Remembering legendary Sawtellian and surfer David Jones

David Jones, a Sawtellian legend passed on 9 July, aged 70.


DAVID Jones, a prominent Sawtellian, passed away on 9 June 2021, aged 70.

“It is hard to go anywhere in Sawtell without seeing the contributions and life of his life, from the school to the Surf Club, the RSL and many places in between,” David’s family told News Of The Area.

A young David attended Sawtell Primary School and was the newspaper boy, pedaling around Sawtell in the early hours of the morning.

“David attended Jetty high school – ‘the Jetty Gaol’ – and apparently ‘Sawtell Alley’ was the place where you could only sit if you came from the southside.”

He surfed at ‘Roby’s tracks’ and when the Qantas plane went over, he knew that it was time to get out of the surf and get ready for school, travelling on the Mail Train.

After high school, David became a brickie and got involved in Sawtell Surf Club, holding various club roles, competing up and down the coast as part of the Rescue and Resuscitation (R&R) team.

During these years David was part of the NOT SOBA crew – ‘North of Taree Surfing Old Boys Association’.

His little brother remembers parties in the backyard with long-haired surfers drinking out of larry pots and panel vans lining Boronia Street.

David met and married Crossmaglen girl Linda Wallace in 1974 and welcomed children, Bradley, Shane and Lisa into the world.

In 1978 he was awarded NSW Surf Lifesaver of the Year which led to his selection as part of the Australian team attending the World Congress of Surf Lifesaving in California.

Retiring from full-time bricklaying, he bought a milk run.

“Many a young Sawtell kid will remember getting their free milks after an Anzac march or a thick choc from the milko.”

He donated his knowledge to the construction of the Surf Club, the Sawtell School Amphitheater, the Sawtell Memorial Wall and many amenities, BBQs and retaining walls for different sporting groups, preschools and local parks.

1n 1991 David was awarded Sawtellian of the Year, then Coffs Harbour Citizen of the Year in acknowledgement of his contribution to the Surf Club and the Sawtell community.

David was Director of Bananacoast Credit Union, and on the Board of Directors of Sawtell RSL.

As President of Sawtell RSL, he was awarded Life Membership, something he was very proud of.

Latterly his favourite role was being ‘Grandave’ to his grandchildren Archer, Bridie, Finlay and George and to the end they enjoyed his high fives.

Many people will remember Dave behind a BBQ with a stubby in one hand and tongs in the other, driving to the headland in his Pajero or sitting at the RSL drinking a bruiser watching the Sharkies play.




Sawtell Surf Club lads – David is second from right.

One thought on “Remembering legendary Sawtellian and surfer David Jones

  1. Jonesy you were a hell of a man and a great friend to dad. I have always cherished growing up around the NOT SOBA and consider you all family. RIP mate

Leave a Reply