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It is with great sadness that we inform members of the passing of a truly significant surf lifesaver, a former President of Surf Life Saving NSW and Avalon Beach SLSC stalwart, Michael Byrnes.  

Michael completed his Bronze Medallion in 1953 and held many positions at his beloved club including Vice Captain, Chief Instructor, Chief Steward, Assistant Secretary, Registrar, Race Secretary, Publicity Officer as well as being part of the General Committee and Judiciary Committee.

Michael was a Life Member of Avalon Beach SLSC, Sydney Northern Beaches Branch, SLSNSW and SLSA.

At a Branch level he held roles including Deputy Superintendent, Secretary of the Board of Examiners, Branch Team Manager, State Centre Management Delegate, Registrar for the Board of Examiners, Assistant Treasurer, and Liaison Officer to Metropolitan. He served on the Selection Committee, Constitution Committee, Judiciary Committee, Finance Committee, Boat Committee, Life Saving Committee, Gear Improvement Committee, Gear Inspection Committee and Boat Rowers’ Committee.

At a State level Michael served as Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Trustee. He served on the Constitution Committee, Finance Committee, Herald Gear Fund Committee, Finance/Herald Gear Fund Committee and Selection Committee. He was elected President of Surf Life Saving NSW and served from 1984-1989.

Over his many, many years of service he has been an Assessor, Examiner and Official. In 2011 he received a 50+ Years of Officiating Service award. In 1999 Michael was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to Surf Life Saving.

Members like Michael are the bedrock on which the current Surf Life Saving movement is founded. The organisation is richer for having him serve in his many capacities across so many decades. His passing is a huge loss to us all.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with his family during this time.

Michael’s funeral service is set for 2.30PM on Monday 3 April at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium.

Friday 24 March 2023