A relaxed Malcolm Turnbull took off his shoes and walked bare-footed across the golden sands of Bondi beach last Saturday while mingling with surf lifesavers, officially launching the 2017-18 surf lifesaving season for the four Waverley district clubs and christening three generously donated inflatable rescue boats.
The Prime Minister and Member for Wentworth called in at Bondi on his way to Garden Island for the launch of the Australia’s newest warship, HMAS Hobart, and offered words of encouragement to the voluntary lifesavers and nippers representing the Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte clubs.
He then removed his shoes before christening the new IRBs, commonly known as “rubber duckies”, for the three clubs, which were purchased through a grant from the Clovelly community branch of the Bendigo Bank.
However, North Bondi surf club, where Mr Turnbull is a long-standing member, was not part of the funding by the bank.
Bondi named their IRB after David Spierin and Tamarama named theirs after Kirsty Boden. Spierin, an Irishman and accomplished IRB driver who died suddenly from an aneurysm in January this year and Boden died of injuries from a terrorist attack in London in June.
Meanwhile, Bondi’s surf patrols to protect beachgoers in the flagged area of the beach, operate between 9am and 4pm from last Saturday until October 1, between 9am and 6pm on Saturdays and 8am and 6pm on Sundays and public holidays from October 2 until April 1 next year and revert to 9am to 4pm from April 2 until the season’s end on Anzac Day, 2018.
Dates allocated by Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club for forthcoming important events are:
Saturday, October 7: Become a Bondi lifesaver induction at the club at 10 am.
Sunday, October 15: an Open day where people can witness what the club is about and its activities.
Friday, October 20: Annual Legends Lunch at Doltone House, Pyrmont Bay, which is one of the club’s major fund-raising functions.
The Bondi club’s nippers season for ages five to 13 will commence on Sunday, October 8 from 8.45am. However, registrations have closed and names may be left on a list of any vacancies that occur during the season.
Words by John Blanche