Vale – William Dennis Patison (Patto)
It is with deep regret that we record the loss of one of our life members Dennis Patison who passed away on the 14 November 2020.
Dennis originally joined the club during the 1959/60 season and was awarded Life Membership of the club on 29th July 1984. Dennis held numerous positions during his long tenure with the club among them being President, Vice President, Club Captain, Boat Captain and Branch Delegate. Dennis was also a member of the club’s building committee for the construction of the new clubhouse at the southern end of the beach and was a joint recipient for the award of Best Senior Member for the 1991/92 season as a result of the building works.
Dennis will be best remembered for his tireless activities as the club’s boat sweep. There are literally hundreds of archived members of Austinmer SLSC who were recruited and taught the skills of surfboat competition by Dennis. Dennis was well-known Australia wide and highly regarded within the surfboat rowing community for his success in SLSA Surf Boat Racing competition. Dennis first commenced rowing during the mid-1960’s under the legendary sweep – Keith (Spas) Hurst. When Keith left Austinmer in 1966 and transferred to Bilgoa SLSC Dennis took over as sweep of the Austinmer SLSC boat crews. During Dennis’s competition career he has gained 35 Illawarra Branch medals, 4 medals at NSW State Championship level and 6 medals at Australian Championship level. Dennis also gained numerous medals at both NSW Stillwater Championship and marathon boat race events.
In recognition of Dennis’s achievements in Australian Surfboat Rowing he was inducted into the NSW Australian Surf Rowers League Hall of Fame on 17 June 2006 and this was followed up with his induction into the Australian Surf Rowers League Hall of Fame on 26 March 2007.
Our sincere condolences to Dennis’s family and friends.
Registrar – Austinmer SLSC