The St George Scuba Club was started in 1973 as an offshoot of the St George Spearfishing Club. Before 1973, the spearfishing club had numerous scuba divers and had done so since the 1950s. However, in 1973 many scuba diver members of the spearfishing club decided to set up a club dedicated to scuba diving and independent of the spearfishing club. The main reason for this was that many scuba divers were disallusioned with spearfishing and decided that they did not want to be involved in this activity. It was also beneficial to the spearfishing club to no longer have the scuba divers in their club.
|The St George Scuba Club logo|
The Club's name comes from the southern Sydney location called St George. This name is in general use and came about for the following reason. The Sydney basin area is officially the County of Cumberland. Within this area, the County is broken up into Parishes. The sole use now of these terms is generally to describe land titles (eg Lot 12345, Parish of St George, County of Cumberland). The area bounded by Cooks River, Botany Bay, Georges River and Salt Pan Creek was named sometime prior to 1820 as the Parish of St George. Unlike most other areas in Sydney, the Parish name has stayed in common use to describe the whole area.
Since its formation, St George Scuba Club has been an independent dive club with no association to any commercial dive operation. When its ancestry of the spearfishing club is taken into account, it is probably Sydney's second oldest scuba diving club. As such, it is older than any current Sydney dive shop (it has no relationship to the dive shop of a similar name). Its committee is directly elected by its members. The Club is based on the southern side of Sydney (including the St George area and the Sutherland Shire) but we have members from all over Sydney and nearby areas.
A meeting was held on 31 January 1973 at which it appears a decision was made to establish a new scuba club. A total of 54 people attended this meeting. It is not known where the meeting was held nor what actual decisions were made as no minutes appear to have been taken.
The inaugural meeting of the St George Scuba Club was held at the Coronation Hall at Arncliffe on 28 February 1973. The Club was established with a grant of $50 from the St George Spearfishing Club. On the night, 45 people attended the meeting and 26 persons joined the Club (half yearly fee was $2). The following were the members at the end of the night:
At the March meeting 34 members attended together with 16 non-members. By the end of March 1973 there were 50 members. Two of the new members were Peter and Joan Harper, still active divers in 2009.
At the end of May 1973, tragedy struck the Club when brother and sister Stephen (22) and Christine Millott (19) died when diving The Shaft (an underground cavern) in South Australia. Their brother Glenn (25 and also a member) survived. Two other divers from the South Pacific Divers' Club also died. All were instructors.
In May 1973 the $50 grant from the spearfishing club was paid back. At the end of April 1973 there were 60 members. There were now 62 members. The membership year ended at 30 June 1973. Of the members, 9 were females (14.5%). The Club had a balance of $373.51 in funds.
In June and July membership renewals occurred ($4 per annum) but it looks like a lot did not renew. By the end of October 1973 there were 52 members, at least half being new since the end of June.
Some of the events held in the first year included a prawn night, movie nights, a party as well as dives. The Club raised money by selling drinks at the meetings, raffles and later on in the year, entry fees to meetings (20 cents).
At the end of June 1974 there were 79 members. In late 1974 a photo competition was held with 30 entrants. In November a cylinder was purchased for $165 for a raffle prize. The Club also purchased 100 cloth badges of the new emblem (see photo at right). A Christmas Party was held for which members paid $2. At the end of the year there were 29 members.
|The first St George Scuba Club logo|
During this year the Club started using trawlers for diving. In July they dived at Jervis Bay and in September they had a Ten Pin Bowling competition. Most of the trips to Jervis Bay were day trips on a Sunday but it appears some went down and camped at Greenpatch on Saturday. The Ten Pin Bowling competitions were very regular over the coming years. Some were competitions between the Club and the St George Spearfishing Club and the Club and Port Hacking Divers.
The Club also did a dive out of Sydney Harbour in August and September using a trawler. This was repeated in October and November. A Christmas Party was held in December at which 44 adults and 10 children attended (where they hired a generator for $10). T-shirts were also purchased. There were 22 members at the end of the year.
About this time two members of the Club married each other. Wendy Scrimshaw (sister of a later President, Carol Scrimshaw) married Glen Millott. Another bowling competition was held in May . More trawler dives were done as well as social evenings. Laurie O'Grady joined the Club this year. He attended the very first meeting to establish the Club but did not join for over three and a half years.
Chris Ashton was the President and Peter Moxham the Vice-President.
The Christmas Party this year had 39 people attending at $3 each. The party cost $205.20 which included the hire of a generator, the purchase of a beer keg (beer was sold for 20 cents), meat and other food. At the end of the year there were 36 members. Membership fees were $4 per annum.
In January Geoff Sanders joined the Club. Geoff is still an active member of the Club today and is a Life Member. Steve Shaw attended the October meeting of the Club but did not actually join till February 1980.
Peter Moxham became the President and Alan Fletcher the Vice-President. The Club's meetings moved to St George Sailing Club at Sans Souci.
More trawler dives were held. The Christmas Party appears to have been held at Jervis Bay (camping). At the end of the year there were 26 members (fees were now $6 per annum). Attendance at meetings were less than 10 towards the end of the year.
On 15 March a very young Phil Rose attended a meeting of the Club. He also attended the April meeting as a guest and appears to have joined the Club at that meeting. Phil has filled all positions in the Club and was made a Life Member in 2007. Laurie O'Grady became the new owner of Snorkell Inn at Kogarah about this time. He owned the shop till about the early 1990s and still runs dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef.
Peter Moxham remained as President and Robin McConville became Vice-President. Geoff Sanders became the Treasurer in July 1978. He held this position till 1992. Dives were held at Jervis Bay in October. Sometime in 1978 or 1979, meetings of the Club moved to the St George Sailing Club at Sans Souci (not to be confused with the Georges River 16 Foot Sailing Club next door where the Club would later move its meetings). At the end of the year there were 27 members. Attendance at meetings was very low for the whole year, averaging less than 10 members.
On 10 to 11 February 1979 17 people attended a dive weekend at Jervis Bay (4 dives cost $14 using a trawler). Phil Rose and Mike Scotland attended this weekend. Mike is a long time member of the Club but does not appear to have been a member then. Mike was a teacher at Phil's school at this time.
