Randwick Local Legends Episode 8: Michael Waters

Born in Coogee in 1953, Michael has a strong connection with this beachside suburb that spans many decades. With parents and grandparents who resided in Coogee, Michael is in a position to know the area through a number of generations; from the razor gangs of his grandparent’s era, to the wartime years of his parents, all the way up to his own lived experience of the wonderful beach and music culture of the 60s and beyond. Still living in Coogee, Michael can’t think of anywhere else he would rather be.

About this episode

In Episode 8 Michael shares a knowledge of Coogee that only a local would know. From swimming lessons at the Aquarium pool, working out at Giles Gym, to the Coogee floods in the 1960s and surfing at the time of longboards and before wetsuits.

Duration: 32min 55sec
Recorded: 2019

More information

Coogee Beach. Accessed 11th August 2020. Randwick City Council.

Aerial view of electric trams stopped at the Dolphin Street tram stop on the Coogee tram loop, terminus Coogee tram line - circa 1957-1961. Accessed 11th August 2020. Randwick City Library Historical Images Database.

Photograph 0505 by John Ward. (Route 373 to Coogee Beach: Arden Street outside the Oceanic Hotel). Accessed 11th August 2020. From the John Ward Collection - Buses. Image courtesy of the City of Sydney Archives.

Waves at The Oceanic Hotel: Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs Live - 1976. Image courtesy Australian Music Database.

Episode transcript


Chelsea Hunter: Hi, you're listening to local legends, the podcast that explores the history of Randwick City through the recollections of locals who know and love the area. I'm Chelsea Hunter. And with me today is Michael Waters, who's lived in Coogee all his life and has a lot of experiences and memories to share with us. Thanks so much for joining us, Michael.

Michael Waters: You're welcome.

Chelsea Hunter: Now, what are your earliest memories of being a kid in Coogee?

Michael Waters: Being a kid in Coogee. The earliest memories. I’ve been down at Coogee beach since I was about six months old, I’ve got photos of all of that. Thomos Bay which is in between Coogee and Clovelly, I think they call it Gordons Bay now. [Gordons Bay is also known as Thompsons Bay] We always used to know it as Thomos. Thomos all the time.

Chelsea Hunter: When did it change to Gordons Bay?

Michael Waters: Maybe 40 years ago.  At Clovelly, we used to spearfish a lot when I was in the teenage years.

Chelsea Hunter: Do you remember being down the beach at six months old?

Michael Waters: No, but from the age of around four or five I do. Then we used to go to the Akka. Sorry, the aquarium that used to be at the north end of Coogee where the garage used to be. What they call the Coogee Pavilion now. There used to be a garage. Well just up from that used to be an aquarium, and around six or seven it was the Randwick/Coogee swimming club and was a 55 yard pool and we used to have races there all the time.

Chelsea Hunter: So you do Swim Club meets.

Michael Waters: I got third and breaststroke.

Chelsea Hunter: How old were you then?

Michael Waters: 10 or 11.  I remember just up from where the Coogee lifesaving club is, just across the road from that, only for one year, used to be an ice skating rink.

It was quite amazing.

Chelsea Hunter: And summer in Coogee, how did the ice rink go?

Michael Waters: Well, that it was all frozen. I used to be a huge one even though it is outside of your area. There was a huge one at Central Station. That's where I did my bronze medallion there. But yeah, we only had the one at Coogee. There was also one where East Leagues club is now. That used to be an ice skating rink as well.

Chelsea Hunter: Was it undercover or in a building?

Michael Waters: That was in a building.

Earliest memories! I remember when Coogee flooded. Coogee Oval flooded a number of times in in the mid-60s. It was about four to five foot underwater

Chelsea Hunter: It used to flood quite a bit.

Michael Waters: Yes it did. I remember that every Christmas and New Year there used to be a huge Carnival at Coogee Beach. Yeah. Circuses and the whole thing, it was absolutely brilliant.

I remember the four-foot six black rubberises.

Chelsea Hunter: What are they?

Michael Waters: Okay, they are surfer planes. So not knee boards, not surfboards but they were black rubberized surfer planes with fins. You could hire them from the ovens. The Ovens don't exist anymore, they used to be the change rooms, the male and female change rooms and you used to go down there and sunbathe and all that. And there used to be a shed there, where you could go and hire these things and you can go out to the reef, at the South end of Coogee and when the surf was up …because  actually Coogee used to have a really good surf about 40 years ago, until a high tide came in ,and pushed all the sand up. And because you've got Wedding Cake Island there's not enough area, because it was only about a mile out and   there wasn’t enough area for the sandbanks to build up again. But yeah, look, you had the Reef. You had the Guts?

