker out of the water.
After working on the young man for some minutes he recovered.
Walker attributes his trouble to going into the water too soon after breakfast.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 10 April 1911, page 13.


The annual carnival of the Freshwater Surf and Life-saving Club was held on Saturday afternoon in glorious weather.
Frewshwater beach ranks as the premier surf bathing beach in the State, and it was not surprising to see such a large crowd present to witness the various displays.
The feature of the Freshwater carnival is the fancy dress procession from the Manly pier to the beach, a distance of nearly two miles.
Close on 50 members, attired in all varieties of costumes, formed the procession and a huge crowd escorted them through the Corso and along the ocean beach at North Steyne to the rendovous. Thousands had congregated on the various points of vantage, and the scene on the heights of Queenscliff overlooking the beach was very picturesque.
A large committee controlled the arrangements but the bulk of the work was entrusted to the hon. secretary,  Mr W. R. Waddington.
The carnival was the most succesful yet held by the club.

A feature of the day's events was the fine surf-shooting bv the Misses Lewers of Queenscliff.
The Manly Surf Club's boat was in evidence, and several successful trials through the breakers were made.
Mr. Fred Notting again contributed to the programme by venturing through the surf in his frail canoe, "The Big Risk."
North Steyne suffered defeat at the hands of the Manly Surf Club team No 2.
This is the first time the black and gold has been defeated for some years.

The results were as follow:-
Dusting the Beltman - Wyman (Stockton), 1; Moxon (Little Coogee), 2.
Rescue and Rescuscitation competition -  Manly No. 2., 1; Manly No. 1., 2; Bondi Surf Club, 3.
Apple Race - Levi (Freshwater), 1; Wyman (Stockton), 2.
Obstacle Race - Moxon (Little Coogee), 1; Fraser (Freshwater), 2.
Alarm Reel Race - Manly No. 3, 1; North Steyne, 2.
Pushball Match - Manly, 1.
Pillow Fight - Knight (Little Coogee), 1; Mane (Freshwater), 2.
Climbing Greasy Pole - Knight (Little Coogee), 1; Mason (Freshwater), 2.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 3 April 1911, page 13.


The fourth annual carnival of the Manly Surf Club was held on Saturday jn delightful weather.
Crowds flocked to the beach to witness the entertainments and displays by the various clubs and the numerous water champions.
The Manly and Port Jackson Steamship Company had a frequent service of boats, and at times the Corso and the beach were one mass of moving humanity.
At the rendezvous at the southern end of the beach good order prevailed, a barricade having been erected to give the competítors sufficient freedom to carry on the displays.
This year's carnival was conducted without the usual fancy dress proccession from the wharf.
On the beach, however, the spectators were well catered for, the proceedings opening with a grand parade of all the surf clubs, with their life saving appiaratus and appliances.
The teams dressed in costume marched past in excellent order and received an ovation from the crowd.
A feature of the day's entertainment was the magnificent surf-shooting; by the clubs.
Individual surf-shooting on boards was also indulged in and the Hawaiian troupe of board shooters, gave exhibition which was loudly applauded.
The lifesaving boat was not available but a small canoe steered by Mr Fred Notting, of Manly, made many successfuul shoots through the breakers.
A team from the members of the Manly Ladíes Life-savng Club gave a capital exhibition of the work of lifesaving.
An unusual and novel event was arranged for the termination of this year's carnival.
Manly showed the vast gathering the tactics likely to he displayed by an invasion of the "Yellow Peril."
Port Darwin was selected as the scene and a large army of "Brown Boys" made elaborate preparation to have a successful display.
The Chinese had overthrown the marine defenders by cunning and deceitful methods, but were subsequently met face to face with a large army of the hardy surf club members, reinforced by a troup of boy scouts, who played great havoc with the invaders.
The noise and din of the throng were sufficient to expel any enemy without firing a shot.
Cannons roared, however, and the spectators were worked up to a great pitch of excitement.

The Manly Council had given the club permission to take up a collection and a nice sum was annexed during the day.

