The DUKE JUNE 2023

The Duke Newsletter June 2023 Edition

Around the Village

48-50 Lawrence Street Freshwater

Over the last few months there has been plenty of anticipation regarding the redevelopment of 50 Lawrence St at the entry to the Village.

This month it got underway.

The old building is gone and digging for the onsite garages has begun. In its place there will be 11 new apartments and two new shops with underground parking. (see below)

As a bit of local history for this site the just demolished building at 50 Lawrence Street Freshwater, appears to have been built around 1959 as a two storey brick building with shops on the ground floor and three flats above.

This building is clearly shown on the 1965 aerial but not on the 1955 aerial (see images below).

In 1906 Annie Appleton Ashton, wife of Edward Ashton of Leichhardt, Machinist, purchased Lot 24 of DP 4315. In 1908 the land was transferred into both their names. The Ashton’s owned the property for many years but did not develop the land.

The 1943 aerial (below) shows the land still in its natural state.

The old building


1943 aerial showing the site as vacant land. Note Oliver Street had not yet been extended. Source: Department of Lands

In 1937 Annie died and Edward became the sole owner.

Edward sold the property to Arthur Costin in July 1937,who sold it in August 1939 to Eileen Elston, wife of Frederick Elston of Harbord, a Chemist. Eileen sold the land in December 1941 to Sydney Curran of Harbord, Chemist Assistant. Curran sold the property in August 1946 to Bernard Bradley of Maroubra, Chemist. He took out a mortgage and possibly built a small structure on the site as the 1955 aerial shows some small development on the site.

Additionally in 1948, part of the property was leased to John Perry and Clifford Griffin, both of Manly, Dentists, indicating that there may have been a small structure on the site.

1955 aerial showing a building on the subject site. Some small development on the site. Oliver Street has not yet been extended. Source: Department of Lands.


By 1959, land titles records clearly indicate that a two storey structure was on the site. The premises at this time were identified as a chemist shop on the corner of Lawrence and Dowling Street leased to Max Field of Randwick, Chemist.


1965 aerial. The current building is now on the site and Oliver Street has been extended making the subject site surrounded by roads on three sides. Source: Department of Lands


Installing the traffic lights corner of Lawrence Street and Oliver Street in 1981 in front of the subject building shown here in use as a Chemist Shop. Source: Northern Beaches Library Local Studies

Field was also recorded as leasing Flat No. 3 on the first floor of the building fronting Lawrence Street, Harbord.

In 1963 part of the land on its western boundary was resumed by the Commissioner for Main Roads for the extension of Oliver Street


Construction team adding traffic lights

In 1974 the chemist shop was leased to Brenda Hurley and in 1981 the traffic lights on the corner of Lawrence and Oliver Streets were installed.


Installing the traffic lights corner of Lawrence Street and Oliver Street in 1981 in front of the subject building shown here in use as a chemist shop. These traffic lights were in operation by October 1981. Source: Northern Beaches Library Local Studies

Back to the future!

NOW – Our Village continues its change with this new structure due for completion on the same site in 2024-25 with 11 apartments, 2 shops and underground parking.



Early artist impression of the new building

Changes along Oliver St between Adams/Bennett Sts to the Village for cycle and pedestrian paths

Cycleway and parking changes along Olivers St.

A new separated cycling path is being constructed in Oliver Street, all the way to Bennett Street and Park Street, connecting Freshwater Village and Curl Curl Lagoon.

Due  to a huge backlash that resulted from the recent changes, there is now new consultation between the Northern Beaches Council  & Community to resolve the many issues including traffic chaos with buses, trucks, Garbage collection and general parking being removed or changed. Thus, the project is now on hold and Council has advised that the markings are being removed and redone while this process plays out.

Originally over 680 locals (with 75% being in favour of a new cycle path) and a Road Safety Audit, a separated cycle path design was chosen with narrow parking options. 

The original project included more than just the cycle path:

  1. Park Street will have a new speed limit of 20km/h.
  2. Addition of seven new and improved crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
  3. Upgrading of one zebra crossing to a raised pedestrian crossing.
  4. Construction of three new disability-compliant bus stop platforms to facilitate faster boarding and alighting of passengers.
  5. Extensions of kerb and gutter around Harbord Public School and Wyadra Avenue to create more space for people, with dedicated school pick-up and drop-off points.
  6. Widening of the car lanes and added width for the remaining car parking spaces.
  7. Upgrades to way-finding signage and line markings.

The construction, now halted, is clearly was not the outcome envisioned.

A particular concern to locals is the corner joining Oliver Street and Bennett Street. With the current narrowing of the lanes, it can be difficult to adjust and stay within the lane markings. This was expected to be a temporary issue during construction, until the Oliver/Bennett Street pedestrian crossing is completed, along with new signage but now it is being remediated to return it to its original markings pending review.

