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Community pays tribute to Ed Beacham

May 5, 2022 BY

Torquay Surf Life Saving Club legend and Bells pioneer Edward ‘Ed’ Beacham has been farewelled at a memorial service to celebrate his life.

Ed, a respected life member and former president of TSLSC, died at the age of 76 on August 25 last year following a short illness.

His favourite song, “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, played as family and friends filled the clubrooms on Friday afternoon last week for the service, which was delayed by several months due to the pandemic.

Event MC Rod Costa welcomed everyone on behalf of Ed’s wife Judy and the Beacham family, saying “Big E” was a larger-than-life character who would be missed.

Eldest son Edward junior said his father would be humbled by the fantastic turnout.

He spoke of his dad’s love of the Melbourne Football Club and how he had taught him to ride the Torquay surf breaks.

An early picture of Ed at Wilsons Promontory, summer 1963: (L to R) Terry Wall, Brian ‘Kanga’ Lowdon, Jeff Watt, Eddie Beacham, and Brian Poynton. Photo: BARRIE SUTHERLAND/COL BLUNT

 

He said it was fitting his father’s ashes would be spread in the ocean “where he loved to be”.

Club historian Tony Fraser said Ed joined TSLSC in 1959 and gained his Surf Bronze at the age of 16 in 1961.

Ed received a citation from SLSA as part of a rescue team off Point Danger and completed 10 years of patrols before taking a leave of absence to compete in the America’s Cup.

Ed was an associate committee member for 10 years, club president from 1996-1999 and quay/associate president in 2001/02.
In 2015 he was made a life member for outstanding service to the club.

Eddy’s Pirates crewed the boat which took Ed’s ashes out to sea for one final everlasting swim. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

 

Lifelong friend Peter Hayden described his mate as “a goer who was prepared to take on anything” as he recalled teaching the talented surfer how to¬†snow ski.

TSLSC life member Adrian McKenzie said Ed was a “marvellous go-to man who helped thousands of people out”, before suggesting the clubrooms’ balcony should be named “Beacham Balcony” in Ed’s honour.

Edward junior, Judy and Andrew Beacham walk through a guard of honour outside the surf life saving club. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

 

Demons theme song “It’s a Grand Old Flag” played as a guard of honour formed on the beach, with Ed’s sons joining the Pirates boat crew for a final paddle out with their dad in perfect conditions.

“It was Ed’s request that they take him to sea for his everlasting swim,” Mr Costa explained.

A minute’s silence was observed while the boat’s oars were raised in the air before Ed’s ashes were scattered at sea.

One final cheer went up for Ed from the balcony and then, as if the weather gods over Torquay were watching, it began to rain.

Ed is survived by his wife Judy, sons Edward and Andrew, daughter-in-law Kellie and grandchildren Edward and George.

Ed Beacham Memorial Service – Photos: Peter Marshall