Serge Denman, 1951

Painting by Martin Greer.

This painting shows Bondi local Serge Denman surfing at Ben Buckler in 1951. Serge appeared in Life Magazine in 1956 (the issue with JFK on the cover) and his trademark black and white striped board made him something of a celebrity. At just 17 years of age, he and four mates appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, having paddled their toothpicks (hollow plywood boards, 16 feet in length) all the way from Manly to Bondi. Serge started surfing in his early teens and won many paddle board titles in the late 40s and early 50s. He was a member of North Bondi Surf Club and later became Head Beach Inspector at Bronte. Serge often surfed Ben Buckler with his good mate Bruce Agnue. Serge Denman passed away in 1982, an amazing character who loved life and is sorely missed.

Martin Greer

16 thoughts on “Serge Denman, 1951

      • Well my mum was ur sister she has now passed Tracey eyre but her mum Yvonne Barnett met serge while on beach and he was life saver Yvonne was only 18 Nd they had my mum as I have pics of him with my mum as he used play squash from memory mum was a secret Nd always affected her as he passed without her knowledge 4 years before I was born

    • Krystle, it was a small world back then and your Gran & my mum may have known each other as she was a Maroubra High girl and beach goer. Serge was a likeable guy who would burn the candle at three ends if he could. He sure did get around in his trusty Mini Moke & Armour Guard truck too

    • So I hear was shame he seemed like good guy but that side of him not so good either way he’s my blood Nd nice to know where I came from as I just have pictures of him and my mum Nd few story’s from Nan so this article filled in some blanks of his life ☺️ Nd yes think nan was reeled in just like ur mum 😝 thanks for ur reply much appreciated sorry if I caused any confusion 🙂

      • Hi Kristle I am his daughter and did know that there was another sister. Dad was a fabulous man. I am happy for you to contact me.

      • You are entitled know more. He was a fabulous father, in fact in my eyes the best. I miss him every day.
        I am happy for you to reach out to me, will not post my mobile here or email. You can find me on FB or use messenger.

    • Xox. Dad (Serge) did many recuses including reviving a child in our backyard pool in Bondi. Many years later my son had a paper run which included a nursing home where the rescued child’s grand mother then lived. Great connections. 🙂

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