Chelsea Hunter: The guts?

Michael Waters: Well, that's what we used to call it.  I've been surfing down there since I was about six or seven. And there's just three or four different parts of the beach. We used to have around little lingo for those parts of the beach. And one was called the Guts.

Chelsea Hunter: And where was that located?

Michael Waters: Just, if you if you split it in half, just to just to the south end of that, and you had the wedge which was just off the Reef. So you had the Reef and the Wedge. Then you had Giles's pool. Again no longer there anymore. We used to go down there, because there were Turkish baths as well. So we used to down there and from time to time because I went to Randwick High, we used to go down there and play handball in the handball courts they had down there at Giles Baths.

Chelsea Hunter: Right. So what was Giles bathes like? Describe - what was the building like?

Michael Waters:  It was very old even when I was going there, solid brick. They had Turkish baths on the southern side. They the handball courts on the northern side, and then you'd walk down all the stairs and they'd have the pool. And the good thing about it was that on the eastern end, where all the rocks were, there was a rock shelf and when the surf got really huge you , we would get under that on the shelf and hold on for dear life. And the waves are just crash over the top of us. It was great.

Chelsea Hunter: How old were you?

Michael Waters: 14, 15

Chelsea Hunter: Yeah, that would have been a lot of fun.

Michael Waters: Oh, it was great. The only trouble is that if you got swept out you got swept out towards the beach. And there used to be a steel cable going across one end. And if you missed it, you got pummelled over the rocks, which wasn't real crash hot.

Ah what else? Stones milk bar. I remember the trams. My first school was Coogee Public, and the trams used to run up behind Coogee Public, and down through the Bundy. I think it's Bundock Avenue, we used to call it the Bundy. And there was another place when I was about 18 or 19. There was a place called the Oceanic, which is not there anymore. And the brilliant thing about the Oceanic is that you go down the beach on a Saturday morning, and in the afternoon, you'd go up to the Oceanic. And it used to be a Millers pub. It used to be owned by Millers -Millers brewery. And it had a huge dance floor. Huge auditorium. And for some reason, all the new bands that came to Australia used to go there first.

Chelsea Hunter: So where was this located?

Michael Waters: You know, with a Coogee Bay is, if you go towards Maroubra on the very next corner, on the right-hand side where there's a motel now, well, all that used to be the Millers pub. It was called the “Back of the Moon” and then the hotel part was at the back. But it used to be called the Back of the Moon. They had this huge mural of the back of the moon. So and they had guys like Split Enz, Jefferson James and the Cooper Wine, Black Feather, Renee Geyer, Marcia Hines. And they all, for some reason, used to go there.

Chelsea Hunter: Yeah. And so you would go and see bands playing quite a bit?

Michael Waters: For nothing. Yeah, it was absolutely, absolutely free. All you had to do well you didn't have to buy a drink but if you wanted to, you could buy a drink it cost you absolutely nothing. And then straight after that, we used to go down underneath to the Tavern. And that was just a big meeting place because everybody at the time, because we all surfed, you knew everybody from Maroubra, Bondi, Bronte all that sort of stuff and a lot of the guys used to go to Randwick High or we used to play football against them. It was just a big meeting place.

No matter where you went, you knew people which doesn't happen anymore, which is a real shame. You used to be able to hitchhike all up and down the coast. And now you wouldn't do it and you wouldn't pick up people doing it. The whole place has just changed.

Chelsea Hunter: Tell me a bit about the surfing culture of the time.

Michael Waters: Surfing culture at the time. We’re talking 60, 70s.

Chelsea Hunter: Prime time.

Michael Waters: Yes, we’re talking ….

Chelsea Hunter: What did you surf?

Michael Waters: I, as I do now, a nine foot four.

Chelsea Hunter: Really? A bit of a tank.

Michael Waters: It was in those days. Just a longboard. I've never ridden a short board. I do apologise, I have ridden a short board, but it was seven foot two - so not really a short board. It was just a great time, we used to go away all the time or, like I said, you went up and down the coast. But never really went to Bondi, we didn’t like Bondi for some reason. Maroubra was good, Coogee was good, but then you went north side or right down the south coast.

