The Duke @ Cronulla

Posted: October 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Duke at Cronulla 1915 …..Info courtesy of 

 One of the first famous international visitors to the Club (Cronulla) was Duke Kahanamoku, the world famous exponent of surfboard riding and at present a prominant civic dignitary of Honolulu.

Exacting preparations for his 1915 visit were undertaken by the club in an effort to make him feel at home.
The Duke and his party were welcomed to the district by the club on leaving the steam train at Sutherland.
Through the generosity of club members, F. Stroud,J. Hallet, J. Munro, L. Giddings, N Bouffier and J. Hill Sr. making their cars available the visitors were transported to Audley via Waterfall and Lady Carrington Drive.

After lunch at Audley, the party joined the ferry to Cronulla, hence to the beach for surfing.

Tea was arranged in the Park Pavillion after which the party returned to Sutherland for the farewell ceremony.
The Duke brought with him a surfboard (one of at least three made in Australia) which he presented to the Surf Bathing Association of NSW.

While there were already surfboard exponents on our own and other metroplitan beaches, Duke Kahanamoku first focused public attention on surfboard riding in NSW.

The visit of this famous surfer also had effect on the local talent.
The Duke’s board later became the property of noted club member, Ron “Prawn” Bowden, who sold it  to Fred Locke, who in turn signed it over to the inimitable Jack McTigue.

Jack, chivalrous character that he was, gave it to a certain beautiful surf siren but alas she married another (ungrateful hussey, recalls Jack).

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