On 18 March 1979 21 dived off a trawler at Port Stephens ($10 a double) and on 29 April 1979 26 did a double dive at Jervis Bay on a trawler ($7). On 18 March 1979 a double dive was planned out of Port Hacking ($10) with 13 attending but it looks like only a single dive was done. In June a trip was done to Montague Island.
Peter Moxham was again President with Alan Fletcher back as Vice-President. Membership fees were $6 per annum.
More dives were done at Jervis Bay (9 September), Broughton Island (21 October) and Jervis Bay (24-25 November). The Club was very busy. The Christmas Party had its traditional beer keg! At the end of the year there were 37 members. Attendance at the meetings increased greatly, with an average of over 15 and up to 22 attending.
The year started off with a dive to Montague Island over the Australia Day weekend with about 18 attending. Steve Shaw joined the Club in February 1980. For 2002 to 2006 he was the President of the Club and is still a member today. In June 1980 Tony Karacsonyi joined the Club. Tony went on to become a renowned underwater photographer and today still has articles and photos published in the diving and general media.
Peter Moxham was elected President again with Paul Render as Vice-President. Robin McConville was Secretary with Geoff Sanders as Treasurer.
Don Pike joined the Club in August 1980. Don was a member of the Club until 2008 when due to ill health he did not renew his membership. In November 1980 Judy Blake (now Morris) joined the Club. Judy is a Life Member of the Club and still regularly attends Club events. Attendance again increased during the year, averaging 25 with up to 35 members at one meeting.
Dives in the first half of the year were Montague Island, Broughton Island, Jervis Bay, Terrigal, and Kiama. In June 1981 the Club paid Neville Coleman $100 to give a talk (worth about $300 in 2006 dollars). On 22 June 20 members went to the South Pacific Film night. There were 74 members at the end of the financial year.
Membership fee went up to $8 per annum in July ($24 in 2006 dollars - it is $25 in 2013!). In the second half of the year dives were planned at Jervis Bay, Montague Island, Broughton Island (cancelled). There were 57 members at the end of the year.
Robin McConville was elected President.
Les Caterson and Tim Rigg joined the Club in February 1982. Les is a Life Member of the Club and still one of the Club's most active divers. Tim was President of the Club from 1995 to 1998. He was a member of the Club until 2008.
|A later St George Scuba Club logo|
On 11 July a dive was held at Jervis Bay and on July 21 members went to the South Pacific film night. There was a bus trip to Hunter Valley on 31 July. What a busy month! On 11 and 12 August a weekend away on a Clipper cruiser was held on the Hawkesbury River (there was another on 11 and 12 December). In September dives were held on the Valiant and at Jervis Bay. The next month saw dives at Montague Island and in November Broughton Island and Jervis Bay. In December a dive was held at Kiama. The Christmas Party was held again with the cost being $160 for the 25.5 people attending (don't ask me, it was $2 a head). A beer keg was again purchased.
Michael Cufer joined the Club (three times winner of the Australasian Underwater Photographer of the Year Competition) in January 1983. The Club went to Montague Island on 31 January. A 10th Anniversary dinner was held in February. The cost of the night was $491.40. A total of 43 people attended paying $10 a head. The same month 12 went to Jervis Bay for a weekend. In March a night dive was held at Osborne Shoals with 16 diving and the same month nine members dived at Manly Marineland. In May 1983 John McDonald joined the Club in May. John was a member till 2006. At the end of the financial year there were 80 members.
In July 28 members attended the South Pacific Divers' Club Film night. In August 30 members went on a wine tasting to Vicary's. More dives were held later in the year, including Jervis Bay, Kiama and Montague Island. As usual, a beer keg was purchased for the Christmas Party. Total cost of the party was $150 and no fee was charged. At the end of the year there were 64 members.
The year started with Raelene Caterson, the 15 year old daughter of Les Caterson joining the Club. She was still a member till 2010. On 4 and 5 Febrary six members went on a "Clipper" cruise on the Hawkesbury. In the first half of the year, dives were held at Palm Beach, Jervis Bay (x2), Terrigal, Broughton Island, Montague Island and on the SS Hilda. At the end of June there were 78 or 79 members. There was $1025.88 in the bank.
On 20 July 12 members went to the South Pacific film night. In the second half of the year dives were held at SS Undola, Jervis Bay (x 4 - they loved JB didn't they - 6 times in the one year!), Montague Island and Broughton Island. A First Aid course was held at which 10 members got their certificate (cost them $20 each and the Club subsidised $10).
Robin McConville was elected President and Phil Rose was Vice-President. Tim Rigg was the Secretary and Geoff Sanders and Judy Blake were Treasurer and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
The Christmas Party had no keg this year, they went to Roman Scandals, a theatre party held (if memory serves me right) at Bankstown Town Hall. Cost was $18 a head and 24 attended. There were 66 members at the end of the year.
Over the Australia Day Long Weekend 22 divers go to Montague Island. Cost was $20 a double dive. Other dives in the first six months were Jibbon Reef (night), Broughton Island and Jervis Bay (of course).
In March the meetings moved to the Georges River Sailing Club as the previous venue was considered unsuitable. On the weekend of 17 to 18 March, one member, Anna (?) got bent on a dive at Broughton Island. At the end of June there were 81 members. The Club had $2069.88 at 30 June.
The Club went to the South Pacific Divers' Club film night on 19 July. Other trips during the year were to Montague Island, camping at Greenpatch at Jervis Bay.
On 8 September Tim Rigg found a torch lost 105 days earlier off Bowen Island by Don Pires.
Phil Rose was elected President in September and Geoff Sanders was still Treasurer and Judy Blake was still Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
At the end of the year there were 63 members.
In February the Club went on a Hawkesbury cruise weekend. During the year there were trips to Ulladulla, Montague Island (x2), Jervis Bay, Broughton Island (Nelson Bay x2), Terrigal and the SS Bombo. There was a near annual trip to Vicary's Winery for wine tasting and bush dance.
At 30 June there were 78 members and there was $2300.80 in the bank.
Phil Rose was re-elected President in September and Geoff Sanders was still Treasurer and Judy Morris (nee Blake) was still Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
The Christmas Party was held at the Peter Street Theatre Restaurant and 26 attended. At the end of the year there were 58 members.
