Beloved Surf Life Saving NSW life member, Gordon McNaughton, passed away on October 21 at the age of 93.
Beloved Surf Life Saving NSW life member, Gordon McNaughton, passed away on October 21 at the age of 93.

Funeral held for beloved surf life saver

A FUNERAL for a much-loved surf life saver was held in Ballina on Tuesday.

Surf Life Saving Australia and Surf Life Saving NSW life member, Gordon McNaughton OAM, passed away on October 21 at the age of 93.

He died after complications from recurrent metastatic disease.

His funeral was held at Parkview Funeral Home in Kalinga Street, West Ballina.

Mr McNaughton served in the Air Force during the Second World War and then returned home and joined the Evans Head-Casino Surf Life Saving Club.

It was the start of a lifelong love of the surf life saving movement and its members, and in the years that followed, he was described as a mentor, good friend and surf hero.

A tribute was issued by Surf Life Saving after Mr McNaughton's death.

It reads: "He achieved his Bronze Medallion in February 1947 at Evans Head and still retained his membership.

"It was during this time that he developed a keen interest in football and hockey.

"In 1954, during the floods in Casino (his home town), he was active in valiant rescue work and was awarded the Royal Humane Medal for his efforts.

"During his time in surf, he was well-known to thousands of members and was both a mentor and a good friend.

"His great knowledge and experience were sort after regularly by SLSA members.

"He loved Surf Life Saving, particularly the service side of active patrol.

"Gordon served on countless panels and committees at all levels of surf over a very long period and he was recognised with an OAM in 1997 for service to Surf Life Saving.

"He is a Life Member of Evans Head-Casino SLSC, Far North Coast Branch, Sydney Northern Beaches Branch, NSW Surf Life Saving and Surf Life Saving Australia and has a citation of Merit from ILS.

"Following retirement, he and Joan moved to Lennox Head where he was also a club member.

"Prior to his retirement, whilst living in French's Forest, he was a member of Dee Why SLSC.

"Since 1993, he was very active with officials education and welfare.

"During that time, he was a key figure in setting up and promoting the benefits of practical education for the officials and coach's accreditation system.

"He decided to step down as Officials Advisor in 2009, following his recognition of 60 years as a sports official by SLSA.

"In 1983, he managed a SLSA Education team to Trinidad and Tobago to assist with the development of lifesaving techniques in that region.

"For some years he was a member of Northern Region Helicopter Board and was involved in many aspects of Far North Coast Branch.

"He also served on the Sydney Northern Beaches Executive, and the executive of NSW Surf Life Saving for a number of years.

"Our condolences are extended to Joan, Reed, Craig and other family members."