Locals to grace Hall of Fame

Local Ballina and Lismore men (l-r) Lance Goldsmith, Brian and Max Sidney, Ces Denny and Warren Tulk will be inducted into the Australian Life Saving Hall of Fame this March for their exploits in the late 1960s when they won three consecutive national surf boat titles.

Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Clubs most legendary boat team, Max and Brian Sidney, Warren Tulk, Lance Goldsmith and Ces Denny will be inducted into the Australian Surf Life Saving Hall of Fame this March.

Four of the invincible crew will fly out to Western Australia to receive the honour, the highest accolade in Australian Surf Life Saving, with Warren remaining at home to tend to his ill wife.

Former Lismore and Casino boy Barry Galton who is the co-author of the book Between the Flags which celebrates 100 years of Surf Life Saving in Australia, said it was a huge honour.

The crew ought to be given the keys to the city of Lismore, he said. Its such an honour. They pioneered a different form of rowing which revolutionised the sport. They practised up and down the Richmond River, not in the surf and brought rowing techniques to bear. This is the first time they have been properly recognised.

It was decided to bestow the honour on the local men due to their exploits in the late 1960s, when they won three consecutive national surf boat titles with the same crew. From 1967 to 1969 the blokes from Ballina and Lismore were invincible in the waves off Tasmania, South Australia and NSW. The team also found a place on the dais in 1966 and 1970, with a bronze and a silver medal respectively.

The extraordinary team will also be remembered as the first country team to win a national title and the only surf boat team ever to be inducted into the 50-strong Hall Of Fame.

Max, Brian, Warren, Lance and Ces will join Ky Hurst and three other inductees at this years ceremony. Their story and pictures will be placed among the records and memorabilia of the nations surf life saving stars on permanent display at the Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club. Its a fitting place for the unsung local crew amid pictures of Trevor Hendy, Peter Tibbetts, Denis Houstons and Professor Tess Cramond, who pioneered CPR.

The team has also been honoured in a new book which commemorates the 75th national titles.

When asked how he felt about the honour, Max Sidney replied in his usual laconic style, pretty good. What else do you expect from blokes whose actions speak so much louder than their words.

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