The regular dive weekends to Ulladulla, Montague Island, Jervis Bay and Broughton Island were held. There was also a weekend at Terrigal. A tour of the helicopter base at Royal North Shore was arranged as was the usual Vicary's Winery night.
At 30 June there were 68 members and the Club had $2954.65 in the bank.
At the Annual General Meeting in September, Robin McConville became the President again and Carol Scrimshaw was elected Vice-President.
During the first weekend in December, a trip on the Esperance Star on the Great Barrier Reef was held. A total of 37 dives were done by most.
At the end of the year there were 53 members.
Early in the year there was a trip to Montague Island. The Club certainly went there a lot in the 1980s. The 15th Anniversary of the Club fell in February and on the 15th they had an annual dinner as usual (something still done till this day every February). The dinner was at the Georges River Sailing Club in the dining room after the meeting.
The Club passed a motion to accept as members the former members of the Snorkel Inn Dive Club. I do not know why the Snorkel Inn Dive Shop closed their club down, but in late 1989 they were referring people who enquired about diving to Les Caterson of the Club.
In late January the trip to Ulladulla almost had to be cancelled as the dive operator could not provide a boat. Instead, Les Caterson and Al Barning took their boats down. They had 80 foot visibility on the dives.
In February there was a trip to Jervis Bay and four dives were done, the wreck of the SS Wandra, The Docks, Point Perpendicular and North Bowen Island. Trips later in the year were to Jervis Bay again, Broughton Island and Terrigal.
Mike Scotland, a former member of the Club and again a member in the 2000s, came to the April meeting and showed slides.
At one meeting Les Caterson moved a motion that "the Club should support in principle that a large vessel should be sunk at Merries Reef" (this is off the northern end of Wanda Beach). This was passed unaninmously.
Another trip to Vicary's Winery was held on Saturday 25 June and was a great success. At the end of June there were 109 members and there was $3311.34 in the bank.
On 10 July when at Jervis Bay, on the way out to the first dive, the prop fell off the charter boat. The first dive of the day was to recover the prop and put it back on. President Phil Rose found and refitted it. Apparently Carol Scrimshaw was designing a new emblem for the Club, but T-shirts with the old design were ordered. At the AGM, Robin McConville was re-elected President and the rest of the committee was the same as 1987-8.
On 12 November there was a visit to the Water Police base at Sans Souci. The Christmas Party was a Port Hacking cruise. The year ended with 87 members.
There was another Montague Island trip at the start of the year, this time in conjunction with Malua Bay (at Batemans Bay). In February a decision was made to no longer use Phil Challender's charter boat (from Miranda Dive). No explanation was given for this decision.
A trip to Currarong (at Jervis Bay) was planned - cost was $15 for camping and $60 for four dives. They dived the SS Merinbula and SS Wandra.
On Saturday 15 April a Rock and Roll night was held. This was organised by Carol Scrimshaw and was very successful.
At the end of June there were 107 members and $4513.33 in the bank.
On 2 July the Club dived the wreck of the SS Duckenfield, the location of which was only revealed on 24 May 1989.
A trip to Ulladulla was deemed "disastrous". The accommodation was said to be very poor, with 15 bunks in the one room, only two showers and one toilet. The cost was $18 for one night. The members were also not impressed with the dive shop service.
At the AGM Bill Harrison was elected President and John Gordon was Vice-President. The Secretary was Carol Scrimshaw and the Treasurer was still Geoff and Judy was Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
The Christmas Party was held at Les and Elly Caterson's house. Late in the year, Judy Morris had a baby girl, Laura. The same year, Raelene Caterson turned 21. At the end of the year there were 75 members.
There were lots of trips as normal in 1990. Some of the places visited were Jervis Bay, Norah Head, Ulladulla, Currarong (at Easter) and Forster.
At the end of June there were 77 members (a drop of 30 from a year earlier) and the bank balance was a very healthy $4255.95.
Dave Ireland ("the crocodile man") again pulled out of a commitment to show some films at a meeting. There was another trip to Vicary's Winery. Mike Cufer and Tony Karisonyi came in the top 10 at the annual Australasian Underwater Photograph Competition run by South Pacific Divers' Club.
At the AGM John Gordon was elected President and Helen Kyriaios Vice-President. Steve Bull was elected to replace Judy Morris as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
The Christmas Party was held at the home of Bill (Harrison?). Late in the year, Judy Morris had another baby, Brandon. At the end of the year there were 54 members, a drop of 21 over the year and 53 over two years.
There was a bushwalking trip to the Blue Mountains in July, a mid-year trip to Jervis Bay, a trip to Montague Island (October). The Club supported a fight to stop ocean sandmining off the Royal National Park. John Gordon was re-elected President, with Keith Philpott as Vice-President.
The Christmas Party was a BBQ at Jibbon Beach. There were 55 members at the end of the year.
There was a trip to Ulladulla over the Australia Day Long Weekend and in February Tim Rigg organised a camping weekend at Bonnie Vale in Royal National Park, with dives on Cat Dive (owned by Les Caterson). March saw a trip to Jervis Bay and in May a trip to Terrigal. The June Long Weekend was a trip to Forster. Michael Cufer married Wendy early in the year. At the end of June there were 60 members.
In August some members go on a trip to the Solomon Islands organised by Shiprock Dive. Carol Scrimshaw was elected as President, Ian Champion was Vice-President. Geoff was still Treasurer. This would be his last year in this position.
The October Long weekend was spent at Montague Island and there was a trip to Jervis Bay in November.
The Christmas Party was held at the home of Rodger Clark and Carol Scrimshaw. There were 43 members at the end of the year.
The year started with a trip to Ulladulla. In March, Les Caterson took over from Geoff Sanders as Treasurer. At Easter, the Club went to Currarong and in June to Forster. There were 57 members at the end of the financial year.
Michael Cufer won the Australasian Underwater Photographer of the Year Award and John Gordon came third in the novice section.
Carol Scrimshaw was re-elected President and Steve Bull was Vice-President. Tim Rigg was Secretary and Les Caterson Treasurer. There was a trip to Nelson Bay/Broughton Island in October and in November a trip to Norah Head. Michael McFadyen joined the Club in the second half of the year.
The Christmas Party was held at Bonnie Vale in Royal National Park. There were 46 members at the end of the year.