Chelsea Hunter: And how many people would you be regularly surfing with?

Michael Waters: Where I lived in Melody Street, in between Alison Road and Abbot Street, it's about maybe hundred yards if that, there was 16 kids. They were either my age one year old or one year younger, both male and female. So, wherever you went, you had basically 16 kids surfing to go with, so we used to go away a lot, or we used to walk down to Coogee, I mean, it’s only 10-minute walk.

Chelsea Hunter: So you all went to school together as well?

Michael Waters: No. A mate of mine, Eddy Steel he went to mass Marcelin College up here in Randwick. But Gary, Phil, myself both the Whites, they all went there. Tony White, he went to Waverley college, he was a very good surfer and was in a few movies as a matter of fact. And the girls went to either Bridgine or Randwick Girls at that particular time.

Chelsea Hunter: And so you'd have, it'd be surfing in the morning. In the afternoon?

Michael Waters: School days, unfortunately no, just in the afternoon, but Saturday, Sundays we were down the beach basically sunup to sundown, it was absolutely brilliant. And of course in those days it was put more oil on yourself and you can just get really good and red and brown , and I’m paying for now, I  just had about 16 things cut out of me,  all again tomorrow and do  one.

Chelsea Hunter: So a bit of surfing a bit of laying out in the sun.

Michael Waters: Just it was the ideal life. Yeah, yeah if you see the movies of the 60s and 70s about the surf culture, that's what it was like it was absolutely brilliant.

Also, at Clovelly, on the north end of Clovelly, there used to be an old World War II Fort. It had gun emplacements. As kids we used to go through there, pretend all sorts of stuff and have a great time.

Chelsea Hunter: Were there milk bars that you went to?

Michael Waters: The Stones Milk Bar, that was down at Coogee near the Aquarium at that particular time. There was also then in the in the 70s, wine bars became very fashionable. There was A Bunch of Grapes at Coogee and there was Shannon’s Inn at Randwick.

Chelsea Hunter: And say what age were you going to those wine bars? Not sixteen, I hope.

Michael Waters: No, no. Eighteen, but it was it was brilliant. I can always remember when I first drove, at the corner of Bream Street and Carrington Road there used to be a petrol station – it is now the Crystal Car Wash. And we used to freak out because petrol was 11 cents a litre. And then it went up to 15 cents. Can you believe 15 cents.

Chelsea Hunter: 15 cents!  Who would pay that?

Michael Waters: Exactly, that's what we said. So, we said you’ve got to be kidding! Why would you do that?

Chelsea Hunter: So, would you go on little surfing safaris with friends?

Michael Waters: Oh, yeah.  Down the south coast, down to Ulladulla, go to Green Island and Mollymook. Or, we used to go up to Crescent Heads a lot up, the mid North Coast. That's brilliant up there.

Chelsea Hunter: So, you've seen a lot of changes in the time that you've lived here, all your life. When you look back or think back on the amount of things that used to be there … you know the aquarium, Giles Baths, is it with sadness that they're no longer here? or is there a sense of understanding that progress or change needs to happen? What are your thoughts?

Michael Waters: It’s a shame there not here, because that's where my childhood was, and I had a great time. And just sometimes I think, I wish the kids had that time now. Because kids are wrapped up in cotton wool now.

In Pauline Avenue which comes off Alison Road, down near Melody Street, there used to be sand hills there, and I can remember my bottom being very sore for a week because I came home after dark from the sand hills. Just up from Carrington Road coming up towards Randwick on the right-hand side around Glen Avenue, there used to be farms; used to be cows and sheep and we used to go adventuring. There was nothing like staying at home playing, machines and phones and all that sort of stuff. You went out and your mind was your canvas and was absolutely brilliant.

Chelsea Hunter: So you'd have lots of imaginative games.

Michael Waters: Cowboys and Indians. I mean, who goes around shooting every one now. You can’t do that, or you would be thrown in Gaol.

