Patrols

Fletcher Patrol – (H B ‘Tibby’ Fletcher)

Tibby joined the Club in 1912.  He was selected as a member of the first instructional team by SLSA in 1921 and was also a member of the first gear inspection committee, on the SLSA board of examiners, and Vice President of SLSA.

A consummate swimmer and veteran of many surf races and rescues, Tibby was ‘scratch man’ for the Bondi Swimming Club and twice winner of the 3 mile marathon event.

H B Tibby Fletcher is the only member to receive an Honour Cap.  Tibby also receive a Royal Humane & Shipwreck Society award for bravery in rescuing a shark attack victim on Coogee Beach in 1922.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Life Member
  • Club Captain 1920 – 1928
  • Committee member / Trustee / Handicapper
  • Vice Captain / Senior Vice President
  • SLSA representative

Australian Championships:

  • 5 x R&R Premierships / ‘A’ team member from 1914 – 1928

Douglas Patrol – William “Tiny” A Douglas

Big Bill Douglas joined BSBLSC in 1914, shortly afterwards he joined the AIF and saw distinguished service with the 1st Infantry Battalion.  ‘Tiny’ was awarded life membership in 1928.  Bill was one of SLSA’s finest instructors and chief instructor at Bondi

Positions Held in Club:

  • Club Captain 1933 – 1937
  • Vice Captain 1922 – 1927
  • Chief Instructor
  • Vice President
  • Gear Steward

Australian Championships:

  • 3 x R&R Championships

Representative Sports:

  • NSW representative Rugby Union

Walsh Patrol (Clem Walsh)

Clem was one of the first lifesavers in the water on Black Sunday; he rescued many lives that day, at the time he was one of best swimmers in the club.  He is a Life Member of Bondi Surf Club, he is known for his healthy lifestyle,  being a great soldier, and probably one of the unluckiest competitors; he deserved more success at Australian Titles.  Walsh coached the Amateur Swimming Club and was a shark catcher in his spare time.

Other Representative Sports:

  • Waterpolo – NSW
  • Royal Lifesaving – Australia
  • Interstate Life Saving Team 1938

Australian Championships:

  • Surf Team 1938, 1939
  • R&R 1938
  • Interdominion Surf Champion

Ormsby Patrol – (Lyster Ormsby)

Lyster-Ormsby

Known as the gentle giant, Ormsby was a Foundation and Life Member of Bondi SBLSC.  He was the first Club Captain in the year of foundation 1906.  He was responsible for the formation of the Surf Bathers’ Association of NSW (the beginnings of the Surf Life Saving Association).

Lyster Ormsby organised the first life saving duty roaster for Bondi SBLSC members.  He is also the original designer of the Surf Rescue Reel; the first model was made with a cotton reel and hairpins.  From this model the first reel was built and demonstrated on 23rd December 1906.

He gained an Instructor Certificate from the Royal Lifesaving Society in March 1908.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Club Captain 1906, 1908
  • President 1921, 1922

Nightingale Patrol  – Harry Nightingale

If an example of the great Bronzed Aussie Lifesaver were to be given, Harry would define the job description.  He was one of the great surfmen of Bondi.  Harry was a greatly respected Life Member, who was never afraid to say what he thought at all levels of lifesaving from club to National Council (SLSA of Australia).  Harry is probably the greatest R&R and Surf Teams Coach in the history of lifesaving.  The Open 6 Person R&R Trophy at the NSW State Titles is named in honour of Harry Nightingale.

Harry’s life was dedicated to his family, his club and his passion; coaching.  He coached at a local level at the Bondi Baths and an international level for both Australia and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the Empire Games.  He is also accredited with beginning the Lifesaving movement in Ceylon.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Chief Instructor

Other Representative Sports:

  • Swimming – Australia

Australian Championships:

  • R&R Titles 1932, 35, 36, 40, 1958 – 1963
  • Open R&R 1972
  • Surf Teams 1934
  • Unrestricted Surf 1937

Meagher Patrol – Tom Meagher O.B.E


It was said that Tom Meagher “lives for SLSA and what it stands for”.  Meagher is one of our great club legends, he received many awards for bravery including: Certificates of Merit, Bronze Medals, Certificates form the Royal Humane Society and a Coronation Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.  Tom Meagher was awarded Life Membership to Bondi SBLSC in 1932.

He was the Chief Beach Inspector on Bondi the day of Black Sunday (6th February 1938).  Tom saw service in the Pacific during World War II.  He established the Solomon Islands Surf Club in 1944 along with Carl Jeppeson.  There were many SLSA Instructional Teams on which he served and in 1939 he represented Bondi in the SLSA of Australia March Past Team.

