2001 Geoff le Cren

Geoff was another surf life saver with strong family connections to the Club. His parents Keith and Rene were active members of Taylors as was sister Helen. Later his children Tim, Danelle and Kristi became members.

Geoff gained his Surf Bronze in 1958 and competed in his first nationals the same year in New Brighton.  He competed with distinction as a patient for Norm Webb where in heavy seas they were only one of three teams to finish.  However, they were denied a placing as the event was called off because of the big sea.

According to Kevin Tutty and Paul Carpinter in ‘Over the Hill for 100 years’ “the next year, at Oakura, he became perhaps the youngest to win the national junior belt title at only 15, … and in 1960 he added the surf race”.  However, a combination of factors outside his control i.e. accidents and injuries, family bereavement, need to work, archaic rules relating to professional swimming instructors (for which he did part time for a period) reduced his opportunities to shine as a senior.  He swam a host of finals, and twice won the South Island Belt title.  In 1982 he won the national over 30 surf race.  In 1963 he was the sole Taylors Mistake representative in the Canterbury team that competed in the prestigious Royal Carnival.  Between 1960 and 1981 he represented Canterbury for 16 of those years.  Perhaps the most satisfaction Geoff gained from the sport was being a member of the club’s six-man team and the multiple successes it had in winning the Nelson Shield.  Of the thirteen wins in two decades, Geoff was in 10 of them.

As well as the sporting side of life saving, Geoff was an extremely able administrator, secretary of the Canterbury association for several years, and of the club from 1974-77 and club captain from 1965-66.  He represented New Zealand in a surf life saving educational role in 1980, having been granted an Air New Zealand Study Award.  In 1981 he was named Canterbury Surf Life Saver of the Year.