The results of the various competitions were as follows:-
Fancy Dress Three legged Race: Nicholls Brothers (North Steyne), 1; Watson and Munro (Manly Surf Club), 2; Cavill and Healy, 3.
The costumes worn were many and varied in the fancy dress parade, the winner being disguised as "Blue Bottle King,  I. Curnow was successful for first place; Roy Lawrence (for Harem skirt), second; A. Watson (Chinaman) for most original.
North Steyne secured the verdict for the grand parade, with Port Kembla second.
Rescue and Resuscitation Competition: North Steyne, 54.1 points, 1; Manly No. 1, 51.3 points; Manly No. 2,  36.3 points, 3.
Other teams competing were Port Kembla, Coogee and Freshwater.
Surf Race:  J. Grieve (Bondi), 1; J. Lord (Bondi), 2.
Alarm Reel Race: Coogee 2m 14s, 1; North Steyne No. 1 2m 17s,  2.
Pillow Fight: F. Knight (Little Coogee), 1; H. Davis (North Steyne),  2.

Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 1 December 1911, page 12.


The North Steyne Club has forwarded for confirmation to the Surf Bather's Association a programme for the club's annual carnival.
Fifteen life-saving clubs will be represented, and an exhibition of surf-shooting by Mr. L. Bouffett, of Norfolk Island will be given.

- Noted in S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 159.

Mr L. Bouffett was probably a decendant of John Buffett who arrived on Pitcairn Island in December, 1823 on  the British whaler, Cyrus.
The Pitcairn islanders, largely decenced from Bounty mutineers and Tahitian women, were renowned surfriders.
See Ramsay: Pitcairn Island (1821).

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 1 January 1912, page 12.


With a black north-easter blowing, rain falling and the sea becoming rougher and rougher, the North Steyne Surf and Life-saving Club was unfortunate in connection with its fifth annual gala.
Despite the conditions, however, about 1000 people paid for admission to the carnival on the beach, and there were many more outside the enclosure.
Whilst the fourth event was in progress rain fell, and most of the spectators left.
At this stage it became necessary to postpone the water events as a strong current was sweeping from north to south along the beach at a very fast rate, and in the rescue drill, great difficulty was experienced by the swimmers in making the buoy.
The current took them a good deal out of their way, and unless they were fortunate enough to reach it at the first attempt, there was no possiblity of again getting there.
All the beach sports, however, were carried out, and the arrangements generally were complete.

Events were ahead of schedule time in the majority of instances, results and happenings were clearly announced by megaphone, and the result board was placed in a most prominent position.

In the adverse circumstances the club did well to make a success of the gala.

The officials were:- Director, O. G. H. Merrett; assistant director, L. V. Hind; referee. J. Lord; starter L. W. Abel; check starter, R. D. Doyle; time keepers, F. C. Williams, G. Cohen, A. A. Watson; judges for water events, C. D. Patterson, I. Hayden, D. Slyer, S. Fullwood; judges for beach sports, C. Martin, L. C. Ormsby, W. Kellam; megaphone operator, E. H. Reeve; result steward, W. C. Fisher; ??? secretary, E. M. V. Shorewell.

