Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Ten things you might not have known about Bondi Beach

1 There were two fatal shark attacks at Bondi Beach in 1929. There have been 13 reported shark attacks at the beach. Shark nets were installed for the first time in 1937.

2  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Bondi Beach lifeguards. The guards are employed by Waverley Council and are the stars of the hit televisions show Bondi Rescue.

1948 Metropolitan Surf Carnival Championships - North Bondi

3 Bondi Beach was not opened to the public until 1882. Prior to this it was part of Bondi Estate, owned by Francis O'Brien.  Between 1855 and 1877, he made the beach and surrounding area available as a picnic ground, but continued to threaten to stop public access, until the government intervened.

4 There are several theories as to how the northern headland of Bondi, known as Ben Buckler, got its name. One of the most common is that it was named after convict Benjamin Buckler or Ben Buckley, but there is no evidence to support any of the theories.

5 On Boxing Day 1884, a riot broke out between a group of intoxicated visitors. Three men were sentenced to two years hard labour for injuring a police officer during the incident.

6 The first tramway to Bondi Beach began in 1884. An electric tram was installed in 1906 and was extended to North Bondi in 1929. The last tram to run down to the beach took place on February 28, 1960.

7 Bondi Beach is 950m long. It is home to two surf clubs, North Bondi and the Bondi Surf Bathers' Life Saving Club.

8 Hollywood film star Jean Parker was arrested for wearing a bikini on Bondi Beach in 1951. The Local Government Act of 1935 set exact dimensions for swimming costumes, which remained in place until 1961. Lifeguards enforced the law.

9 In the 1980s, many women where fined for going topless on Bondi Beach.  To resolve the contentious issue, they were moved to the south end of Bondi Beach where it was permitted.

10  Waverly Council built the first surf bathing sheds about 1903. By 1929 about 60,000 people were visiting the popular beach on a summer's weekend.

Wentworth Courier, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 Pg. 30

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