There was a slow start to the year and the first weekend away appears to have been Easter at Eden. However, in February a few members went to Chuuk Lagoon with Shiprock Dive. Over the Anzac Weekend there was a trip to Norah Head and the June Long Weekend was held at South West Rocks. There were 57 members at 30 June.
There was a trip to Jervis Bay in August. Tim Rigg was elected President, with Judy Morris Vice-President, Les Caterson Treasurer and Carol Scrimshaw Secretary.
In October Les Caterson took Le Scat down to Ulladulla and Batemans Bay for a week of diving. A total of eight members went on all or part of the trip. The November meeting of the Club was held at the St George Rowing Club (now called Rowers on Cooks). The change was made due to the unsatisfactory meeting room at the sailing club. Thirty members attended the DIVE Log night at Darling Harbour where Jean-Michel Cousteau was the guest speaker.
The Christmas Party was held on three party punts on Port Hacking. There were 47 members at the end of the year.
There was a trip to Norah Head ealry in the year (not sure of date) and to Bermagui at Easter to dive Montague Island. The first SCAN (Scuba Clubs' Association of NSW) dive weekend was held at Jervis Bay in March (it was actually before SCAN was formed and called the Combined Clubs Weekend).
At the April meeting a new logo design was considered. Of the many designs presented (most created by Carol Scrimshaw), one was adopted with a slight change. This is the logo still used to this date. T-shirts were printed by Les Caterson and badges and stickers produced.
There were 53 members at 30 June.
In September an overseas trip to Vanuatu was organised by Michael McFadyen in conjunction with South Pacific Divers' Club. A total of about 24 do the trip, most from St George. Tim Rigg becomes President, with Andreas Thimm Vice-President. Carol and Les remain in their previous positions.
Over the October Long Weekend the Club did a trip to Laurieton to dive the wreck of the huge crane, Titan. Mike Scotland ran a maritime biology course.
The Christmas Party was held at Les and Elly Caterson's place. At the end of the year there were 47 members.
The first trip of the year was to Eden over the Australia Day Long Weekend. In February there was a trip to Jervis Bay, over Anzac Day a trip to South West Rocks and in May the SCAN weekend at Nelson Bay. There was another trip to Jervis Bay in June and at the end of the financial year there were 53 members. The membership fee was $10 per annum.
Badges and stickers were finally produced. There were trips to Norah Head and Malua Bay in the second half of the year. Judy Morris was elected as a life member at the Annual General Meeting and Tim Rigg re-elected as President. Robyn Kemp was Vice-President and the other positions remained the same. The membership fee was increased to $15 per annum.
There was an overseas trip to Madang in Papua New Guinea in October.
A new constitution for the Club was prepared and the Club was incorporated. A trip on Ocean Trek in Jervis Bay was held in November.
The first SCAN Sydney Dive Day was held in November at Jibbon Beach. The Christmas Party was again held at Les and Elly's place. There were 52 members at the end of the year.
The annual SCAN Sydney Dive Day was held at Frenchmans Bay and St George Scuba Club hosted Barry Andrewartha, Editor of DIVE Log and Sportdiving. There were 200 divers and 15 boats! St George Scuba Club had 35 members present.
The Easter trip was to Pittwater, staying at the national parks VIP Lodge at Towlers Bay and diving on Le Scat.
John Fowden won the Lyn and Pat Manly Encouragement Award at the Australasian Underwater Photographer of the Year Competition.
Trips were also held to South West Rocks and Forster. At 30 June there were 55 members.
At the AGM Tim Rigg was re-appointed as President, with Robyn Kemp again Vice-President. Eddy Labour became Secretary. The second half of the year saw a trip to Jervis Bay and in October an overseas trip to Chuuk Lagoon was organised by Leo Bergagnin in conjunction with South Pacific Divers' Club.
The Club decides to take up a subscription to DIVE Log, paying for 15 copies, which continues to this day. The SCAN Weekend away was held at Jervis Bay.
The Christmas Party was held on Clarke Island on Sydney Harbour but Eddy Labour and Michael McFadyen, who organised the location, cannot attend as they are away fighting bushfires when it is held.
The SCAN Dive Day is again held at Frenchmans Bay, 56 members attended. Mike Scotland tries to organise regular Thursday night dives but there is little interest.
Trips to South West Rocks and Eden were held.
Les and Elly Caterson, Bill and Robyn Kemp, went to Western Australia and dived with the whale sharks.
An East Coast Safari starts on the June Long Weekend, visiting Byron Bay, Wooli and Coffs Harbour. In July Tim Rigg and Adrienne get engaged.
In September Michael McFadyen becomes President, with Tim Rigg as Vice-President. An overseas trip to Vanuatu and the SS President Coolidge is organised. The Christmas Party is held at Oak Park, with a dive before.
Trips to Malua Bay (Batemans Bay), Jervis Bay, Forster, Port Stephens as well as another East Coast Safari (Wooli, Coffs Harbour and South West Rocks). Another overseas trip to the Coolidge in Vanuatu was held (8 members attended) and another trip to Fiji was also organised.
Les and Elly Caterson are elected Life Members. At the AGM, Michael McFadyen is again elected President, with Bill Kemp as Vice-President.
The Christmas Party was again held at Oak Park, with two divers getting bitten by an angelshark, two washed up on rocks and many returned to shore by the Surf Club boat.
Tim and Adrienne Rigg have a baby girl early in the year. Trips to Jervis Bay on Ocean Trek, Nelson Bay, another trip to JB and Port Macquarie were held.
In about March or April, visiting German diver and Club member, Manuela Koerner died while diving. Her husband, Jens expressed thanks for the thoughts of the members. Michael McFadyen is still President.
Another trip to Jervis Bay on Ocean Trek was held early in the year. The club attended a SCAN (Scuba Clubs' Association of NSW) weekend at Jervis Bay. At Easter there was a trip to Merimbula/Eden. A trip to South West Rocks and another to Shellharbour were also well subscribed. In October a trip to Bermagui was held. Dives with the seals at Montague Island and on the SS Lady Darling were well enjoyed.
At the AGM Michael McFadyen was unopposed as President.
Trips to Norah Head and a SCAN weekend at Nelson Bay were well attended. Another weekend at Shellharbour was held and at Easter a Jervis Bay trip was popular. An "East Coast Safari" was held over a week where diving was done at a number of locations on the North Coast.