Grand parade and march past of surf clubs in coustume, and with all lifesaving gear and appliances. Five teams turned out, and both North Steyne at Manly Life-saving clubs made a very effective display.
The judges awarded first prize to the former and second to the latter.
Junior Alarm Reel Race (under 16 years of age).-
The reels were placed some distance up the beach, and the teams mustered at water's edge.
At the starting signal the teams rushed to the reel, and the beltman was required to swim to buoy anchored about 20 yards out.
Two teams competed- North Steyne and Manly Seagulls.
At the first attempt neither beltman reached the buoy, and, as the current was rapidly sweeping both farther away, the effort had to be abandoned.
At the second attempt, however, Manly Seagulls' representative reached the buoy, and thus won.
Fancy Dress Parade.-
Eight characters paraded, the award of the judges went to R. O. Farrell (clown).
Rescue and Resuscitation Competition for Begg's Shield.-
Owing to the heavy current running from north to south, the reels had to be placed at the extreme north of the beach, whilst the buoy, at which the rescue had to be made was anchored at the southern end.
Only two heats were disposed of, and it was then decided, owing to the heavy and dangerous seas, to postpone the final until a future date.
As this is one of the most important surf competitions of the year, it is regrettable that the conditions were such as to make this course necessary.
First heat: North Steyne (holders of shield), North Bondi, 2.
Second heat: Freshwater, 1; Coogee Surf and Manly  Life-saving, dead heat, 2.
Wheelbarrow Race.- A. F. Davis and W. Allison (North Steyne), 1; W. R. Davis and R. T. Beale (North
Steyne), 2.
300 yds Beach Relay Race.-
First heat: J. W. Wilkins, W. Morgan, E. Nicholls, H. Nicholls (North Steyne), 1; S. M'Kelvey, K. G. Childers, R. Miller, F. Lancellen (Manly L.S.C.), 2.
Second heat: S. C. Wright, A. Wright, J. B. Westwood. V. Rowlands (Manly L.S.C), 1; A. Kelly, W. H. Allison, F. Bruce, H. Taubmaan (North Steyne), 2.
Third heat: A. F. Davis, H. Davis, H. J. Filschie (?), C. Hind (North Steyne), 1; C. G. R. Wilson, G. M'Kay, R. T. Beale, G. H. Betts (North Steyne), 2.
Fourth beat: F. H. Falls, P. Thompson, N. Holmes, W. P. Pigott (Manly L.S.C.), I; P. Piddington, H. Crispe, C. Michelson. H. Skinner (Manly Seagulls), 2.
Final: JF. W. Wilkins, W. Morgan, E. Nicholls, H. Nicholls (North Steyne), 1; S. C. Wright, A. Wright, J. B. Westwood. V. Rowlands (Manly L.S.C), 2; C. G. R. Wilson, G. M'Kay, R. T. Beale, G. H. Betts (North Steyne), 3.

The surf boat display by Mr. Fred Notting in the 'Big Risk' canoe, and the display by Mr. T. Walker on the Hawaiian surf board had to be abandoned, owing to the unsuitable weather.
Mr. Notting rowed his boat from South Steyne, but, in attempting to come in on a wave, was upset, and he seemed at one time to be in difficulties.
The North Steyne team prepared to go to his assistance, but Mr. Notting reached the shore unaided by clever use of the current.
A display, however, was out of the question.

Obstacle Race.- H. Davis (North Steyne), 1; J. W. Morgan (Manly L.S.C.), 2.
Pillow Fight.- B. Kirke (Manly L.S.C.) and F. A. Davis (North Steyne), tie.
Tug of War.- North Steyne defeated South Steyne.
The alarm reel race and the surf and beach race had to be abandoned, but several prominent surf swimmers gave an exhibition of shooting the waves.

The Brisbane Courier
Friday 12 January 1912, page 4.


Electors of the Clarence have subscribed a New Year's gift of £180 for Mr J. McFarlane, M.L.A., in appreciation of services rendered by him in the capacity of Parliamentary representative for 27 years.

Owing to the absence ot rain, the early maize crops on the Clarence have been greatly depreciated, and in places are being cut down for stock.

Copmanhurst Shire Council have levied a rate of 2d in the £- on unimproved values, and Grafton Municipal Council a rate of 4d in the £.

The lighthouse keepers on South Solitary Island, near Woolgoolga, have presented Mr. C. S. McKay with a surfing canoe as a surfing gift tor Christmas, in recognition of his services in furnishing them with information by means of the Morse flashlight svstem.
The islanders are seven miles from the land on almost unapproachable rock, and are very much isolated, so that news communicated to them in any form is greatly appreciated.

The Daily Telegraph
27 January 1912, page 21.

(Freshwater Carnival)

A clever exhibition of surf board shooting was given by Mr. Walker, of the Manly Seagulls Surf Club.
With his Hawaiian surf board he drew much applause for his clever feats, coming in on the breaker standing balanced on his feet or his head.
The Sydney Morning Herald

Saturday 27 January 1912, page 18.


The annual Freshwater surf and life-saving carnival was held at Freshwater Bay yesterday.
The event was a decided success, and some excellent life-saving exhibitions were given by the various clubs

The starting point of the carnival was the Manly Pier, where a fancy dress procession was drawn up prior to marching through Manly to the beach at Freshwater.

