SURF BOATS READY FOR TURKEY

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

AN An­zac Cove land­ing boat in Canberra looks like Cottes­loe Surf Life Sav­ing Club’s surf boat that will row ashore at dawn cer­e­monies mark­ing the 1915 Gal­lipoli land­ings in Turkey on April 25.

“It had about 50 bul­let holes in it and just stand­ing next to that boat, when I could put my fin­gers through a .303- sized hole, was quite poignant,” Cottes­loe SLSC Gal­lipoli 100 sweep Rob Turner said.

With an av­er­age age of 62, the Gal­lipoli 100 crew and 24 oth­ers from Aus­tralian and New Zealand surf clubs will land at Gal­lipoli Beach, near An­zac Cove, to be greeted by rel­a­tives of Turk­ish veter­ans of the failed 1915 British-French at­tempt to take the nearby penin­sula.

The names of the 1024 West Aus­tralians who died in the ninemonth Gal­lipoli cam­paign are carved into the wood­work on Gal­lipoli 100 kept at Cottes­loe SLSC.

The 1909-es­tab­lished club had 46 mem­bers serve in WWI, three of whom died at Gal­lipoli, in­clud­ing Mal­tese-born Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force in­ter­preter Charles Bon­avia.

His pos­ses­sions, sent to his par­ents af­ter he died on the first day of the An­zac Cove land­ings, in­cluded his life- sav­ing Bronze Medal­lion.

Mr Turner said long-time club mem­ber and crew Tom Locke (70) had been the driv­ing force be­hind get­ting Gal­lipoli 100 to Turkey as a trib­ute to all veter­ans.

Among the crew is for­mer Aus­tralian and New Zealand SAS sol­dier Paul Neville, Mike Franz whose great-great grand­fa­ther is on the club’s WWI hon­our roll and Ian John­son, whose father was a pris­oner of war in WWII.

On April 21 and 22, Gal­lipoli 100 and a Trigg SLSC surfboat will race the other surf boats 60km along the penin­sula.

A fund to re­place surf boats do­nated to Turkey has been set up at www.cottsurf.com.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d435518

Ian Earl, Rob Turner, Ian John­son, Tom Locke and Mike Vranz with the Cottes­loe SLSC Gal­lipoli 100 race surf boat.

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