Community honors Ed Beacham

Edward ‘Ed’ Beacham, legend of the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club and pioneer of the Bells, bid farewell at a memorial service to celebrate his life.

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

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

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

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

He spoke of his father’s love for Melbourne Football Club and how he taught him to surf the surf spots of Torquay.

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

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

Club historian Tony Fraser said Ed joined the TSLSC in 1959 and earned his surf bronze as a 16-year-old in 1961.

Ed received an SLSA citation as part of a salvage team off Point Danger and served 10 years on patrol before taking time off to compete in the America’s Cup.

Ed was an Associate Committee Member for 10 years, Club President from 1996-1999 and Dock/Associate Chairman in 2001/02.
In 2015, he was made a life member for his outstanding service to the club.

The Eddy Pirates crewed the boat that took Ed’s ashes out to sea for one last eternal swim. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

Lifelong friend Peter Hayden described his mate as “an amateur who was ready to take on anything” as he recalled teaching the talented snowboarder to snow ski.

Adrian McKenzie, a life member of the TSLSC, said Ed was a “wonderful trustworthy man who has helped thousands of people”, before suggesting that the clubroom balcony should be named “Beacham Balcony” in the honor of Ed.

Edward Jr., Judy and Andrew Beacham walk through a guard of honor outside the surf lifesaving club. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

The demon theme song “It’s a Grand Old Flag” played as a guard of honor formed on the beach, with Ed’s sons joining the pirate ship crew for a final paddle with their father in perfect conditions.

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

A minute’s silence was observed as the oars of the boat were lifted into the air before Ed’s ashes were scattered at sea.

A final cheer went up for Ed from the balcony, and then, as if the weather gods on Torquay were watching, it started 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

Comments are closed.