It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Corrimal SLSC, Illawarra Branch and Surf Life Saving NSW Life Member, Ron Bradley OAM, who passed away on Tuesday 19 October.
A man of great commitment and loyalty, the 2021/22 summer would have been his 77th consecutive season at Corrimal SLSC, having joined initially as a probationary member in 1944.
Fierce in competition and focused as a coach, Ron dedicated much of his life – more than 55 years in all – to the Surf Race, R&R and March Past events.
He won two Australian Titles, at North Steyne in the 1954/55 season, and then again at Narrabeen in the 1991/92 season. Forty Illawarra Branch March Past titles also bear his name.
With Corrimal SLSC, he served in many offices including eight years as Club Captain, 13 as Branch Delegate, 17 as Competition Coach, seven as Club Registrar and 15 as Corrimal Nippers March Past Coach. Many of those years as a coach ended with gold medals for Illawarra Branch.
Ron’s legacy within Surf Life Saving will not be forgotten – the Ron Bradley surf boat, christened in 1979, still takes to the water at Corrimal, and he held the position of Corrimal Life Governor from 2004 until his passing.
He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his dedication to Surf Life Saving and the community.
Above all else though, Ron will be remembered as a true gentleman who never missed a chance to put others ahead of himself.
“To us, he was our hero. If he could wear a cape, he’d be a superhero,” Ron’s son, Craig said.
“He was always very quietly spoken, always encouraging everybody and never angry.
“He never said a bad word about anybody, always had a smile on his face, and was always willing to help.
“We followed him everywhere and did everything he did. He was always there to help, he’d drop what he was doing whenever you needed it.”
Indeed, right until the end, Ron would still go and sit with his beloved wife, Nancy, at the nursing home they shared and hold her hand, every day. He made sure she was always comfortable because that’s the man Ron was.
A small funeral was held on Wednesday, 27 October, with plans in place for a memorial at Corrimal SLSC in 2022 where Ron’s ashes will be scattered at sea.
Wednesday 27 October 2021