In 1954 Tom Meagher was presented to HM Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal command Surf Carnival held on Bondi Beach.  Tom held the position of President of Surf Life Saving NSW, his best mate was Sir A. Curlewis.  He was a healthy man, who never drank or smoked, he was our greatest leader and lead by example.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Club Captain 1928 – 1932
  • Vice President 1936 – 1943, 1948 – 1951
  • President 1951 – 1960
  • Patron 1961 – 1963

Other Representative Sports:  Water Polo (Australia & NSW)

Australian Championships:

  • R&R Titles 1924,26,29,35,38
  • Belt Champion 1925 & 1926

Hutchings Patrol – (Brian “Hutcho” Hutchings)

It is said that Hutcho was our best individual competitor, and his results speak for themselves.  He beat all comers in the surf, including a long list of Olympians, many of which he convincingly smashed at Australian Titles.

Hutchings is a Life Member, and was a committee member for many years.  He held the position of Patrol Captain in an era when only the best of the best achieved this honour.  Brian was always highly competitive within surf life saving and his success saw him entered into the SLSA Hall of Fame.

Other Representative Sports:

  • Lifesaving – Australia 1954, 1956
  • Swimming – NSW

Australian Championships:

  • Senior Surf 1954, 1956, 1959
  • Senior Surf Belt 1961, 1963

Jeppesen Patrol (Carl “Jeppo” Jeppesen)

Link to Carls Obit Channel 10 story on Funeral of Carl Jeppesen

Jeppo was one of our greatest members, he was Club Captain on Sunday 6th February 1938 (Black Sunday) when 240 rescues were preformed, with 5 deaths.  After this day an American Doctor commented on what he saw, he stated “there are no men in the world like your lifesavers … this is the greatest labour of love in the world” (Dr Dyer).  His life was an outstanding one, Life Members of Bondi SBLSC, Mayor of Waverley, serving as an officer World War II, and he established the Solomon Islands Surf Club along with Tom Meagher, and was also President of Bondi Diggers Club.

Jeppo was an extremely fit man; he walked to work everyday of his life from Bondi to the City.  He was everyone’s friend and was one to always lead a song at Bottles or other social occasions.  In 1954 he was presented to H.M Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his service to the community.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Hon Treasurer 1935 – 1936
  • Club Captain 1937 – 1939
  • President 1946 – 1951

Other Representative Sports:

  • NSW Champion – Athletics

Fullwood Patrol -Sid Fullwood

Fullwood was a Foundation and Life Member of Bondi SBLSC.  He was the first Hon Treasurer in the year of foundation 1906. Sid Fullwood gained an Instructor Certificate from the Royal Lifesaving Society in March 1908. He was awarded the first SLSA Bronze Medallion in 1910, the other two Bondi SBLSC members in that squad where W. Thomas and T. Walker.  The Surf Bathers’ Association of NSW also appointed Fullwood an Examiner in 1910.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Hon Treasurer 1906
  • Club Captain     1908, 1909

Other Representative Sports:

  • Lacrosse (NSW)

Craven Patrol (William “Bill” Craven)

Bill was a Life Member of BONDI SBLSC and one of the club’s great Chief Instructors.  Bill was a member of many Instructional Teams, which assisted new Lifesaving Club up and down the coast.  It was often said, “No sacrifice for Bondi Surf Club was too great for Bill Craven”.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Captain 1911 – 1917
  • Chief Instructor

Besomo Patrol – Valentine “Vic”  Besomo

At a very young age the swimming ability of Besomo was obvious, at 15years he was placed 2nd in the 880yards at the Australian National Swimming Titles.  He held the position of Chief Superintendent of Surf Lifesaving Australia, and examiner on the State Board of Control.

Vic was a big strong man, but very quietly spoken.  He was a Life Member of Bondi SBLSC and Bondi Ice Bergs.  Besomo was a returned serviceman from WWII; he was also awarded the Queen’s Coronation Medal for service to Surf Lifesaving.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Secretary 1937 – 1939, 1942 – 1944

Other Representative Sports:

  • Waterpolo – Australia and NSW
  •  Swimming – NSW

Australian Championships:

  • Surf Team 1933
  • R&R Title 1938

Bassingthwaighte Patrol – Rothe “Basso” Bassingthwaighte)

Basso was one of our greatest big sea swimmers. It is said that Basso is the only person to ever catch a wave body surfing from Ben Buckler point all the way into the beach.  Bassingthwaighte was the local fisherman, local larrikin and loved by all.  Members from his era still believe it is possible that Basso knew everyone in Australia.

He was happiest when his feet were in the sands of Bondi, for a short time he was a police officer, he would be seen taking off his boots and walk around bare foot.  He always would help out his mates Harry Nightingale with the R&R, and coached swimming at the baths for free over many seasons.

Positions Held In Club:

  • Club Captain 1944
  • Gear Steward, Social Secretary

Other Representative Sports:

  • Swimming– Australia and NSW
  • Rugby League – Eastern Suburbs 1st Grade
  • Interstate Lifesaving Team 1938

Australian Championships:

  • Surf Team 1938, 1939, Senior Surf 1939, R&R 1940