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Surf Life Saving NSW is saddened to advise of the passing of Collaroy SLSC, Sydney Northern Beaches Branch, SLSNSW, and SLSA Life Member, Richie Lytham OAM, on Tuesday 7 May 2024.

Richie’s journey began when he signed on as member of Collaroy SLSC in the 1983/84 season before obtaining Bronze Medallion 44231 shortly afterwards.

After a career spent on the wharves, Richie had learned a lesson or two on leadership and people management, and he quickly threw himself into all aspects of the movement.

Within two seasons he was on the Club Premises Committee, a position he would hold for nine seasons.

It was the start of many achievements at his beloved club that included stints on several committees, Touring Manager, a term as President (1993-96), and most notably of all, six years as organiser for the Collaroy Masters Event; later to become East Coast Masters.

For his efforts he was awarded Life Membership at Collaroy in 2008.

At a Branch Level he became heavily involved, serving four years as Sydney Northern Beaches President among many other positions including two decades on the Board of Examiners, eight seasons on the Rules and Regulation Committee, and a four-year term as Director of Competition.

In the 1999/2000 season he was elevated to Branch Life Membership.

Richie also made an incredible and sustained contribution at both State and National level.

For Surf Life Saving NSW he served as a Deputy President, spent a decade as a Surf Sports Adviser, was a member of multiple committees, including a stint chairing the Life Members Review Committee, and was an accredited official for 25 years.

He was also the ever-popular co-founder of Dad’s Army, a wonderful group of retirees who do so much for surf sport in NSW maintaining gear and equipment among many other thankless tasks.

While he stepped away in 2018, his contribution and legacy lives on through the current Dad’s Army members who are seen every week working away at the SLSNSW Belrose Head Office

Some of his achievements at an Australian level included five years as a boat referee at The Aussies, and a member of the Life Membership and Honours Committee.

Richie was made a Life Member of SLSNSW in 2004 and SLSA in 2010.

For his dedication to the movement, he was also recognised in the wider community as a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal (2000), was the Warringah Council Citizen of the Year in 2002, and in 2012 was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

He may have been a latecomer to the surf lifesaving family, but for over three decades Richie Lytham OAM gave his all to the movement he loves. He will be sorely missed.

Wednesday 8 May 2024