Randwick & DIstrict Historical Society: FLASHBACK


COOGEE: The frequency of attacks and fatalities saw the opening on 16 November, 1929 of the shark proof net by the Mayor of Randwick, Alderman Jennings, following a mile-long procession. The Pier (which had partly facilitated installation of the net) and promenade acted as vantage points for 135,000 onlookers to view the spectacular opening. A “bomb” was detonated as the signal for 10,000 surfers to fling themselves into the water.

The winning plan from 300 entries was erected at a cost of £6,750 and provided a safe bathing area of 600 feet by 470 feet.

Night surfing proved very popular, made possible by the floodlighting of the beach and net area. The average weekend attendance on the beach was 100,000.

After demolition of the Pier was completed in 1934, the net was extended and secured by four pylons in the bay. The cost of admission was nominal and was able to meet with the cost of constant inspection and repairs. During the war, steel mesh was difficult to obtain and the net had to be removed.

Robert Booth

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