Roper (Buster) Brown – South Curl Curl SLSC
A man of the sea best described Roper [Buster] Brown. Born in Sydney in 1930, Buster spent part of his early years cutting sugar cane in Koumala [Queensland] and working in the bush before he ignored his father’s advice and joined the Police Force in 1953.
Buster rowed surfboats for the South Curl Curl A crew and won Silver at the National Championships in Perth. The next year it was a Gold medal. Buster was bestowed Life Membership of South Curl Curl and received an Honour Blazer, a fitting reward for all his hard work for the Club. He also became a Life Member of SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Branch.
It was with the Broken Bay Water Police that Buster became a legend. He took part in numerous rescues, one famous one in 1974 earning him the Police Commissioner’s Commendation for Courage and the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct.
Brian Friend, who was also involved in that famous rescue in huge seas off Tuggerah in 1974, paints this tribute of Buster.
“There are not many men in this area that could hold a candle to his dedication to helping his fellow man in the seas off the NSW coast. His knowledge of the sea and its quirky, unforgiving nature will remain in the minds of people he taught for many years and he can never be replaced,’’ Brian said.
‘’He was an absolute gentleman and admired by all who became involved with him.’’
Buster was awarded SNB Life Membership in 1982.
Buster passed away on December 25th, 2014. He was aged 84.