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Surf Life Saving NSW is saddened to hear of the death of State Life Member and former Illawarra President William “Bill” Seay OAM earlier this week.

The 88-year-old was a dedicated and highly respected surf lifesaver over 6 decades who rose to become a beloved identity within his local community.

Bill’s initial foray into the movement began in the Hunter where he joined Nobbys Head SLSC in 1947.

Two seasons later he would obtain his cherished Bronze Medallion and also join the first of three Illawarra clubs signing on as a member of Port Kembla where he would remain a member throughout his life.

Bill would also later join Wollongong City (in 1977) and was also part of North Wollongong for a decade.

At Port Kembla, Bill would throw himself heavily into all aspects of the club serving as Secretary for 10 seasons, two decades as Treasurer, and also enjoyed an eight-year stint as President.

Arguably it was at Branch level where Bill Seay would make his greatest contributions. Bill joined the Illawarra Board in 1988 and would go on to serve in many positions including Branch Liaison Officer, Deputy Branch President, and four years as President from 2009 until the end of the 2012/13 season.

Until as recently as May he was still serving as advisor to the President a role he has performed admirably over many years.

Bill was also an official dedicating and was a familiar and welcome face on the beach at carnivals from a local level through to the World Championships.

For his services to the Illawarra Branch he was made a Life Member in 2008 after earlier earning this honour at Port Kembla.

In 2002 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), and was elevated to NSW Life Membership status in 2012.

It was Bill Seay’s sense of humanity that would touch all those who had the pleasure of knowing him, a fact noted by the current Illawarra Branch who released a statement upon learning of his passing.

“Bill was a true gentleman with a wonderful sense of humour. He always had an ear to listen and had all the time in the world for a chat. Bill had a love of the ocean and a passion for Surf Life Saving. He will be fondly remembered and will be greatly missed.”

It is clear that Bill’s life was a legacy of service to the organisation he loved and Surf Life Saving was all the richer for his involvement.

Our condolences go out to all those who knew Bill including his family, friends and the wider Illawarra lifesaving community at this sad time.

Funeral details are yet to be confirmed.

Vale Bill Seay OAM.


Tuesday 29 August 2017