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Ocean Reef


The Whitfords Sea Sports Club Inc. - 30 Years of History

Over 50 Years


This is an online reconstruction of the 50 years of history – Whitfords Sea Sports Club booklet created by Ian and Jill Younghusband. We'd like to thank Ian and Jill for their many years of work within the club and for letting us reproduce this history of what was Whitfords Sea Sports Club and is now Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club.



To order your 50 years of Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club merchandise, please download and complete the form download and return to the club office or email to

A Summary Through



In 1972 the Whitfords area was opened for residential purposes and in 1972 concerned community members quickly became aware of the need for boating facilities, and there were fears that the beach between Sorrento Beach and Mullaloo Beach would become inaccessible to the public.

Before 1972

Before 1972 the clubs roots extend further back than the formation of the club. The beach shacks at Hillarys and Whitfords were settled by families some of which went on to become personalities within the club. The shacks were built around 1933 and the land on which they stood was sold in 1968 with the shacks being demolished in 1972. A list of the family names of shack holders is in the first 10 years edition.


In December 1973 the first club magazine was produced, and the clubs first fishing competition was held on 29th July 1973 at Pinnaroo Point (now Mullaloo Point). On the 9th of August 1973, the first general meeting of the club was held at the Springfield School Kallaroo, as well as the first club surf cat sailing event being held in December 1973 with 60-70 boats taking part.


The efforts by the Whitfords Sea Sports Club along with others prevented development on the west side of West Coast Drive in the area known as the Nodes. The Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue Group was formed by the club in July 1975.


Regular club events took part off the beach at Pinnaroo Point with power boating and fishing holding monthly events throughout the year, with sailing holding weekly events throughout the year. Diving’s first event was in February 1974


The construction of two short groynes at Ocean Reef for the Beenyup Sewage Treatment Plant outfall pipe signaled the start of pressure by the club to extend the wall for a marina, launching  facility and clubhouse at Ocean Reef.


On the 12th January 1977, the State Government advised that a boat launching facility would be built on Perth’s northern coastline. The Wanneroo Shire approved concept plans for the Whitfords Sea Sports Club clubhouse in July 1977.


In March 1978 the Ocean Reef Boat Launching Facility environment review programme was advertised. On the 25th November 1978 at 11.30 am the State Government signed the go-ahead for the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour.


On the 22nd January 1979 construction of the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour was commenced, and on the 2nd December 1979, the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour was opened by the Premier of Western Australia Sir Charles Court with an address from the Wanneroo Shire President Charles Searson. The first club field day at Ocean Reef was before the official opening. On the 6th May 1979, 600 members took part with a total of 160 sailing, fishing and powerboats.


The current clubrooms were commenced in January 1980 and finished in July 1980 with the official opening of the Clubhouse was 19th July 1980 coinciding with the Clubs 7th birthday. The first club employees were hired and Kevin and Vivian Gillespie took up residence on the club grounds as the club's Bosun and Caretaker.


A revised constitution was accepted at the clubs annual general meeting in August 2002. Finally scheme water was connected to the clubhouse some 22 years after the clubhouse was completed to replace the original bore water system. On the 28th February a meeting was held by the City of Joondalup and the State Government at the Whitfords Sea Sports Club to discuss the future development of the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour.


In 1985 the first galley staff were employed. Prior to 1985, the galley was run using volunteer club labour. Oil heating within the clubrooms was changed to gas heating.


A club manager Patrick Cordier was employed by the club. The club carried out additions and added to the club office and roofed the service yard, and an acoustic ceiling was added to the hall.


The concept plans drawn by Ian Younghusband for the club’s mooring rail inside the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour on the northern breakwater was approved.


In 1987, The paid bar staff were introduced. The Sea Rescue moved from the club building to their new operations and training centre and the Sea Rescue room became the events start box and control room.


The external lighting was improved and a path to the northern groyne was constructed. The galley was extended and upgraded. The start box access from the main hall was enclosed. Pool tables were first installed.


Darts were added to the Club’s social activities. The Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue Group purchased its first dedicated rescue boat. In September 1991 the main hall was declared a smoke free zone.


The club celebrated its 20th birthday and produced a special edition of the club magazine to commemorate the occasion. Harold Martin our foundation Commodore passed away on 22nd August 1993. A no-smoking policy was introduced to the club and a restricted area for smoking was introduced. In the last year of Commodore Darryl Retallack’s term of office, the club became debt-free in regards to the building alterations.


The Western Australian Government’s Marine and Harbours Department undertook to dredge the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour. The new boat storage and hard standing area was approved by the City of Wanneroo on 27th March 1995 and was ratified by full council on the 5th April 1995. Carl Mckenzie was appointed on 2nd October as the bar and function manager.


The Whitfords Sea Sports Club Scout group was formed on the 22nd May with the first meeting on 16th June.


The existing hall windows were replaced with doors and the club was modified to cater for the disabled with the provision of disabled toilets and ramps for the disabled were added. The entry foyer was completed in January 1999.


A coastal cycle path was built by the City of Joondalup along the edge of the road past the front of the club grounds. A no-smoking policy introduced in the clubhouse on the 1st June 2001.


The Whitfords Sea Sports Clubs original lease for the land on which the clubhouse stands expired on the 31st December 2000. The club applied for an extension to the lease of the land from the City of Joondalup


Drawings were submitted for approval to the City of Wanneroo for additions to the clubhouse entry foyer and contracts for the construction were signed. Life membership was awarded to John Ware.


The boat storage and hard standing work continues. The club applied for a grant of $10,000 from the Ministry of Sport and Recreation and as part of this initiative the scout group was formed.


A survey was done within the club membership regarding the clubs growth and improvements. The idea of more boat storage hard standing was discussed and negotiations were begun for more land to expand this facility.


The club mooring rail inside the northern breakwater was demolished in November 1992 due to harbour silting making it unusable.


The Ocean Reef Boat Harbour was dredged taking 6 weeks to complete. The junior dinghy shed was built in January 1990 to house the mirror dinghies.


The lounge additions were built and opened on the 7th February 1988. The Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue building was officially opened 23rd October 1988.


The galley equipment was upgraded with more equipment being added.


The Ocean Reef Boat Harbour was dredged in May 1984 by the State Government. A public telephone was installed at the boat harbour as a result of lobbying by the club. In December the hard standing was introduced for boat storage with 11 bays being fenced. The club’s full liquor license was approved in November 1984.


Maintenance work on the harbour walls was undertaken by the State Government. Office staff were first employed in the club office in 1982.


This is an online reconstruction of the 30 years of history – Whitfords Sea Sports Club booklet created by Ian and Jill Younghusband.

I’d like to thank Ian and Jill for their many years of work within the club and for letting me reproduce this history of what was Whitfords Sea Sports Club and is now Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club.