William BeachPrint Page
Park and monument commemorates world champion sculler William Beach who lived most of his life in Dapto.
William Beach (1850 – 1935) was a professional Australian sculler. He was unbeaten as World Sculling Champion from 1884 to 1887. The first crack Beach got at the world title was on 16th August 1884. It was against the Canadian, Edward Hanlan. Hanlan had originally come to Australia that year, to give sculling exhibitions. Beach`s credentials seemed limited. Admittedly, he had beaten fellow Australian, Edward Trickett but the Canadian reputedly had never lost a race. Beach went on to row unbeaten in the next six World Sculling Championships held in Australia and England. He beat Hanlan in a total of three - in 1884, 1885 and 1887. In 1887, seven thousand people endured pouring rain on the banks of the Nepean River at Penrith to see the two scullers compete for the World Championship title again. The stake was 500 pounds a side plus the Muir Whisky Trophy valued at 200 pounds. Once again, Beach proved he was the better man on the day. After the race and victory the Australian announced his retirement.
After a short time in Sydney he returned to Dapto to his home in Kanahooka Road - 'Champion Cottage' - until his death in 1935 at the age of 84. At Dapto, Beach was made a trustee of the showground and Gooseberry and Hooker Islands in Lake Illawarra, and also became president of the Regatta Club, alderman of the Central Illawarra Council and patron of the Boy Scouts. Beach continued to be involved in rowing and was sometimes appointed umpire in important matches.
|Address:||Prince Edward Drive, William Beach Memorial Park, Mullet Creak, Dapto, 2530|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -34.478672|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.