Ken East & Charlie Christensen

Charlie Christensen on Australia Day 2002, after receiving his OAM. Photo by Edwina Pickles, image courtesy of the SMH.

“You need to love the surf, and be a good swimmer, and just enjoy your work.”

Ken East was a beach inspector at Bondi from 1946-1947. East left the lifeguard service to train as a professional fisherman, but ended up working in the music business in London.

“And one of our doctors said the other day, if you’re going to have a heart attack, have it on Bondi beach on a Sunday morning when the patrols are there.”

Charlie Christensen, born in 1920, joined the North Bondi Surf Club at the ag of 27, and went on to become the longest serving president of the club. During his tenure he worked to include women in surf lifesaving, established one of Australia’s first Nippers programs, and in 1966 gave Prince Charles a personal tour of the clubhouse. Charlie passed away in 2014.

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