A large crowd assembled to witness the carnival, its cliffs and hills overlooking the beach being thronged.
The various events were keenly contested and some fine feats were performed by the visiting surf clubs.

The competition for the Begg's Whisky Shield was decided and on this occasion the trophv went to Bondi.
North Steyne Life Saving Club were the previous holders of the shield.
A fine exhibition of surf-shooting was given by Mr. Fred Notting in the canoe "The Big Risk."
A programme of music by the band of the First Australian Contingent was rendered during the evening.

The results of the competitions were: -
Fancy dress parade: Indian Troupe 1; Best costume "The Rajah"; Best sustained character J. Walker. wal»" Grand parade of surf clubs: Manlv Life Savining, 1; North Steyne Life Saving Club, 2; Freshwater Surf Club, 3.
Treacle Apple race - E. Reddy (Freshwater), 1; Nicholls (N.S.), 2.
Rescue and Resuscitation Competition - Bondi, 1 (Team T. Walker, G. Lindsay, K. Grieve, J. Hunter, A. McPherson, J. J. Brown, A. M. Langon), Manly A team, 2; Manly B team, 3.
Carry-your-chum Race- R. Bowden and C. Neilson (North Steyne), 1; W. Allison and A. Davis  (North Steyne), 2.
Obstacle  Race- A. F. Davis (N. S.), 1; V. Allison (N.S.), 2.
Alarm Reel Race - Manly No. 1 team, 1 (A. Wright, K. Childers, N. McMillan, S. McCauliff) vii! <T->
Manly No. 2 team, 2; North Steyne No. 1 team, 3.
Cockfighting on Back- Weiks and W. Walker (North Bondi), 1; A. F. Davis and W. Allison (North Steyne), 2.
Pillow Fight- A. F. Davis
Surf Race- L. A. Hind (Norlh Steyne), 1; C. D. Bell (North Stevne), 2.
Twent seven entered the competition for the surf race which the winner succeeeded in pulling off with a good margin.
Pushball Competition - Freshwater No. 1 team, 1; North Steyne No. 2, 2, North Steyne No. 3, 3.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 26 February 1912, page 13.?


The fourth carnival of the Manly season was held at South Steyne on Saturday afternoon when the Manly Seagulls held their first meeting.
A big crowd witnessed the events, and the competitors had a very rough time owing to the heavy sea breaking in at the southern end of the beach.

Several visiting surf club teams competed.
The beach had been roped off with the permission of the local council.
The surf race provided some very good swimming, and considering the heavy rollers coming in, the competitors put up a splendid performance.
S. Wright (Manly Surf Club) won the event with L. V. Hind (North Steyne) a close second.

The ground parade and march past was a striking feature of the carnival evoking applause from the spectarors.
The comic element was largely introduced into the proceedings.
The winners of the first prize in the fancy dress procession had a tableau entitled "Caught 'pinching' in the Surf Club sheds."

The submarine explosion conducted by the Royal Australian Engineers was a decided novelty and passed off very successfulIy.
Results :-

The Sydney Morning Herald.
Thursday 28 March 1912, page 10.


The Government has gazetted an ordinance relating to public baths and bathing-places, but the only new feature is that which governs surf shooting.
Clause 10 reads as follows: "Where any inspector considers that the practiceof surf shooting (I.e.. riding on the crest of the breaking wave), whether with or with-out a surf board, is likely to endanger or inconvenience other bathers, such inspector may order bathers to refrain from such practice or to remove to a place where such practice will not cause danger or inconvenience.
Bathers shall comply with such orders.
Any inspector may take possession of any surf board used in contravention of his or another inspector's orders, and retain it until the bather from whom it was taken resumes his ordinary dress, or until such inspector considers that surf boards may again be used without endangering or inconveniencing the public"

Sydney Morning Herald
29 March, 1912, page ?