At the AGM Steve Shaw becomes President. Michael McFadyen is elected as a Life Member. A large number of members head to Vanuatu to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the sinking of the SS President Coolidge.
Over Easter a trip to Ulladulla is held and on the June Long Weekend a trip to Nelson Bay is also popular. Another Shellharbour weekend is held. A Christmas in July is held at Les and Elly Caterson's house. Members attend the South Pacific Divers' Club Australasian Underwater Photographer of the Year competition.
At the AGM Steve Shaw is again President. Later in the year a weekend at Forster is held.
In January there is an Ulladulla weekend and soon after a weekend at the North Solitary Islands. Other trips to Norah Head, South West Rocks and Port Macquarie are held.
Steve Shaw is again the President at the AGM.
The SCAN weekend is held in October at Ulladulla and there is a big club attendance. A trip to Chuuk Lagoon in November is well attended. However, Michael McFadyen falls ill on the trip and has to spend five sessions in the decompression chamber (it is later believed that it was not a diving related matter).
On Australia Day a dive and BBQ is held at Botany Bay NP at Kurnell. In February Kelly Jandik organises the first of the Girls' Weekend. This is a dive trip for the female members of the Club and the non-diving wives of members. It is held at Jervis Bay and despite the useless dive operator, it is a great success.
Weekends to Shellharbour, Nelson Bay (SCAN Weekend) and Jervis Bay (Easter) are all fully subscribed. A trip to Forster and one to the North Solitary Islands are held. Around this time the Club introduces a $5 subsidy for all trips, normally used for the Saturday night BBQ.
Once again, at the AGM Steve Shaw remains as President.
Kelly Jandik organises another Girls' Weekend, this time to Nelson Bay. The SCAN Weekend is held at Shellharbour and once again, our Club has the biggest attendance. A trip to Jervis Bay over Easter is well attended.
Steve Shaw steps down as President at the AGM and Kelly Jandik is elected President. There is a trip on the Undersea Explorer to Osprey Reef in conjunction with Ryde Underwater Club later in the year.
The October Long Weekend had a trip to Nelson Bay which was well attended. Mike Scotland, Eddie Ivers, Paul Pacey and Peter Trayhurn purchase a Bauer compressor for their use.
In November, a large group of members attends the Ocean Odyssey Night at the University of NSW. The Christmas Party was held at Kurnell, with Elly Caterson organising the event. A great success.
Kelly Jandik again organises a Girls' Weekend, this time at Nelson Bay.
Michael McFadyen and Kelly Jandik get married on 26 May 2007. Kelly is again elected President at the AGM. There is a trip to the Great Barrier Reef on the Undersea Explorer.
A trip to Chuuk Lagoon on the SS Thorfinn is organised but the boat sinks before they get to go. The boat is finally repaired and the trip goes ahead in 2008.
There are weekend trips to Shellharbour, South West Rocks, Norah Head, Forster, a week at the Solitary Islands and a trip to the Barrier Reef on the Undersea Explorer.
Membership peaks at 94 at the end of June. Of these members, almost 60% are still members in the 2012-13 financial year.
The Christmas Party was held at Kurnell.
Membership reaches 97 during 2007-8 membership year. Club has probably its most succesful year, with three overseas trips (Chuuk Lagoon, Palau and Papua New Guinea - Rabaul and Kavieng), a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, numerous trips within NSW and local dives with record numbers attending. There are now six boats in the Club. At the AGM Jason Coombs takes over as President. Don Pike relinquishes membership due to ill health after 28 years as a member.
The Christmas Party was again held at Kurnell, with about 60 members and family attending.
Probably the most successful year in the Club's history, even better than 2008. Membership reached an all time high of 111 as at 30 June. Overseas trips to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Thailand and Papua New Guinea were well attended as was a trip to Tasmania. Record numbers attended local dive days (five boats and 26 divers on one) and more Club boat dives were scheduled than any other year.
At the AGM in August, all the existing committee were returned. By 20 August 2009, we had 106 members, that is, virtually all of the members from the last financial year had rejoined and we gained a few extra new members.
The Christmas Party was again held at Kurnell, with over 30 members diving and close to 60 attending. A great day!
The Club ended the year with 110 members.
The year started well, with well attended boat dives and a trip to Kiama on the last weekend of January. More deep dives were held than previous years and three overseas trips planned. Membership hit 124 (another new record) at the end of the financial year.
The Anniverary Dinner was held as usual in February, with a very good roll up.
Overseas trips to Palau and the Philippines were very popular and weeks away at Wooli (two), weekends to Nelson Bay, a week at North Haven, two weekends at Kiama and two camping and diving weekends were held. Night dives were very popular, with up to 17 diving.
The Christmas Party was held at Kurnell as normal, with an overall attendance of well over 70. Judy Morris did her first dive in over 15 years after being cleared to dive again (after a non-diving related illness). It was like riding a bicycle, she dived as good on her first dive as she did back in 1995.
More boat and shore divers were planned than any other year, but the poor weather during the year meant a lot had to be cancelled. Despite this, a large number of Club dives were held.
The Club ended the year with another record membership (for the end of year) of 123 members.
The annual dive calendar planning night came up with a year with more events than ever before. Overseas trips to Fiji, New Zealand, Indonesia, Chuuk, Philippines (two), Papua New Guina have been organised. There are also monthly weekends away, a week on the Great Barrier Reef in early January and more.
Tragedy strikes the Club on 3 February 2011 when Carol Martin dies on a night dive. Despite all the efforts of members present, she does not regain consciousness. It appears she died of immersion pulmonary oedema. Carol was a long time member of the Club, as well as serving as secretary for a number of years. She is greatly missed.
A small group travels to the North Island of NZ and dives the Bay of Islands and the Poor Knights in March. Another group goes to the Philippines in February. Many boat and night dives need to be cancelled due to poor weather in the first half of the year. However, more shore dives are conducted than any previous year.
Weekends to Jervis Bay (twice), Merimbula/Eden, Nelson Bay and South West Rocks are held and each one is completely booked out. A group goes to Queensland to dive HMAS Brisbane. Two boat loads do a special Wednesday double dive on HMAS Adelaide which was sunk in early 2011 on the Central Coast.
