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1940 – 1949

Coffs Surf Club has a magnificent record of war service on the part of its members. At the outbreak of World War II membership strength was 68 and of these 64 enlisted and served with the Australian Forces in every field of action. Of the 64 nine paid the supreme sacrifice – D.Riding, E.Franklin, J.Patterson, T.Scott, C.Goodenough, J.Pollett, F.Lowery, M.Malouf and B.Ulrick.One member, Alf Short, who was Captain of a Beaufort Medium Bomber, has the distinction of sinking, by torpedo, a Japanese cruiser, the Noshiro (6200 tons).

 

By the end of the war, little remained of the clubhouse, except the lower brick portion, which the sand had finally claimed.

Frank Bastian (Secretary and Life Member) recalls . . . “Faced with the problem of erecting a new clubhouse, a meeting of the few remaining club members was called at which it was decided to construct a new building. Permission was obtained from the Department of War organisation to erect a 30ftx20ft building. This was to be a memorial to club members who had given their lives in the service of their country. Unbeknowns to some club members Frank Bastian and Reg Shanahan had local builder Bill Mellefont drew up plans for the new building and Wally Lane was contracted to build it on wages.

The Following gentleman agreed to guarantee a club overdraft at the Bank: Ray Plunkett, Jack Gerard, Jack Veripatis and Jim Walters.

Voluntary work was the order of the day and the concrete floor was laid by club members. A building committee was formed comprising R.Shanahan, F.Bastian, T.Slack, H.Burgess, C.Braithwaite. The new clubhouse was opened by Mr Roy Doyle, National President, on October 21, 1945.

Our Surf Club was back in operation with Reg Shanahan, President; Frank Bastian, Secretary; and John Pollock, Captain. John Lawler, Boat Captain.
A new surf boat at a cost of 190 pounds was purchased and was delivered in October 1946, it was named “Miss Park Beach II”.

The following is a short outline of competition history from the Advocate newspaper dated from March 23, 1948.

“Outstanding swimmers who have made club history: John Pollock, present Captain and member of many R & R teams and past club and branch champion in surf and belt races. “Meggsy” Parker, member of R & R teams and excellent surf and belt swimmer. “Minty” Smith still swimming, and a good club member. Late Doug Riding R & R member and holder of surf championships of club and branch. Late Ernie Franklin, R & R member and a club captain. “Bunny” Bastian, R & R member, captain, surf and belt swimmer and ex boat captain. Late Berry Ulrick junior champion of the club and branch, also senior surf champion of the club and represented the club in the junior championship at the Australian title carnival. Late Gordon Cunningham, noted march past standard bearer, R & R member and ex boat captain, Jack Mills, one of famous Mills family, present holder of senior surf and belt titles of the club and branch, and member champion R & R team. Keith Mills, another of the ilk, present holder of junior surf title for club and branch, and outside branch. Dick Pearce, present junior belt champion of club and branch. Bobby Williams, who made the champion R & R team two months after getting his bronze medallion. J.Lawler, R & R member for many years and also boat captain of the club.

The members of the R & R team which represented Coffs Club at Bondi were:  J.Pollock, J Mills, T. and W King, R.Goodenough and R.Williams.

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