Vale Max Godbee OAM

Surf Life Saving NSW is saddened to hear of the passing of Life Member Max Godbee OAM who had an illustrious 65 year career as a Yamba surf lifesaver as well as being a pillar of his beloved Clarence Valley community.

The 86-year-old joined Yamba SLSC in 1952 gaining his Bronze Medallion in November the same year. It was the start of a journey that incorporated a host of roles at all levels in his club through to the international stage going on to officiate at World Lifesaving Championships.

The well-known lifesaver boasted an incredible CV that included the positions of patrol member, competitor, coach, lifesaving instructor and examiner, carnival official, administrator, and club historian over the years.

His commitment to Surf Life Saving deservedly resulted in him being acknowledged as a Life Member at every level of the organisation.

In 1965 he was made a Life Member of Yamba, received the same honour for the Far North Coast Branch in 1971, Surf Life Saving NSW in 1985 and most recently a Surf Life Saving Australia Life Member in 2006.

The fact that he was the first surf lifesaver from Yamba to receive the honour of SLSA Life Membership speaks volumes about Max’s personality and his influence on his club and the wider movement.

In 2003, Max was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to surf lifesaving and the Clarence Valley community.

“Max had a lifelong dedication to Yamba SLSC and the surf lifesaving movement. We at Yamba SLSC are very proud of his efforts,” said close friend Jim Dougherty.

The advent of Masters competition in the late 80s prompted a “comeback” and he eventually went on to win 14 gold medals at Australian Masters Titles in Beach Sprint and Flags events as well as a further 10 gold medals at World Masters Titles.

It wasn’t just Surf Life Saving where Max was known for his hard work and dedication. He was a supporter of many sporting organisations in the local region as well as a prominent sports journalist.

“Away from surf lifesaving he worked as a sports journalist and spent 30 years as sports editor of the local Daily Examiner newspaper in Grafton,” Mr Dougherty added.

The influence Max had on the Clarence Valley sporting landscape is highlighted with ‘The Max Godbee Award’ presented at the annual Community Sports awards to a local who has made an outstanding contribution to sport.

Max Godbee's funeral will be held on Monday 31st July at 1pm at The Anglican Cathedral, Duke St, Grafton.

Fri 21 Jul 2017