I remember cracker nights because we had so many kids in the street that we used to break up into gangs, not gang gangs, but two groups of people. You used to be able to buy Penny bungers and tupppeny bungers (firecrackers) for cracker night.  And it used to cost you four Bob, 40 cents for 40 of these penny bungers. And so we used to interact with each other and blow each other up and then we used to have skyrockets, Penny skyrockets and we used to get the milk bottles - that's another thing we used to put out our milk bottles every night and in the morning, magically, they'd be milk, fresh milk, unbelievable -  and we used to get the empty milk bottles, put the skyrockets in those, light them and shoot them at people. It was great fun. It was very safe. For weeks before crack night, you used to not rip down fences but you used to find things were broken, used to stack them on top of each other and just bonfires and it was great. And the next morning you used to go around the streets and used to try to find the crackers naturally that didn’t explode. And they had really short wicks and the game was that you used to light them and throw them before they blew up in your hand. Again a really safe things to do.

Chelsea Hunter: Talk me through the injuries you had as a child.

Michael Waters: I don't know how many times my hands went yellow.

We used to have a bread van, a horse and cart bread van, not because it was that old, but just that it was one of the things that used to come down Melody Street all the time. Oh and the garbage. You used to put your bin out. But if your bin wasn’t out, they used to go around the back of your house and pick it up for you and dump it.

Chelsea Hunter: Oh that’s service.

Michael Waters: Yeah, but they knew that a Christmas they'd all get a six pack and so that they could open up their own grog shop. I think after one run. But you can’t do that now.

Chelsea Hunter: So tell me how these experiences, you were given a fair bit of freedom as a child, you got to play outdoors quite a bit, at the beach, at the farms, in the sand dunes, how does that shape you as a person getting that freedom to explore and have adventures and use your imagination?

Michael Waters: I think being at the beach and all that sort of stuff, it's just chilled me out.  I mean, things don't upset me very much. I mean, of course they do upset me from time to time, but it was just a different time. I'll say hello to people. There's no restriction.

A lot of my mates that particular time, they were Greek and Italian and all that sort of stuff. I remember one time we’re playing for Randwick/Coogee in the juniors. And this Italian mate of mine, Theo - What else would he be called? - and we were down there, and we were just playing, and he was in the back of the ruck looking for a bloke on the other side. And we said, Theo what are you doing with the games going on? He said don’t you worry about it. Some A.O. stomped on my head and I’m just looking for him. This is while the game was going on. It was the time it was.  It was just free, relaxed. But if you didn't get home on time or didn't let your parents know , there was no don't do that again or I'll slap you It was the belt, it was with a strap, and you definitely didn't do it again. You learnt very quickly. School was six cuts of the cane if you did something wrong. Again, today there's no discipline.

Chelsea Hunter: Which school did you go to?

Michael Waters: I went to Coogee Public and then went to Randwick High.

Chelsea Hunter: Right and how many students will they have been at the time?

Michael Waters: Ah, a couple hundred. They used to be a very good rugby union school. We played the curtain raiser to, I think what was, the third test when South Africa came out here after apartheid and lost it. I wish the kids could experience what I experienced and the freedoms that we had at that particular time. But look, I understand also is got to be progress.

The Odeon picture show was down here on the corner of High Street and Belmore. Chemist Warehouse is there now. Well, that used to be a picture theatre. And my grandmother used to take me there all the time. And we used to see - there was two main features and they were cartoons in between the main features. And we always used to take up peanut butter sandwiches and milk. It was just a good time. Or I’d go to the Ritz which is still there, of course. And used to walk home to Melody Street past my grandmother's place, which was St. Luke’s Street on the corner there. It's now a block of flats. And that's where my father was born. And so we used to go there for coke on the way home and say howdy-doody.

I used to live at 18 Melody Street and for about five houses down, behind there going from north to south was a tennis court. And then just up from our place, the next two houses up going east to west was a tennis court. So we used to go down there and play tennis all the time. Not grass, but old dirt. It was just a different time.

Chelsea Hunter: Can we go back to the Aquarium Swimming club? How often would you go swimming there?

Michael Waters: We'd go there at least twice a week. And on Saturdays, there was a bottom level plus two upper levels. There was a diving board on the second level and a springboard on the ground level.

Chelsea Hunter: And this is the 55 foot pool?

Michael Waters: 55 Yards. Don't know how many metres though. I suppose a 60 metres

Chelsea Hunter: Heated? Not heated?

Michael Waters: Not heated, don’t be silly. The best thing that they ever brought in was wetsuits. Because before wetsuits, we used to go surfing, winter and summer in nothing but budgies(swimmers)

Chelsea Hunter: So how old would you have been when wetsuits became the norm?

Michael Waters:  I think wetsuits came in in the early 60s, but we still, because we were tough. We were stupid. I suppose, we really didn't get them until, maybe the 80s .

