David Orton Bradley was born in 1942 and brought up by his mother following the death of his father at Monte Casino in Italy during World War 2. Dave lived in Papanui near St Bede’s College which he also attended.
At 16 his family had a holiday at Taylors Mistake “totally against my will”. I wanted to continue swimming in the river; it was too far to go to the beach. And then I just got interested in the place and found I could body surf. Someone said why didn’t I join. I thought I might as well. “Next thing I met reprobates like Turpin and Hatchwell, Gerard O’Callaghan and Gary Doyle”.
Member Brian Rattray, always on the lookout for new members, signed several of the Bradley clan up to the club and in May 1959 Dave passed his ‘surf bronze’ and started his very rewarding association with the club through which he made many lifetime friends.
As well as the patrols, Dave loved the sport side of surf life saving and was placed many times in Canterbury Championships in surf, board races and six-man competitions. In 1971 he was part of the team that won the National March Past Championship.
Dave contributed greatly to the club. As well as voluntary beach patrols and representing the club at surf life saving carnivals and championships, he was club captain from 1964 – 1965, on the management committee from 1976 -1979, and president from 1980 – 1983. He was the convenor of the 1991 75th Jubilee of the club; “never again” he recalls, staying well clear of the 2016 Centenary organising committee!
He undertook many fundraising activities for the club (before the start of gaming machine grants) in the form of bottle drives, pub raffles as well as overseeing a club project of purchasing a section from the proceeds of a legacy from Frank Waters of Boulder Bay to the club and building flats at a profit on the sale. With Jim Turpin he set up the two trusts to build up reserves for the club. The first was based on interest free five-year debentures to the club and the second (Rescue Trust) based on legacies and donations to the club.
Dave met his future wife Penny Mason on the beach and after they married, they purchased the bach perched above the rocks on the eastern side of the beach near the start of the Boulder Bay walk. They did it up and lived there for a few years before shifting across the bay. They have four children, Tisha (club captain from 2013-present day), Antonia, Mathew and Sam who are or have been members of the club.
Dave still enjoys walking the surrounding hills and the beach and body surfing in the summer. When interviewed he wished to express his view that the replacement club house should be both financially and environmentally sustainable and, as well as built for surf life saving, be built for the needs of the local community.