The already large nod constantly increasIng public interested In our ocean beahes should welcome the bathing regulations gazetted this week.
They cover a good deal of ground, and, what is more important, in doing so they touch most of the defects arising from lax supervision of the benches.
Many of the prohibitions are merely those which have long been operating- in respest of public baths.
But, very properly, the expansion ot the public bath into the national recreation of surfing has been regarded as giving suftlclent reason for extending those rules of the bath to the open beaches.
Other of the regulatIons are quite new, and as to those it is satlsfactory to find that an embargo has been laid upon the offensive surf-shooter.
While and wherever surf-shooting is practised in an open bathing space, collisions wilI sometimes be unavoidable.
The breakers are no respecters or persons, and are not by any means to be handled by government regulatlon.
Very otten it is the sheer sportiveness of the incoming wave that projects the shooter upon his unwary victim.
But occasionally it is malice aforethought that sends a swimmer hurtling upon the crest of a wave
straight and swift to collision.
It is right that a watch should be kept upon the practice.
As to the use ot the surf board, it should not be allowed at all where a number of bathers are congregated.
It was never intended for crowded beaches, and its use by skilled native swimmers as at Honolulu, Is safeguarded in the first place by their skIll, and in the second place by the fact that there are no such crowds to be negotiated as is the case here.
Useful provisions are to be noted also in regard to costumes, sun-basklng, and the privacy
of enclosures.
The regulations repeat certain well recognised rules of behaviour in public bathing places.
As to that, perhaps the most frequent source or complaint now existing is due to the presence or a rough element in the sheds and enclocures.
It should be made an important functIon of bath supervision to handle any offensiveness so arising with summary vigour and despatch.
Surf-bathing is much too valuable a recreation to be spoiled by the hoodlums who are, after all, in a large minority by comparison ith the beach-using public.
Many things remain to be done, or course, before our surf-bathing can be regarded as more than primitive in its establishment.
We have ideal beaches, splendid water, and unsurpassed natural surroundings generally.
What we lack is the enterprise to turn them to best account.
The beach provision in the continent of Europe and Amerlca would astonish the municipal authorities of our ocean suburbs.
With scarcely any of our natural provision to work upon, enterprise and organisation have established in the thousand places in other countries waterside resorts or superb attractiveness. With us,  Manly and Coogee and Bondi remain very largely in their natural state, or, what is far worse,
are disfigured by the gross vandalism of the sheds that are the only beach structures we appear to have thought of.
A seawall cannot equip a beach as a recreation resort while there remain above and beyond it desolate wastes ot rock and sand, or unlovely lines of weatherboard shop fronts and fragmentary trees.
We badly need a landscape gardener for the beautification of many aspects of Sydney.
Our beaches in particular would provide him with a great opportunIty.
But their worst need, at present, is an enlightened municipal control, far-seeing enough to discern in them the possibilities that have been so finely utilised in other beaches on other oceans.

- Noted in S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 179.

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 28 September 1912 page 21.


Speaking to a Herald representative yesterday,  Mr. A. C. W. Hill, the swimming manager at the Olympic Games, said:"There is a possibility of the brilliant American sprint swimmer Duke Paoa Kahanamoku visiting Australia at au ... 238 words 

The Daily Telegraph
30th October, 1912.

1912 Merman (W. F. C. Corbett) : Kahanamoku - Invitation to Tour Australia.

Sydney Morning Herald
1 December 1912, page 12.


The North Steyne Surf-bathers' Life-saving Club successfully held its sixth annual carnival at Manly on saturday.
It was estimated that 15,000 people witnessed the proceedings.
Every point of vantage overlooking the surf at North Steyne was occupied.
The Manly Band rendered selections during the afternoon.

Great interest was centred in the rescue and resusicitation competition for the Begg's Shield (valued at 100 guineas), which is to be won three times before coming the property of any club.
In 1911 North Steyne won, and in 1912 Bondi was successful.
The latter (A and B teams) were again victorious on Saturday, scoring first and second places with 54 and 52 points respectively; North Steyne being third with 49 points.
The winners hold the shield for 12 months.
The alarm race was also an exciting event, Dr. C.N. smith (North Steyne) defeating Cecil Healy (Manly Surf Club) by about 2s.

The grand parade and march past of clubs, with full life saving equipment, was a splendid display.
Bronte, Freshwater, Manly, North Steyne, Newcastle, Manly Life-saving Club, Bondi, Coogee and North Bondi were represented, the lattter winning the prize.