Membership of the Club hit an all time high on 30 June with 159 members.
At the AGM, the same committee as the previous year is re-elected.
In November a large group goes to Chuuk Lagoon and Guam. They have a great time, diving on over 30 separate wrecks.
The annual Christmas Party is again held at Kurnell, with about 70 members and family attending.
Over the whole year, a lot of dives were cancelled due to very poor weather. However, the attendance at dives that were held was excellent.
The Club ended the year with another record membership (for the end of year) of 154 members.
The year gets off to a slow start with poor weather again. On 4 February a special event is held at Bare Island to celebrate the life of Carol Martin who died here a year and one day ago. We also uncover a plaque to her memory on the spot where she died.
Weekends to Jervis Bay at Easter, the Girls' Weekend at Nelson Bay, the Boys Weekend at South West Rocks were all full. At 30 June 2012 there were 174 members, another record.
Two weekends to Jervis Bay in July and August were also fully subscribed.
At the AGM, Jason Coombs and Peter Flockart remained as President and Vice-President. Digby Naude took over as Secretary and Kelly McFadyen became Treasurer. Natasha Naude became Newsletter Editor. There were 150 members by August, of whom almost 40% had been members for over six years.
A trip to Bali was held in September, with the first week being on a liveaboard boat that travelled from Bali to Komodo and back. The second week was land based at Tulamben.
A week at Wooli was held later in the year.
The Club ended the year with another record membership (for the end of year) of 161 members.
The year started with poor weather, with Australia Day BBQ and Carol Martin Memorial dives cancelled.
On 23 February we had a huge 40th Anniversary Dinner at the Georges River 16 Foot Sailing Club. At this dinner, Life Members were presented with special mementos and the boat owners given a small gift of recognition of their service to the Club. It was a great night.
The bad weather continued and many dives had to be cancelled. By September all but one ove the nine planned deep dives had to be cancelled. In May there was a club boat dive out of Frenchmans Bay with over 40 divers using 8 boats.
At the end of June 2013 there were 197 members, another new record.
In August a trip to East Timor was held, the diving was reported to be spectacular.
At the AGM in September, Jason Coombs stepped down after a record five years as President. During that time the membership of the club increased from 94 to 197. Peter Flockart also stepped down after about the same number of years as Vice President. In their places, Gary Perkins became President and Dave Casburn moved from Assistant Secretary/Treasurer to be Vice President. Nancy Scoleri took over the position of Assistant Secretary/Treasurer. The rest of the committee remained the same.
In October another tragedy struck the club when longtime member Andreas Thimm died while diving a newly discovered and extremely deep wreck on the north coast of NSW (not with the club). His loss hit the older members of the club a great deal.
The bad weather continued and a lot of boat dives had to be cancelled. The Club Christmas party was once again held at Kurnell. The diving was awful with less than 2 m viz, but over 65 members and family enjoyed a great day.
The diving conditions started out poor but by the third week of the year conditions improved and some excellent boat and shore dives were held. During February and March some of the best diving conditions, both reef and shore, for many years was experienced.
In late February membership hit 200 creating a new record and in May we had 204 members. The conditions in April and May are even better than earlier in the year, with visibility up to 40 m and water temperature still over 21C in late May. Shore dives are held most days of the week and boat dives once or twice during the week and on weekends.
In June there was a trip to Tulamben in Bali, Indonesia. A total of members attended.
The membership fee increased to $40 ($25 for second half of the year) from 1 June 2014. The increase was used to compensate for the decision to no longer have an annual Christmas raffle which was extremely time consuming for a small number of people to administer. As of 1 August 2014 (when the previous year's membership totally expired), the club had 153 members.
The period from 14 June had some of the best visibility Sydney had ever experienced for a prolonged period. Visibility was between 20 and 40 metres in the open ocean and 15 to 25 metres within the bays. This lasted till early August. Later that month a group went to Jervis Bay and dived with the seals.
In July there was a trip to South West Rocks on which many grey nurse sharks were seen.
At the AGM in August, an almost total change of committee was voted in. The new committee was President: Natasha Naude, Vice President: David Casburn, Treasurer: Caroline Corcoran, Secretary: Nancy Scoleri, Asst Secretary/Asst Treasurer: Shelley Brueseker, Webmaster: Paul Pacey and Newsletter editor: Mike Scotland.
In November the club chartered the Kalinda to dive the SS Yongala and the reefs out of Townsville. It was a very successful dive trip. Later in the month there was a camping and diving weekend at Honeymoon Bay in Jervis Bay.
The Christmas Party was held at Kurnell as has become tradition.
At the AGM the committee stayed the same, but with Ron Walsh as newsletter editor.
In September there was a camping and dive weekend at Port Stephens. In the same month there was an overseas trip to Lembeh Strait and Bunaken Marine Park North Sulawesi. This was well attended and members reported excellent diving.
In October there was another camping and diving weekend, this time at Honeymoon Bay, Jervis Bay. As usual, the Christmas Party was at Kurnell. Another great end of year celebration organised by Eda and Debbie.
The 5th Carol Martin Memorial Dive day was held at Bare Island in early February. As usual it was well attended. Other events held this month was a photographers' get together and the Girls' Weekend at Port Stephens and an overseas trip to the Philippines. The club anniversary dinner was held at the end of February at Jannali.
In early March a member's boat turned over and sank off Cape Baily at the end of a dive. Four members were on board, including the president, Natasha. The sinking was attributed to her bringing on board a banana. A lot of the gear was recovered in the next few days by members but despite repeated searches, no trace was ever found of the boat.
In early April Michael and Kelly McFadyen took Le Scat out for her last ever dive. This boat had been the backbone of the club's boat diving since Les Caterson bought her in 1992. Michael brought a half share in the boat about 2000 and for the last 7 years he and Kelly owned it outright. Michael calculated that he had done about 1500 dives from her in the past almost 25 years.
They purchased a new boat, a Sailfish catamaran similar to Le Scat which they named Mak Cat. This was first used in mid May.
The Frenchmans Bay dive day was held in May and was again well attended, five boats and 34 divers. Later that month the Boys' Weekend to Port Stephens was held. The trip to Narooma to dive with the seals was held over Easter.
The night dives were relatively well attended this year, although many had to be cancelled due to poor weather on Thursday nights.