Chelsea Hunter: Right! You have put up with that for a long time then.

Michael Waters: It was just it was just a different time because we're used to it. We thought, you’re  in a wetsuit . What sort of a pansy are you?

Chelsea Hunter: Now Giles Baths and the handball court that was that was owned by one of your relatives.

Michael Waters: Actually it was. It was Lloyd, the Lloyd part of it. It was my grandmother's mother’s side of the family. And the Napa was my grandmother's father side. And they used to have the Napa terraces down here. They built them. And the Lloyds had Giles's. They didn't own it as such because no one really owned it. They leased it up until around 1928.

Chelsea Hunter: What other things have you discovered about the Napas and how long your family has lived here?

Michael Waters: Well, the Napas has been here since around 1861. I found a few convicts, not on the first fleet, but I've had a few convicts. They used to live out of Camden. My father's father, Waters, he was at Gallipoli. His enlistment was number 47. He was in the first engineers he was a sapper.  He was on the second wave. My father's two brothers, John and Les. John was at Kokoda, and Les was up in Darwin when that got bombed. I’ve got a couple of people, again through the Water side of the family, that were in machine gun battalions in Pozières. So here we go. We go back for a while. We've got a bit of a bit of stuff here in Australia.

Chelsea Hunter: Who was the first member of your ancestry who settled in Coogee?

Michael Waters: Henry James. That's when they lived at St. Luke's Street. And it was actually in 1861. Because they used to keep family Bibles and in the Bible, so used to write down when they were, when they got married. I've still got that at home. And yeah, and he's put down 1861 as when they first came to the area.

Chelsea Hunter: Wow. So who did they lease Giles Baths from?

Michael Waters: I'm honestly not sure.

Chelsea Hunter: And what was their part of the day to day running of the baths?

Michael Waters: They did the whole day. They did the whole thing. They took the money, they looked after the place. And just down the road from there, where again, the garage used to be on the very next corner as you're going up the hill towards Clovelly, my grandfather owned a gym there. His name was actually Cyril Purcell. He was an Australian bantamweight. He fought in the 20s to 30s. His name was Mickey Walker. He was also a Telly Clerk at the wharfs. Remember getting up I used to get up at five o'clock in the morning sometimes and Pop would be there listening to the radio and they'd be calling out numbers. If he's number was called he go to work if not, they pay him and he stay home. He was in the clerk union at that particular time. He was also a penciler at the races, he was an SP bookie.

Chelsea Hunter: What’s a Penciler?

Michael Waters: When you hand over money at the tote, they were the guys who would write down your odds and use to have the bag. And I can always remember, one time my grandmother, because we used to live with Papa and Nan, mum and my dad. He she said the pop had 25,000 pounds; in those days it was a lot of money. He came home and he dropped in the middle of the lounge room and then said Mick, what are you gonna do with that? And he said I'm gonna leave it there. If Someone wants to rob me, as long as they leave me alone, the money’s there.

Chelsea Hunter: That’s pretty trusting.

Michael Waters: It just it just wasn't worth it. You know if they want it, take it. My grandmother was a contortionist. One of the stories I can always remember was in the era of the razor of gangs, and Nan used to say that some guy just shot someone out the front. And because he knew Nan and Pop, he gave her the gun to hide. So, she hid it under the bed. Great family. No names, a long time ago, 1920s. It’s just different. So free and easy.

Chelsea Hunter: So was this happening while you were in the house as well?

Michael Waters: No, no, no. You know, I was I was born in 1953. But my mother and father lived with my grandmother and grandfather at Coogee, Melody Street 18. And St Margaret’s was where I was born and then I was bought back to Coogee, and that's where we lived until I got married. And at that stage, when we got married, we tried to buy a flat in Carrington Road. The bank wouldn't lend us the $32,000 to buy it .We only had 28. So I had to get a place out at Wentworthville, Parramatta.

Chelsea Hunter: Oh, that would have been hard.

Michael Waters: Well, it was but that was where my wife came from.

Chelsea Hunter: Do you live in Coogee now?

Michael Hunter: No, no I live over at Gymea in the shire

Chelsea Hunter: And Vilma?

Michael Water: Mum still lives in Dudley Street. She's lived in. She said she lived. She lived in Melody Street for the first 40 years of her life or something and the rest of the time she's lived the Dudley Street.

