It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Swansea-Belmont SLSC, Surf Life Saving NSW and Surf Life Saving Australia Life Member, Cliff Marsh OAM, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday 28 September 2021.
Involved in Surf Life Saving with what has been described as “total commitment”, Cliff worked tirelessly at all levels – from his local club and Branch right the way through to International Lifesaving – and held various roles during a career that began with his Bronze Medallion in 1959.
As a competitor, few commanded the respect and admiration that Cliff did. When he turned to coaching and administration, his impact at club, branch, state and national level is still felt today.
“He loved seeing and contributing to personal development,” Cliff’s son, Benn said.
“The thing about him, he was always public speaking, always putting his hand up for committees and getting jobs done. He was committed to developing skills, and particularly loved coaching and administration.
“Cliff was also heavily involved in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. He was part of the steering committee that kicked it off in Newcastle in the mid 70s, and it only grew from there.
“He was a dedicated contributor who loved his mates and loved Surf Life Saving.”
The man behind the surf lifesaver was just as impressive – Cliff cultivated a life that brought him joy all year long.
In the summer he was at the beach, imparting his experience and passion onto the Swansea-Belmont R&R team. In winter, Cliff was actively involved in Burrawong, a ski lodge in the Snowy Mountains.
His love for Surf Life Saving, the snow and the community was equalled only by his love for his family, and it’s a measure of the man that he was, that so many can attest to his role in their lives.
“He was a man that loved life, loved everybody around him, he had thousands of friends, and was very loyal,” Benn continued.
“He was very much a people person, and had this skill of being able to bring people together.”
Cliff passed away peacefully listening to his favourite songs, including a fitting tribute to a wonderful life – a classic song by The Seekers named ‘The Carnival is Over’.
On behalf of the Board and staff of Surf Life Saving NSW, our condolences are extended to Cliff’s family and friends.
Thursday 30 Spetember 2021