In late June and early July a group went to South Australia to dive with great white sharks and leafy sea dragons. They saw plenty of both.
At the AGM we gained with a new president, Greg Blackburne. Vice President; Peter Flockart, Secretary; Aidan Slevin, Treasurer; Roney Rodrigues, Assist Secretary/Treasurer; Dave Burns. Webmaster remained Paul Pacey and Newsletter Editor Ron Walsh.
In September there was a deep diving weekend to Jervis Bay.
In November we had another dive trip on the Kalinda. This time it was from Cape York to the Great Detatched Reef, including the fantastic wreck of the SS Quetta at Cape York. The boat was full and some amazing diving experienced. The club also held its Frenchmans Bay dive day, with five boats and 43 divers. Another great day.
At the end of the year we held a fundraiser to collect money for a diver who lost his leg when a scuba cylinder exploded at Pro Dive Cronulla. Due to Jane Scarsbrook's determination, we donated over $1500 to assist him.
The time of the club meetings was changed to 7:30 pm from 8:00 pm. This led to a decline in attendance.
The Christmas Party was again catered by Dave Burns and held at Kurnell. Another amazing feed was provided. Quite a few members went diving, although the conditions were not great.
Due to a demand from Rowers on Cook club for us to pay to use a room on Wednesday nights, meetings changed from the third Wednesday of the month to the second Tuesday of the month. Attendance dropped to a 20 year low after this.
As usual the year started off with the Carol Martin Memorial Dive at Bare Island. The next week there was a diving week at Wooli out to the North Solitary Islands. A full crowd of 16 members went on the trip, 15 of them diving. They experienced some of the best diving for years here. At the end of the month Kelly McFadyen again organised the Girls' Weekend at Port Stephens.
In March and April there was a month long trip to various parts of the Philippines, again organised by Mark Ridsdale. Plenty of whale sharks were seen on that leg of the trip. Once again the Frenchmans Bay dive day in March had to be cancelled due to poor weather but the trip to Narooma to dive with the seals was held over Easter.
The night dives dropped off a bit due to poor weather and lack of interest at the start of the year and then the two organisers (Michael McFadyen and Ron Walsh) went away for most of the middle six months.
In August there was another trip to Jervis Bay, this time to dive some of the deeper sites. At the AGM in August there was not a quorum so at the belated AGM in September we ended up with virtually a whole new committee lead by Caroline Corcoran-Stojanovic as President, Peter Flockart as Vice-President, Shelley Bruseker as Secretary and Greg Blackburne as Newsletter Editor. Soon after we also gained a new treasurer when the existing one resigned. However, within a month we had Kelly McFadyen as V-P, Natasha Naude as Secretary when the others also resigned.
There was a very successful trip to South West Rocks over the October long weekend.
The club also held its Frenchmans Bay dive day in November, with three boats and a full load of divers (boats ran twice). Another great day.
Meetings changed back to 8:00 pm on the third Wednesday of the month after the new president approached the club. We did not have to pay for the room. In December there was another week long trip on the Kalinda from Cape York to the Great Detatched Reef, including the fantastic wreck of the SS Quetta at Cape York. The Christmas Party was at Kurnell as usual. The water conditions were not great so only a few dived, but over 50 members and family attended.
In February we could not dive on the Carol Martin Memorial Dive Day due to very poor weather. We ended up having a morning tea in a La Perouse cafe instead. The same month saw a week long trip to Jervis Bay where we used members' boats. We had three boats and 11 divers. The weather was pretty good, enabling diving on all six days of the trip (10 dives in total). In March there was a week long trip to Wooli with a full boat of 10 divers doing five double dives. Excellent conditions again.
March also saw the Girls Weekend (at Jervis Bay for the first time for many years) and Easter saw two member boats used to dive Batemans Bay.
Unfortunately the weather was not kind for a lot of the first part of the year and many boat dives had to be cancelled. During winter it improved and the conditions were excellent for months. We had a trip to South West Rocks in late July that was well attended.
At the AGM in August we had a very good rollup. Most of the committee stood down and Michael McFadyen was elected as President, 20 years after his first stint as President. Phil Rose became Vice-President, Ian Roffey was Secretary, Aidan Slevin Treasurer and Ray Moulang Assistant Treasurer/Secretary.
In August we had a deep reef trip to Jervis Bay, some great diving was enjoyed. The next month a trip to dive the deep wreck SS Satara, deferred from earlier in the year, was held. Two great dives were done.
In October after a lot of consideration, the members of the club voted unanimously to move meetings to a new location, Georges River Sailing Club. This was where we used to have our meetings before moving to the Rowers Club. We moved due to the Rowers wanting us to pay for use of rooms for meetings and more recently for use of rooms for other than monthly meetings. We had a very successful first meeting there that month.
We had another Frenchmans Bay dive day on 11 November, with six boats and about 40 divers. All up about 60 attended the day with a great barbecue lunch served. As usual, the Christmas Party was held in early December, with some very good diving and an excellent meal provided by Ida and Paul.
In February the Carol Martin Memorial Dive was held again.
The attendance at the new location continued to improve, with the food quality and cost a marked improvement over the previous location. We had a great Girls Weekend at Jervis Bay and a Boys Weekend at Port Stephens in the first part of the year.
In July the long awaited resuscitation and oxygen delivery course (subsidised by the club) was held at the sailing club with the room provided free of charge. Great thanks to Georges River Sailing Club.
In early August we had a another deep reef trip to Jervis Bay, some great diving was enjoyed despite very strong westerly winds.
At the AGM in August we had another good rollup. Most of the committee re-stood and Michael McFadyen was elected as President for a record six years as President. Phil Rose is Vice-President again and Ian Roffey again Secretary. Tordis Bulger became Assistant Treasurer/Secretary but at the meeting we could not get a Treasurer. The next day Bram Harris agreed to be the Treasurer. Mark Arrowsmith remained as Newsletter Editor and Paul Pacey Webmaster.
September saw a trip to Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands, the first time we have run a trip to this location. All spots were taken and it was a great success. In November another trip to Cape York on the Kalinda was held. A very well attended Christmas Party was held as usual at Kurnell, with some good dives reported. The year ended another very successful year.
