As members start psyching up for the launch of this year’s World Titles on the Reef that Rules, it’s worth a bit of a trip down memory lane.
For example, our wonderful home base – the Pavilion – dates back to 1939, when it was built by the W.F. Foster company for the equivalent of $4,000.
It replaced timber dressing sheds built in 1921. But there were complaints that unless the partitions in the dressing-shed were fixed, there would be ‘mixed dressing as well as mixed bathing’ at Oak Park.
This is hilarious because at the time, Sutherland Shire Council banned bathers parading or loitering on the beach clad only in their swimming costumes!
In 1942, the Australian Army erected an observation tower on the Pavilion and established a gun-post at Oak Park. The gun emplacements were camouflaged as a kiosk with bright candy stripes.
The Army banned residents from bathing in Oak Park pool until World War 2 was fully over.
In the 1980s, increased public liability costs threatened the Oak Park ocean pool, with leaks not being fixed. The cost of repairs was a massive $700,000 –equal to the cost of 30 backyard in-ground pools
There was drama in 1994 when a blue-ringed octopus was discovered in the pool.
In 1995 the pool was drained to remove rotting seaweed, but in 2002 Oak Park was named one of the cleanest beaches in NSW.
In 2016 the Shoes Pavilion and The Reef continue to rule. We are so damn lucky!
Hats off to our fabulous sponsors: Dr John Murray, Only Organic Foods, Tina and Nicole’s Home Delivery, Surf Trading Company, PCC Surboards, Tengirri Surf Charters, Northies, WJ Partners Accountants, Vestal, Lipman Construction, Pure Sea Surf Shop, Triple Bull, Cronulla Travel, Gando Signs and Little Parrot.
Image credit: Ian “Macca” McDonald