- Wollongong Council Parks and Recreation
Colin Hunter or "Colza" as he was known to the local south coast surf community, passed away surfing at Sandon Point on the 22nd May 2017. The surfing icon was affectionately known as the Lord Mayor of Bellambi. Col had been surfing his local wave for 50 years and was well known within the surfing fraternity. Anyone that grew up around the area, knew Colza. He was easily recognisable by his standard attire and carefree dress sense which consisted of tracky daks, flanno, ripped tees, beanies and thongs.
Col lived life on his terms. What was special about him, was the fact he never changed. He lived a simple life, taking care of his elderly mum and fixing push bikes for a living. He was a real genuine kind hearted human being.
Col had a symbiotic relationship with the ocean. It was never about competition in the water. He was a true soul surfer in every sense. Every day for as long as I can remember, he would check the surf. He'd cruise past my house on his way to the beach, riding his trusty "bits and pieces" push bike, carrying a wetsuit that had more holes than his patched up old school surfboard. He never locked up his bike at the beach, because everyone knew it belonged to Bellambi royalty. It was a life changing moment, when Col aged 60 got his license and started driving a car again. He had been riding a push bike for 35 years. The last time anyone recalls him driving was in the mid to late 70's.
Colza was a big kid at heart, "a froffer" that loved being around his mates and the ocean. He was a big uncle to many kids in Bellambi, teaching them how to surf, swim and dive. If you got a good wave or did a decent turn, Col was the first person to let you know about it. He didn't miss a thing.
He understood tides and swells and rarely missed a good day of waves. In his younger days, Col had reputation for surfing big Bellambi bombie by himself. He admired so many local surfers, having watched most of them develop over the years.
Col loved life , he loved to laugh and telling stories to anyone that shared his passion for the ocean. He was a unique character, a one of a kind.
If you ever did a surf check at Bellambi, you could almost put your house on seeing him at the beach. Col would be sitting at the picnic table, with messed up salty white hair, cracking jokes with the local crew, watching the waves. If he wasn't there, you would see his bike and knew he was out in the surf, doing soulful bottom turns and cruisy cutbacks on what he called the "lousy lefts" or "rotten rights", all the way to the beach. It didn't matter what board was under Colza's feet, as long it floated him he was going surfing. I can't say I ever saw him with a new board. He would fix up old boards and ride them, that's what made him happy.
He was the custodian of the beach, and It won't be the same driving down to Bellambi car park and not seeing him there. Colza has always been the positive constant, in a suburb that can test the best of us. He loved surfing, it gave him a sense of freedom. There is no questioning his love for Bellambi Beach.
For someone that had very little, he really had everything he needed. The saying less is more, really makes sense when I think of Col. He never complained about a thing, and selflessly put others before himself. It was the small things that made him happy, like pizza and beer nights with the boys. If more people lived like Colza, the world would be a much brighter place. He always said it's not what you want that makes you happy, its what you already have - so be happy !
I want to publicly thank the lads at Sandon Point that tried to revive Col. He may have surfed his last wave, but he was doing the thing he loved most. I don't think he would of wanted to go any other way. To all that know him, his surfing brothers and sisters, his family and friends my thoughts go out to you. His passing has bought the entire surfing community even closer together.
Bellambi Pools Park should be renamed to "Colin Hunter Park". It's only befitting that the Lord Mayor of Bellambi has his name associated with the beach, he has surfed and watched over for so many years. The Pools was his happy place. A meeting place where long lasting friendships were formed and countless waves were surfed.
Cols legend will live on and his spirit will be felt for years to come. To Col "Bellambi Pools" was a special place, it was his perfect paradise.
RIP Colza - You will be missed and never forgotten.
This petition is designed to have Bellambi Pools Park renamed in memory of Colin (Colza) Hunter who passed away on the 22nd May 2017.
The signatures will be presented to Wollongong City Council Parks and Recreation section with an application to change the park name from Bellambi Pools Park to Colin Hunter Park.
Anyone that knows Col, would of seen him hanging around the picnic tables on the small piece of grassland in front of the Bellambi Pools.
Bellambi Pools will always be there, but over the last 40 years it was always Colza's playground. The park should be named in memory of Col to ensure his memory lives on.
We are seeking the support of the Illawarra surfing and local community to get the ball rolling.
A few suggested Park name options are as follows:
Colin Hunter Park
Colin Hunter Pools Park
Colin Hunter Memorial Park
Please sign the petition in memory of the Bellambi Mayor Colin "Colza" Hunter.
The Rename Bellambi Pools Park to Colin Hunter Park. petition to Wollongong Council Parks and Recreation was written by South Coast Surfing Community and is in the category Family & Friends at GoPetition.