John (Jock) Mackay

John (Jock) Mackay – Warriewood SLSC

Jock is a founding member of Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club which was brought to life in 1950. Warriewood  beach was accessed and enjoyed by many of the local families in the valley over the hill and at North Narrabeen. Its shift from one still wild frontier to a place acknowledged as being frequented by many. At the pleading of resident mums, current Life Member Jock Mackay and Gordon Longley acceded to taking on a role as lifesavers as directed by the Beach Inspectors from Warringah Council.

Warriewood Surf Club has a reputation for breeding tough lifesavers. Perhaps that is because the first surfboat that was used by the Club, kindly donated by then Bilgola Surf Club sweep and noted yachtsman Sid Fisher, was one of those gifts that made one wonder whether Bilgola wasn’t too keen about more competition on the waves. As Jock Mackay recalls:
‘The boat was in shocking condition. Its back was broken, and instead of a curve from one end to the other, in the middle it was flat, ribs broken and planks distorted and leaked like a sieve. The members caulked it and painted it but when we took it out in the surf it used to fill up in about five minutes. It eventually made great BBQ fuel.’

Jock is still a current member of Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club – some 72 years later  (as of 2022). He was awarded his Bronze Medallion in 1951, became Club Captain in 1952 and then Club President for 13 years. Jock was the first Surf Boat Captain and boat sweep in 1953.  He was granted Warriewood Surf Life Saving Life Membership in 1975 and has been a member of the Club Committee for over 60 years. Jock was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000, Club Person of the Year twice – once in 1999 and once in 2004. Jock was also extensively involved with the Club extensions over many years, he is affectionately known as “Mr Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club”.

Jock was awarded SNB Life Membership in 2007.


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