A special attraction was a team of a dozen Ellice islanders, who were picturesquely clad.
Their songs and war dances were performed admist much merriment.
Subsequently they gave displays in a surf boat.
Mr. Fred Notting also gave interesting displays in his well-known canoe Big Risk.

- Noted in S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 177.

MANLY CARNIVAL. A BRILLIANT START. ORIENTAL SCENE. FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE PRESENT. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954) Monday 13 January 1913 p 5

Evening News
22 January 1913, page 10.


The bathing inspector under the jurisdiction of the Manly Council, wrote to the aldermen at the last meetIng, asking that they should consider the advisableness of having a portion of the beach set apart for the shooting of breakers with boards.

Many are being used at present by bathers who fringe the crowd.
Those who are unaware of the restrictions use a board in the thickest of the bathing crowd.
If the suggestion were carried out, it would relieve the congestion in the southern corner of the beach.

Dr. Neale was opposed to the use of boards in the surf.
They were, in his opinion, very dangerous.
He had been struck in the back whIle bathing, and it was the reverse of pleasant.
He moved that the bathing inspector be instructed to enforce the regulation dealing with using boards while shooting the breakers.

Alderman Paterson seconded the motion.
The practice of taking boards into the surf should not be allowed.

Alderman Heaton was of the opinion that a portion of the beach should be set apart for the sport of shooting the breakers with boards.
There were many young fellows who like the pastime.

The motion was carried.

Alderman Quirk said that he had witnessed a clever exhibition by a young man who "shot" the breakers with a board.
For fully 100 yd he came in standing on the board, and was loudly applauded by a thousand people for his feat.

- Noted in S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 179.

Sydney Morning Herald
24 January 1913, page 7.


The Manly Council has instructed the bathing inspectors to see that the ordinance relating to the practice of surf-board shooting at Manly is in the future enforced.
Alderman Neale stated that he had seen no fewer than 10 surfboards in the thick of bathers.


The Manly Council has decided to take action against sun-bakers.
At the last meeting Alderman (?) moved that a portion of the beach be set apart for sun-baking.
It was decided to enforce the regulations in regard to the practice.

- Noted in S&G Champion: Drowning, Bathing and Life Saving (2000) page 179

Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 29 January 1913, page 16.

Sir,- Permit me to make a few remarks in regard to a paragraph which appealed in a recent issue of your paper in relation to the use of surf boards.
Alderman Neale, of Manly, staets that he has seen as many as 10 boards in use at the same time in the midst of bathers.
This statement must appear incredible Io anyone who is the habit of frequenting our beaches, so incredible, indeed, that it would appear to suggest a vision of the imagination- or perhaps, like stage soldiers, each board may have been countered several times.

Under the existing ordinances, the authorities of the beach do have the discretionary power to prohibit the use of boards if the safety of any bather is in jeopardy, and it must be admitted by any reasonable person, both in justice to the authorities, and to the users of boards themselves, that this power has been properly exercised, if indeed it has ever proved necessary to do so, for the crowd is the shooters' greatest terror.

I am a regular attendant at the beaches, and also an old hand on the board, and can honestly say that I have never seen the boards used in the midst of the bathers.
The real menace in the surf is the novice, who bumps his way blindly into a crowd of bathers, with his head enveloped in foam,  and not the graceful "board-shooter," whose head is above water, with a weather eye on his course.

I feel assured that all experienced surfers will endorse these sentiments.
I am, etc ,                                                                                DUMPER.

Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 1 October 1913, page 4.


article ...
Sydney Morning Herald

Friday 5 December 1913 page 16.


A private cable message was received received yesterday Sydney Sydney from Mr. W. W. Hill, hon. secretary of the Australian Swimming Union, from Honolulu, to the effect that private business will prevent the world's Olympic champion,  ... 53 words 

Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday 23 December 1913 page 4.


Mr. W. W. Hill, secretary of the Now South Wales Rugby Union, Australian Swimming Union, Olympic Fund Committee, and general all-round sporting enthusiast, returned to Sydney yesterday by the R.M.S. Niagara, after a brief visit to California.

