The USFA/AUF is to hold a re-union dinner to celebrate its 60th anniversary on Saturday 19th September commencing at 6pm. Revesby Workers Club, the venue for the highly successful 50th anniversary re-union has again been chosen to host this event .
An invitation is extended to all former and present members to attend, together with their spouses or partners; indeed anyone who has had an association with diving is welcome. It is intended that this re-union be a family affair.
The previous re-union had almost 400 past and present members travelling from all states and territories to attend. It is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment as seating is limited. Early indications are that a number of our more famous past members including Ron and Valerie Taylor, John Harding and Barry Andrewartha will be attending.
It was a fairly typical April afternoon, cold and showery, when a group of spear fishers met on Sunday 4th in front of Long Reef Golf Club and formed an association to protect their rights. At this time speargun fishers were under siege with very vocal attacks, particularly from commercial fishermen who accused spear fishers of altering the migratory movements of fish shoals. Whilst this accusation would be laughable today at that time it was taken very seriously. One charge in particular related to the sole spear fisher operating at The Entrance NSW (Bill Heffernan) who was accused of preventing shoals of fish from entering Tuggerah Lakes.
Thirty two signed up as members on that day and the association was on its way. Originally named the Underwater Spear Fishermen’s Association (USFA) the name was later on changed to the Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (still retaining the same initials) to reflect the growing interest in the use of Scuba by its members. The first Scuba equipment in NSW was made and used by its members, for example the Lawson lung, The Davies Lung, Dawson Flowmatic and Barnes Scubmatic as well as masks, snorkels, fins, wetsuits and spearguns. The majority of this was manufactured in “backyard “workshops.
In 1953 the Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association of Australia was formed. This association was to become the Australian Underwater Federation and the USFA of NSW became the NSW Underwater Federation, Victoria the Victorian Underwater Federation (VUF), Queensland the QUF, South Australia was the CUA (Council of Underwater Activities), Tasmania the TUF and similarly Western Australia was the CUA of WA. Later all states became branches, e.g. AUF NSW Branch. In recent years the NSW spearfishing branch has acknowledged its heritage by once more adopting the USFA name.
There will be displays of diving memorabilia and historic equipment and those attending are welcome to bring display items. Dive Clubs, past and present, will be encouraged to book a table and hold their own re-unions in conjunction with this event.
For further information or advance bookings please contact: Mel Brown Ph. 02 4283 2757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org