Vale Ken Leonard

Surf Life Saving NSW is saddened to hear of the passing of State Life Member and former Sydney Northern Beaches stalwart Ken Leonard over the weekend.

After serving in the RAAF in World War Two, the 90-year-old began his long association with the movement when he joined Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club in 1947.

Obtaining his Bronze Medallion in 1949, the young Leonard proved to be a natural leader at club level serving as chief instructor, club vice-captain, social secretary and gear steward over the years.

In 1973 he shifted beaches and became a member of Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club. Once more he reinforced his leadership abilities taking on the role of club president for a stint that lasted a decade from 1974.

His time at the top coincided with a period of growth for the proud Sydney Northern Beaches club and his determination, innovation, and desire to better the movement played a key role during this time.

Ken oversaw the introduction of the club’s first ever Inflatable Rescue Boat and promoted women as patrolling lifesavers and was recognised for his efforts with life membership of the club that played a key role in his life.

At a Branch level Ken tirelessly worked as a gear steward and was always on hand to support surf lifesavers in the local community. He also served on the Sydney Northern Beaches Board of Examiners and earned Life Membership as well.

For his commitment to Surf Life Saving, Ken Leonard was deservedly awarded SLSNSW Life Membership in 2004.

Outside of Surf Life Saving he was involved heavily in his local community taking on roles at the Rotary Club of Narrabeen and was a former Hon. Secretary of the 30 Squadron RAAF Beaufighter Association. His wartime service included serving in the Pacific until the war's conclusion.

He was a recipient of a Queens Silver Jubilee Medal in 1978, a NSW Government 40 Year Long Service Medal in 1986, and an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

Our sincere condolences go out to his many friends, both from within Surf Life Saving and the wider community.

Ken Leonard was a proud surf lifesaver and a pillar of the community and will be missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Vale Ken.

A service for Ken will be held at 10:30am on Tuesday 8 November 2016 at St Josephs Catholic Church (Cnr of Waterloo and Lagoon Streets) Narrabeen. Afterwards at Narrabeen Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Ocean Street Narrabeen.

Photographs - Ken Leonard (courtesy of Ross Tester)

Mon 31 Oct 2016