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It is with great sadness Surf Life Saving NSW advises the passing of life member Reginald (Reg) Wood aged 94.

A highly respected and passionate lifesaver and advocate for the movement, Reg played a number of integral roles within Surf Life Saving for 77 years.

As an 18-year-old, Reg joined Avalon Beach SLSC in 1944 after a call for assistance from the club to the Woolloomooloo Police Boys Club where he was competing in wrestling.

A year later he completed his Bronze Medallion ahead of what became a life-long love of the beach and service to the community through Surf Life Saving. He took on a number of committee positions throughout a 20-year period at Avalon Beach SLSC, including club and vice-captain, board captain, social secretary and as member of the judiciary and life membership committee.

Reg was awarded life membership of Avalon Beach SLSC in 1965.

In 1989 Reg and wife Margorie retired to Sussex Inlet where, as a strong lifesaver and community leader he was able to transfer his wealth of experience and knowledge to assist the South Coast club.

His contribution to Sussex Inlet SLSC was invaluable for the small club as they embarked on the construction of their first official clubhouse. He continued to provide extensive assistance in fundraising and education where he trained new and existing members, extending his passion for lifesaving to the wider community and across generations.

In his time he obtained an impressive 47 lifesaving awards and remained continuously proficient. 

In 1996 Reg joined the Surf Life Saving South Coast Board of Examiners and later Board of Lifesaving as a trainer and assessor where he served for 14 years. An exceptional communicator, particularly with young people, he drew on his vast experience on the beach and empathy to develop and assist with the qualification of hundreds of lifesavers. 

Reg signed off his last Bronze Medallion squad after they became qualified lifesavers on 1 December 2013.

After 70 years of outstanding service to Surf Life Saving not only at a club and branch level but right across the state, Reg was awarded life membership by Surf Life Saving NSW in 2014.

In recognition of his service to the community he was awarded Local Community Volunteer of the Year and two NSW Premier Awards.

Surf Life Saving South Coast President Steve Jones spoke of a great member who loved transferring his knowledge and experience to others. “Reg was known for his tenacious commitment and enthusiasm towards anyone who had an interest in learning and being part of this wonderful organisation,” said Jones.

“Reg was a man who gave a life of invaluable community service, given of his knowledge, skills and friendship to many in the surf life saving movement. He will be deeply missed,” he said.

Reg is survived by daughter Kathy, six grandsons and their partners; Matt, Grant, Jeff, Brad, Ryan and Craig, and three great-grandchildren; Kobe, Stirling and Gracie.

Funeral details: 11am on Friday 19 March 2021, Thompson Street Community Hall, Sussex Inlet followed by a gathering of friends and family at Sussex Inlet Bowling Club.


Thursday 11 March 2021