The Sydney sportsman was specially invited by the Universities of California and Leland Stanford to referee their annual Rugby game, and he left Sydney, accompanied by Mrs. Hill, on October 4.
He officiated in that game and also refereed matches played by the New Zealand "All Blacks" against the All-American team, and California University, and also the annual fixture between Stanford University and the University of Southern California.
He accompanied the New Zealanders and refereed their game at Fiji.

... (Football)

Mr. Hill visited Honolulu, on his way home, to interview Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the famous Hawaiian world's champion sprint swimmer, in regard to a visit to Australia.
Unfortunately, the "Duke" has some urgent private business to attend to.
When at Honolulu, Mr. Hill mastered the art of surf-board riding, and canoeing in front of the wave; which sport is made possible by the formation of the Waikiki beach, which brings in a long easy roll. "There are some fine swimmers at Honolulu besides Kahanamoku," continued Mr. Hill, "and the Hawaiian Athletic Union wants to send a team to Australia next season.
George Cunha is the best, and has swam 100 yards in 57 seconds."

... (Baseball)

"Everywhere I went," concluded Mr. Hill, "I had an enjoyable time."

Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 31 December 1913, page 5.


An Australian's first impression of the famous Waikiki beach at Honolulu is decidedly disappointing. Waikiki, means "spouting water," and the world-famous bathing place Is about 1 1/2 mile long; and many hotels and boarding houses are situated there, and some of the dining rooms reach over to the beach.

The sandy portion does not exceed 25 yards in width at any point; and the rise and fall of the tide is very slight.
However, it is the formation of the beach that has made the locality so famous.
Coral abounds on the bottom, and a reef stretches right across the bay about half a mile from shore. Inside the water is quite shallow, and swimmers are frequently seen two hundred yards from shore and when they stand up they are only waist deep in the water.
It is this shallowness and very gradual slope that gives the waves their long, easy, regular roll and makes surf- board riding and canoeing so delightful.

Tho board is about seven feet long, and eighteen inches wide, with a convex top.
About 300 yards out a wave is selected, and then, lying flat on the board with the arms used in paddle fashion, as much impetus as possible is gained before the wave reaches the surfer.
The position is maintained until one is certain that the wave is carrying its burden, when the enjoyment is increased by first assuming a kneeling position, and then standing erect in the centre of the board.
This is kept up for more than 200 yards; and sometimes those who can balance well, stand on their heads.
The experience is very pleasant; and, once the art is mastered, everything is forgotten in the keen enjoyment of the exercise.

The canoeing is performed in what are called outriggers.
These are dug out logs in which about six people are each provided with a seat and a paddle.
The outriggers stretch about 6ft out, and a smaller log joins them and balances the canoe.
The boat is paddled out to the wave, and the same process in starting is gone through as is done on the surf board.
Sufficient impetus is attained before the wave reaches the canoe; then the paddling ceases and the boat goes careering along at a terrific pace, with the water coming over the bow.

The man in the stern keeps the course, straight in front of the wave, with his paddle as a rudder; and sometimes when there are signs of the wave rushing past the boat, all hands resume paddling and the position in front is maintained.

With both surf board and the canoe there is plenty of pleasurable exercise.
These delightful pastimes have most deservedly made Waikiki world famous; and with an even temperature in the water of 74 degrees bathing Is enjoyable all the year round.


It was Waikiki that produced the greatest sprint swimmer that the world has yet known - Duke Paoa Kabanamoku.
He was named "Duke" after his father, who was given the name by a loving parent in honour of the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, who arrived at Honolulu on the day that the first Duke Kahanamoku was born.
Paoa was the name of the grandfather of the champion, and "Kahanamoku," in the native language means "shipbuilder," from which occupation the family no doubt derived its name.

Twenty-three years of age, six feet one inch tall, and weighing in street attire nearly 14 stone, Duke, as he is known to everyone in the Islands, is the perfect type of an athlete.
He has large shoulders, upper arm, and chest, and is very clean limbed, and moves with ease and freedom.
Duke is a member of the Hui Nalu, which means "surf club," and the broad Pacific is his playground.

