Earlier this year, Bill Halliday, a resident of the Aveo Carisfield retirement village in Adelaide was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia for services to surf life saving, including patrolling beaches, judging events and managing teams at both Moana and Henley Beaches surf life saving clubs.
Bill joined Moana as a 20 year old in 1952, the club’s foundation year, competing in surf boat racing. ‘I was one of the guys standing on the back with the big oar and shouted at the blokes to tell them what to do,’ Bill says. ‘I progressed through that competition to patrolling, and then became involved as an official and I was secretary of the examiners for about 17 years.’ He has judged nearly 50 surf life saving Australian championship carnivals and four world championships.
Bill was shocked to receive the award for a contribution that has given him so much enjoyment. ‘I didn’t expect it and I wasn’t hanging out for it but it’s good to be recognised, I suppose. ‘It was just great being a part of it all and enjoying the company of the lads. ‘You’re all treated as equals and that’s a good thing.’ Bill became a life member of Surf Live Saving Australia in 2000 and continued volunteering until last year, when an ankle injury prevented him from going on the beach. Bill is 82 years of age and has been married to his wife, Val for 57 years.