As members of the Club since the late 1940s and involved through the 1950s and 1960s, Helen and Harley reminisce about times at the Club in those years.
Helen was a Le Cren before marrying and their family had a bach at the Bay during those years. They were very involved in the Club’s patrols, competitions and administration.
Both Helen and Harley were members of Taylors teams that won many NZ titles and Harley went on to found the Waikuku Club when his livelihood took him to Rangiora. He was subsequently, at a relatively late age, made Canterbury’s “Surf Life Saver of the Year” and after that went on to become President of Surf Life Saving Canterbury.
An interview with Helen & Harley
For those that didn’t know Harry, here is some information regarding involvement with the club;
Harry holding up the Kesteven Cup aloft 28th January 2009! Sadly Harry passed away late 2013 at the age of 94. Harry’s passing was featured in the Bay Harbour News as well as The Press. The following, written by Jim Turpin, was included in the Bay Harbour News:
The Taylors Mistake Surf Life Saving Club lost its Patron and stalwart member when Harry Goldsmith passed away late December 2013 aged 94. As a volunteer lifesaver, competitor and administrator he certainly put more back into the movement and community than he ever took out.
Harry joined the Club as a 17 year old in 1936 when the family arrived in Christchurch from Australia via 2 years in Auckland. Already a proficient swimmer he joined the Christchurch Amateur Swimming Club and he was coaxed to join Taylors by other Surf Club members, also members of the Swimming Club.
He immediately made his mark competitively – not only locally but nationally too – and in 1938 was NZ Junior Surf Race Champion after being runner up the year before. Back in the 1930s and 1940s it wasn’t always possible to travel all over the country to attend National Championships held at different venues each year. Couple this with no competition for most of the World War Two years, it wasn’t until 1946 that Harry won his second NZ Championship in the Senior Beltmans (this being the swimming out to a patient dragging a rescue line behind). There is no doubt that if it weren’t for the travel and War years, during which he served on ground duties with the Air Force, Harry’s competitive record nationally would have included many more titles to add to his impressive local surf life saving and pool swimming competitive achievements.
However Surf Life Saving in the non-competitive sense is just that: saving lives in the surf, and is therefore the prime reason for the Club’s existence. Harry, for a period of nearly 20 years, trained in the rescue and resuscitation techniques of the time and assisted with beach patrols and was part of patrol teams that rescued many, many people from difficult situations at Taylors over the years.
That volunteer public service is what it’s all about really!
But you can’t run a volunteer club and efficient lifesaving patrols without administration:
At Club level Harry was Club Captain 1945-1948, Club President 1960-1967 and elected a Life Member in 1966.
At Provincial level he was Surf Life Saving Canterbury’s Treasurer 1945-1958. During his term as President at Taylors, he was the Club’s delegate to that organisation and to which he was also elected a Life Member.
At National level he was recognised with a Surf Life Saving NZ Distinguished Service Award.
Harry also put back into pool swimming and water polo both at the Christchurch Amateur Swimming Club, where at various times he was also made President, Life Member and Patron, and at provincial level.
For almost all of his working life Harry was in retail, namely through ownership of Lange’s Souvenir Shop in Colombo Street right near the Square.
Joining Taylors back in 1936 introduced him to Stan Kingdon who became his best mate and whose sister Pearl became a growing attraction, so much so that they married in 1943. Stan (unfortunately lost for country in WW2) and Pearl’s family also had family bach connections at Rotten Row dating back to the formation of the Club and Harry and Pearl were, until failing health took over, a vibrant part of the Taylors Mistake bach community.
Harry and Pearl’s two sons Peter and Paul followed Harry into Surf Life Saving, Paul being a member of a Taylors team winning a National title in the blue ribbon Rescue and Resuscitation Event in the 1970s and a grandson showing promise in the Club’s Junior Surf Programme from which hopefully those partaking go on to become volunteer Surf Life Saving Patrollers serving the community. The connection then goes on and on.
The Club is indebted and thankful to Harry for all he has done and meant to it, and while ill health in recent years hasn’t made it easy for him, the Club is still saddened by his going.
The Press featured the following article about Harry:
A long-standing Christchurch surf lifesaving club member and Taylors Mistake identity has been farewelled with a guard of honour. Taylors Mistake Surf Life Saving Club life member and patron Harry Goldsmith died last month. He was 94.
Yesterday, he was farewelled by family, life-long friends and fellow club members.
Tributes flowed for the “larger than life man” who, in his heyday, was “the one to watch for in the surf” and regarded by many as one of the country’s best body surfers and belt swimmers.
Goldsmith spent the early years of his life in Sydney before emigrating with his parents to New Zealand.
He joined the Taylors Mistake Surf Life Saving Club in 1936 and went on to serve as club captain and president, winning both Canterbury and national titles in the sport.
Goldsmith was made a life member of the surf club in 1966 and was patron from 1989 until his death. It was through the club that he was introduced to his future wife Pearl, the sister of a friend.
The couple married in 1943 and became well known in the Taylors Mistake community. Their sons, Paul and Peter, both spoke of the couple’s shared passion for surf sports and music.
They ran a successful retail business in Cathedral Square from 1964 until 1988. Pearl died in 1999. Harry Goldsmith is survived by two children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The full article can be found here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/hills-and-harbour/9590429/Surf-lifesaving-identity-farewelled
Before his passing, Jim Turpin and Graeme Marshall had the pleasure of interviewing Harry. This interview which was recorded in digital audio form is available to listen to below. It is broken into 4 parts.
Just a few notes about the interview. The number of the questions and answers are edited as Harry’s hearing aid was on the blink that day. The interviewers had to talk quite loudly in comparison to Harry’s answers. When the discussion relates to the War Memorial outside the clubhouse, Harry initially thought the discussion was about the Sundial. There is also some confusion re the comments about the Kesteven Cup from Harry.