The year began with a lot of diving, although many boat dives had to be cancelled due to poor weather. The Carol Martin Memorial Dive was held on the first weekend of February with a good turn out. In March a group of 11 headed to the Philippines for a 2-3 week dive trip. After a very good first week in Ticao Island, they had to return early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After this all club events were cancelled. No meetings were held from March.
In early April some members started doing shore dives in groups of two. This was within the permitted isolation rules. Funnily, at times there were up to five groups at the same dive site. Many major annual dives were cancelled, all the Frenchmans Bay dives, Anzac Day and more. The Boys and Girls Weekends were postponed and eventually held. Boat dives eventually restarted once rules were relaxed a bit. The October Long Weekend trip to South West Rocks went ahead and a few weeks later another weekday trip there was held.
Meetings using Zoom were started in September and in November, we held our first real meeting since February. We also had the AGM at this meeting. Michael McFadyen stood down as President (after a record 6 years in total) and Maxine Hayden was elected President. The rest of the committee remained the same.
In late November a total of 15 members went to Wooli to dive the North Solitary Islands. The visibility was not the greatest, but three out of four days could be dived. In December we had the annual Christmas Party and dive at Kurnell. Due to Covid we had to limit numbers to 50. Despite this, we had a great dive and lunch.
The year started off with a number of dives cancelled due to poor weather. The 10th Annual Carol Martin Memorial dive was held on 6 February, with a very good roll up of divers. Afterwards, a lunch was held in a cafe at La Perouse.
In February we again had the club anniversary dinner at the Royal Motor Yacht Club, with almost 30 members attending. The next month we had two full trips to Wooli two weeks in a row. The first week had very good weather and dived every day, but the second week only got out to the North Solitary Islands twice. In April a very successful Frenchmans Bay dive and BBQ was held. Four boats did eight runs with over 30 divers enjoying the great dives.
In April the Girls Weekend was held at Jervis Bay and in May 21 boys went to Nelson Bay for the Boys Weekend. In between there were a lot of boat and shore dives, although again, some had to be cancelled due to poor weather.
In June there was another trip to Wooli that had four great days of diving. After that there were a few club dives held, but unfortunately in late July a severe Covid-19 lockdown meant that club events had to be cancelled.
Finally, in early October the rules were relaxed to permit boat diving for more than two people so long as everyone was vaccinated. We started running events again. Bad weather caused another Frenchmans Bay day to be cancelled. In November we had our delayed AGM and the same committee was elected as last year with the later addition of Phil Short doing the Newsletter Editor role. Late in the month a fourth trip to Wooli was held with diving on all four days. Our Christmas Party was held on 5 December at Kurnell under relaxed rules (for vaccinated people only). Over 60 people attended and 17 dived. A great day.
Well, more Covid problems with the Omnicrom outbreak going wild. The weather also was awful, with huge rainfall for January and February. Many dives had to be cancelled due to winds and/or seas. A very successful Australia Day dive and BBQ was held at Kurnell and in February, a BBQ breakfast was held for Carol Martin's memorial but no dive due to seas and winds.
The first Frenchmans Bay Dive Day in February also had to be cancelled but the weekday trip to Ulladulla was held with 11 attending. Three days of diving even though lots of rain and some bad weather. The 49th Annual Anniversary Dinner was held on 26 February at the RMYC with good attendance.
Record rainfall in Sydney (and most of NSW) from February to May meant that a lot of diving had to be cancelled as the water was filthy. The dive trip to Byron Bay and Wooli in March had to be cancelled due to the water conditions.
However, we have a trip to Lord Howe Island in mid-May which had great diving. The water finally cleared up and we did hold the Frenchmans Bay day in early June, but the weather was not the best. Later in the month a great trip to Wooli was held, but the last day had to be cancelled due to a Covid outbreak in a number of attendees. At the end of the financial year, the club had 169 members.
The bad weather continued and more dives were cancelled in July to September, but a few could be held. The AGM in August could not be held as there was not a quorum for the meeting. At the deferred AGM in September, Michael McFadyen was elected President for a record third time. Other committee members are Jill McKenzie (Vice President), Bram Harris (Treasurer), Greg Blackburne (Secretary), Tordis Bulger (Ast Sec/Treasurer), Andrew McDermott (Webmaster/Membership) and Phil Short (Newsletter Editor). A decision was also made to form a small working group to look at amending the club's constitution to formally provide for life members.
Presidents of the Club
1973 to 1976 - not sure
1976 to 1977 - Chris Ashton
1977 to 1981 - Peter Moxham
1981 to 1984 - Robin McConville
1984 to 1987 - Phil Rose
1987 to 1989 - Robin McConville
1989 to 1990 - Bill Harrison
1990 to 1992 - John Gordon
1992 to 1995 - Carol Scrimshaw
1995 to 1998 - Tim Rigg
1998 to 2002 - Michael McFadyen
2002 to 2006 - Steve Shaw
2006 to 2008 - Kelly McFadyen
2008 to 2013 - Jason Coombs - record five years
2013 to 2014 - Gary Perkins
2014 to 2016 - Natasha Naude
2016 to 2017 - Greg Blackburne
2017 to 2018 - Caroline Corcoran-Stojanovic
2018 to 2020 - Michael McFadyen
2020 to 2022 - Maxine Hayden
2022 to current - Michael McFadyen
Geoff Sanders - date not known
Judy Morris - 1996
Les Caterson - 1999
Elly Caterson - 1999
Michael McFadyen - 2002
Phil Rose - 2007
Steve Shaw - 2010
Geoff Sanders - January 1977
Phil Rose - April 1978
Steve Shaw - February 1980
Judy Morris (nee Blake) - November 1980
Graham Poole - before December 1980 but not continous
Les Caterson - 1982
Tim Rigg - 1982 till 2008, rejoined 2021
Raelene Caterson - 1984 till 2010, rejoined 2020
Andreas Thimm - 1984 till 2013
Robbie Mapstone - 19 Feb 1987
Michael McFadyen - 1993
Eddy Labour - 1994
Leo Bergagnin - 1994 till 2017
Phil Short - 1995 (not continuous)
Daryl Gibbs - 1996
Sheila Baldock - 1996
John Fowden - 1996 till 2022
Joined about 1996 - Sue Shaw (?), Mike Scotland (not continuous), Sue Fowden (till 2012), Eda DiCamillo, Dave Burns