Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Lifesaving Legend Passes; Con Asmussen Not Forgotten as Tributes Flow for Respected Lifesaver

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Lifesaving Legend Passes; Con Asmussen Not Forgotten as Tributes Flow for Respected Lifesaver

Article excerpt

Byline: REBECCA LOLLBACK Ballina Reporter

ONE of Australia's most respected surf lifesaving stalwarts, Cornelius aCona Asmussen, has died, aged 96.

The East Ballina man was renowned for his lifetime involvement with Surf Life Saving Australia at club, state and national levels.

He first joined the movement in 1939 when he signed up with Helensburgh-Stanwell Park.

In 1974 Mr Asmussen famously provided his services to Prince Charles on Bondi Beach.

He also hosted six other royals a the Honourable Sir Angus Ogilve and Princess Alexander at Maroubra, Princess Margaret at Bondi and Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne at Coffs Harbour.

Together with Royal Life Saving and representatives from the NSW Parliament, he set up recommendations for safety fences around pools.

He served as surf lifesaving's state president for a record 12 years and joined the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club in 1989.

Whether it was helping with the annual doorknock appeal, supporting the nippers' activities or visiting patrols on a weekly basis, Mr Asmussen remained an active member of the club right until the end.

President Kris Beavis said Mr Asmussen was awarded life membership last year.

aCon regularly said that it wasn't what he put into surf life saving, it was what he got out of it that was important,a he said.

aHe had been in the movement for three-quarters of a century and he will be sorely missed.

aPeople in our club looked up to him. People on a national level looked up to him; he was very respected. The things Con forgot about surf lifesaving are things that most of us won't even get to do. He lived and breathed it.

aThe Ballina club sends our condolences to Con's wife, Pat, and the family. On a club level, Con will definitely be missed.a

Fellow Ballina club member, Eoin Johnston, described Mr Asmussen as a agiant in the surf lifesaving movementa.

aThe fact that he still went down on the weekends when patrols were on and have a swim showed how dedicated he was,a he said. …

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