Chelsea Hunter: Coogee Ovens. Why was it called the Coogee Ovens?

Michael Waters: There used to be a boardwalk up on top, where all along Coogee up the north end used to be sandstone walls. And then as you got further down to the south, you use to go up two or three steps and there’d be a boardwalk up the top. Down underneath that, were the change sheds; toilets, change sheds, male, female, all sort of stuff. And then underneath that… it was just the structure of the place that it used to create these nice little alcoves and it used to get really, really hot, because there’d be no win. So you just got the sun so they were called the ovens.

Chelsea Hunter: Yeah, that makes sense. I love the Australian tradition of literal naming.

Michael Waters: There was a Clovelly World War II Fort that we used to play in and around.

Chelsea Hunter: This this is part of your imaginative, imaginative childhood game?

Michael Waters: The games were, the fort was a real.  On the north end of Clovelly, just all rocks and the rock pool and all that sort of stuff. And then we used to we used to climb up the cliff. Again, another safe thing to do. I recommend every kid should do this. We used to climb up the cliffs. They were about 60 or 70 feet high. And we used to go over past the football field there. And then on the north eastern side of that was the old fort, the gun emplacements and it had tunnels going out to the cliff face. And so we used to naturally pretending we were fighting the nasty people.

Chelsea Hunter: And this was with the same 16 kids?

Michael Waters: No. This is just with maybe two of my mates Phil Cox, Gary Wilson. Still go surfing with Gaz out at the Crescent.

Chelsea Hunter: Did you use the trams often? Were they your main forms of transport?

Michael Waters: Coogee has a great bus system. So 372,373,374. And they had the trams as well. And so it didn't matter where we wanted to go. There was always transport somewhere.

Chelsea Hunter: How often would the busses and trams run?

Michael Waters: The buses ran every half hour. They were just brilliant.

Chelsea Hunter: How much did they cost?

Michael Waters: I'm not sure about the trams, because we didn’t pay a lot for those, if you know what I mean. The buses were about six pence, five cents.

Chelsea Hunter: So to have a bit of a loose change rattling around in your pockets.

Michael Waters: And of course, everyone carried a hanky. The cleanest thing you'll ever come across and I still have it. (shows his hanky)

Chelsea Hunter: A gentleman’s hanky.

Michael Waters: Yep and every day, because we could go to the tucker box , the  canteen, at lunch and of course, it was all it was all no  peanuts and no gluten No, it was just make pies and sausage rolls and all the good stuff. And my grandmother used to tie my 40 cents in the corner of my hanky. Every day, I used to take it to school. Things we used to do.

School, Coogee Public. We used to have milk every morning, but the milk would be delivered at about half past seven and they used to put they used to put a canvas over the top of the milk and then by half past nine, you could get your little bottle of milk, which was really nice and warm by then.

Randwick Council, I remember Randwick Council used to have … once a year around Christmas time they used to have, not pageants, but you would dress up in pirate outfits or whatever, and they used to have little parades in the chambers. It was really cool.

Oh, Randwick Race Course, we used to have our picnics there for Randwick/Coogee, and they'd be Dover Heights, there’d be Maroubra, and this is when I was about seven or eight, we used to have running races all over the place. Where all the rugby union clubs around the district, around the eastern suburbs, used to get together and we had big picnics at the Randwick Race Course.

Chelsea Hunter: Wow. So how many people are we talking about?

Michael Waters: About 1000 people with the parents.

Chelsea Hunter: Was there an entry fee? Entertainment?

Michael Waters: No. The entertainment was us. We would run around the place and there were marches and marching in groups and everything.

Chelsea Hunter: Who organised it?

Michael Waters: I honestly don't know I can only assume the committees from all the rugby union clubs around the place. And that's another thing that's sadly missing now, when Randwick was at its zenith, so to speak, we use to go down to Coogee Oval and jump in under the nets, and naturally didn't pay.  And we used to see all the Australian players come back to the club. The Campeses and the Ellas and that sort of stuff. And that's where I think the juniors came up. Well, now they do the Super Rugby stuff and they really don't come back to the clubs unless they're injured, and they're trying to get back into Super Rugby. And so the standard of rugby has really deteriorated which is a real shame.

Chelsea Hunter: That's less of a community feel.

Look thank you so much for coming in and sharing those memories and your recollections of growing up in Coogee. What an amazing time it was growing up. Thank you very much.

Michael Waters: Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

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