For some time he outpaced his fellows in both sprint and distance events; and at a carnival held In the Honolulu harbour in 1912 he won the 100 yards swim, in the world's record time for a straightaway course, viz., 55 2-5s.
The great swimmer secured a place in the United States team for the fifth Olympic Games at Stockholm.
His first essay gave cause for doubt, as he was forced to retire with cramp.
To one unused to turning, and to small bathing pools, and who had previously known only the ocean for his swimming practice, the new conditions were decidedly awkward.
However, his second trial silenced everyone; and he just showed his heels to all the great sprinters of the eastern part of the union and was selected.
Recently the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States placed seven more records to Duke's credit, and the world's record figures now against his name are as follow:-
50 yards.- 23 1-5s, at Olympic Club, San Francisco, July, 1913.
75 yards- 37 1-3s, at Olympic Club, San Francisco, July, 1913.
100 yards, straightaway- 52 2-5s, at Honolulu, June, 1912.
100 yards, one turn- 54 3-5s, at Satro Baths, July 5, 1912.
100 metres- 61 3-5s, Hamburg, Germany, July, 1912.

All the above times are seconds-foot fractions ahead of the next best swims for the same distance.

Duke is employed as a draughtsman in the Public Works Department of the Islands, and is very successful in his work.
He has a very retiring disposition, and one soon makes friends with him.

He will willingly exhibit his stroke and kick in the water to anyone who is interested.
Up and down the beach he will swim, with his long-reaching crawl stroke; flat on the water with an easy roll to one side, and an easier one to the other.
When asked how he "kicked," Duke was quite at a loss to explain; and he finally gave it up, and said he did not know, but just kept going naturally.

A close watch shows his right leg moving a little faster than his left, in the ratio of about three of the former to trwo of the latter.
In the longer distance work, he moves slower in all respects, and there is less disturbance in the water.


Kahanamoku Is very eager to visit Australia, and never seemed to tire of asking questions about the bathing enclosures and beaches.
He was surprised to hear of the enclosed baths, as, like all the natives, he has no fear of sharks.
The natives swim about everywhere without a second thought about sharks, although they are known to abound there.
Harpooning these monsters is one of the pastimes in which Duke and his friends fill in their week-ends.
A carcase is towed out into the deep water behind a boat, and, after hours and hours of watching and walting the sharks that had been swim-ming around the boat some distance away gradually begin to draw in closer.

Finally, one more game than the rest, will make a bite at the carcase and when it has assured itself that the animal is dead, it takes another bite.
Then the carcase is pulled in close to the boat, and the native throws his harpoon unerringly at the shark, striking between the fins.
Then the shark is pulled in, taken ashore and sold to the Chinese, who eat the flesh and fins.

It can be confidently anticipated that Duke will swim even faster in Sydney than he has done hitherto. When the shallow, dragglng nature of the Waikiki beach, and the small indoor pools of San Francisco and Los Angeles are compared with the splendid 100 metres staightaway course at the Sydney Domain baths, everthing suggests faster times.
He should easily acclimatise and the temperature of the water and surroundings generally, should be in the champion's favour when he visits us in December next.
The Hawaiians are also eager to see their territory represented by a team of four, to engage our best men in a relay race.

Sydney Morning Herald
16 February 1914, page 13.


The Dee Why Lifesaving and Surf Club held its first annual carnival on Saturday at Dee Why Beach.
There was in attendance of about 3000.
Nine clubs were represented in the grand parade and march past which was a very creditable display.
Cronulla Club was awarded the prize.

The principal event was the rescue and resuscitation competition for the Gardiner Cup held by the Manly Lifesaving Club but handed to that body to Deewhy for competition.
Five teams entered and Manly Club retained it with 432 (?) points.
The surf relay race was won by North Steyne represented by I. Solomons and L. V. Hind
North Steyne also won the novice surf race and several of the beach events.
Only two competitors- Miss Leatham and Miss Abrahams- started in the ladies surf race.
The latter however gave up before the shore was reached, and had to be rescued.
Another sensational incident occurred in the surf race.
One of the competitors (C. Knight of Deewhy Club) was rescued and brought lo shore in an exhausted state, and several minutes lapsed before animation was restored
Results -
Ladies Surf Race- Miss Leatham (Freshwater) 1, Mrs Abrahams (Brookvale) also started.

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home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2009) : Newspapers: Surf-shooting, 1906-1914.