It is with much sadness we advise that beloved SLSA and SLSNT Life Member Fred Finch AM has passed away.
Fred was the driving force and a founding member of Surf Life Saving in the Territory and a true Territory icon. Fred’s passing will be felt across the Territory and the greater Surf Life Saving family where he is recognised as a great Australian by the community he was so passionate about.
Fred was born in Kembla, NSW and it was at the Port Kembla Surf Life Saving Club that he began his surf career. Fred served as an active participant, president and coach of Surf Life Saving for over 15 years. As a competitor, Fred’s strength lay in the Chariot Race, where he received both state and Australian medals. He also won branch flags for the Flag Sprint and the relay. Fred also spearheaded several building projects through the club, including the boat shed. Fred’s father, who was also a member of Port Kembla, was a strong boat rower and a Councilor for the Wollongong City Council.
After Fred’s graduation at the University of Wollongong in 1969, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science and Civil Engineering, Fred worked for the Sydney Water Board. In 1974 he moved to Darwin, Northern Territory. Here, Fred was a prominent member of the Lions Clubs Australia and served at the Lions Club of Darwin Casuarina for around 20 years in various capacities including President, Zone Chairman (twice) and Deputy District Governor.
Fred was heavily involved in reconstruction efforts in the wake of Cyclone Tracey in 1974. It was during this time that his public service duties became notably prevalent. With the destruction of more than 70 percent of Darwin’s buildings, including 80 percent of Darwin’s housing, this was no small task.
Fred received the Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 to acknowledge his work with the community of the Northern Territory.
Mark Monaghan, Engineers Australia Northern Territory Division General Manager, said:
“It is with a heavy heart that we farewell one of the Territory’s most influential engineers. His contribution to all aspects of the Northern Territory was immense, his dedication to the engineering sector unwavering and the legacy his work will leave is certainly something to behold.”
Fred’s funeral will be held at the Darwin Funeral Services, Amy Johnson Drive, Marrara on Friday 16th November at 10:30am. Fred’s family has requested that no flowers be sent to the service.
Our condolences are extended to Lyn and other family members.