"Stay happy and you'll be perfectly fine" - Jack Norris

Vale Max Watt of Avalon Beach

Max Watt, a truly original Aussie Waterman, passed away yesterday aged 82 after a long period of fighting heart problems.

He was well known to anyone, young and old, who’s spent anytime in the surf or on the beach at Avalon – surfing, swimming, fishing, skin diving or just having a yarn about all and any of these. His knowledge and expertise was sought after and respected by all.

A Life Member of Avalon Beach SLSC, he hauled out literally hundreds of swimmers who got into trouble in notorious rips at Avalon, Palm Beach and vicinity over the years, both on and off duty.

Despite his health problems he was still doing these things into his eighties!

Still doing surf patrols for the club into his seventies he dropped patrolling in recent years, as the annual proficiency run-swim-run became a bit harder to do in the allotted time… Nevertheless, he was still saving lives after that.  If someone was calling for help and he was fishing off the rocks he would calmly talk to them and direct them from the rocks, telling them what to do to get back to shore safely.

Max was an inspiration to anyone who knew him.  Over the years he won numerous surf competitions, ski, swim and boats, had various Surf Life Saving Australia and community awards, including SLSA’s 50  years service award, Pittwater Citizen of the Year, and was one of only 100 Northern Beaches recipients of the Manly Daily Centenary Medal for outstanding service to the community.

A memorial ceremony, scattering of the ashes in his beloved Avalon surf, and wake will be held at the Avalon Beach SLSC at midday Sunday 19 August 2012.

A fellow proud Avalon Beach SLSC Life Member, my next door neighbor for over twenty years, and a bloody good mate – I will miss him.

Condolences to his wife Norma, son John, daughters Julie and Margaret, and brother Jack.

He would be thrilled to see the size of the surf today!

Catch plenty of great waves up there mate.


(aka The Goat)