Some residents have also expressed concerns Click here for the recent article in the Manly Observer  about parking and property access, the council is aiming to strike a balance between parking needs and improving active transport options.

Council says they will make efforts to minimise the removal of parking spaces, and explore options for restricting parking of non-motorised vehicles.

Freshwater Beach Masterplan

It is happening and this link should be updated in a few weeks with full details and visual plans of the construction.

Many people have been asking about the Northern Beaches Council – Freshwater Masterplan and it is progressing rapidly with the next stage construction to begin this Winter – Spring 2023 with a number of stages.

The important parts are that the Car Park and the Overflow Car Park are to remain unchanged.  There will be staged construction including a DA being lodged by the Freshwater SLSC with planning still underway. Community consultation as always will be undertaken re any changes.

The stages will include a new public amenity – Friends of Freshwater have seen the plans and have raised some concerns and this was taken on board by Council representatives.

In the meantime the early stages are to begin shortly and will include new play grounds, disability access, bbq’s and the like.


Stage 1: Creation of a new pathway at the eastern edge of the carpark from Oceanview Rd to Kooloora Av
– taking pedestrian traffic to a proper walkway away from the carpark
– a pathway from the northern end of new pathway to an ‘observation deck’ in the park at end of Oceanview Rd
– the construction of a new Electrical BBQ and Picnic Shelter near the upper carpark Moore Rd.
– the construction of new paths along Moore Rd including new paths & changes to paths
– a new ‘Switch back’ pathway for disabled access.
– construction of a new children’s playground and shelter at the end of Moore Rd

(Construction to start Winter – Spring 2023)

Additional changes for the Children’s Playground in Kooloora Av will commence Winter – Spring 2024

The biggest issue is the proposed Beach Public Amenities Block which will be delayed till 2025 – subject to Freshwater SLSC DA changes. Friends of Freshwater have expressed our views on this delay.

Harbord Hotel Go Ahead

Harbord Hotel – (Harbord Hilton)

The renovation of the first floor of the Harbord Hotel (stage 2 of the refresh) is also due to start soon.

There is very little change to the external building as it is heritage listed, but the upstairs will provide new function areas and  approved acoustic plans to minimise local area noise.

Stage 3 which is still in the planning stage will be shared with the community soon.

early artist impression of Stage 3


This will be a welcome addition to the function facilities at the SLSC and Pilu.


Surfers Walk

‘The Duke’ Statue at the start of the ‘Surfers Walk of Fame’

The Friends of Freshwater were approached by Hawaiian Airlines and The Outrigger Hotel Group regarding the ‘Surfers Walk of Fame’ on the Headland between Evans Street and Lumsdaine Drive Freshie.

We have been looking at this woefully neglected memorial to some of our champion surfers and the wonderful statue of Duke Kahanamoku with a view to repairing, restoring and updating the grounds and the commemorative mosaic plaques and ground mosaics.
Hawaiian Airlines have an amazing program of support for the Pacific Countries that they serve. They work with Communities on various projects to “give back” and fly teams of people in to assist in various projects.

They have a great interest in Freshwater and what the Friends of Freshwater have been doing in the Community as it this is the home of surfing in Australia and Duke Kahanamoku is a revered icon of both Hawaii and Freshie.

They have become aware of us and are keen to work and support us in our vision to refresh the Surfer’s Walk and Statue of the Duke and have made an offer we can’t and don’t want to refuse!

On August 18 their team of Kokua workers – some 30+ people will be arriving in Freshie to
provide a work team.

But that’s not all!

They will be hosting a Hawaiian ‘Event’ with refreshments and the running of the WATERMAN Movie at the Freshwater SLSC between 6 – 9 pm.


Waterman movie poster

The star of the WATERMAN film, Duane DeSoto, who plays the Duke, will be here as well with his students from ‘Na Kama Kai’ – Children of the Sea – the youth ocean safety non-profit founded by Duane to help kids learn ocean safety, preservation and respect. The kids will also be here to explain how they teach other kids ocean safety and respect.

We are planning a great afternoon and evening starting around 5pm for all of the community to come and enjoy the star, the film and more entertainment.

We have had great interest from our local Manly Member Hon. James Griffin, as well as our new NBC Mayor, Sue Heins and Deputy Mayor, David Walton as well as Counsellor Kristyn Glanville.

Sharyne Mullens and Denise Goldstein, both Executives on the FoF Committee are spearheading this unique opportunity and will provide more information as the planning progresses.

Keep August 18 open for a great event!



New home – rejuvenated sign

One new home near the Village at 30 Albert St has replaced the old cottage called ‘Hinemoa’ and is now complete with the original name but not the ‘arch’. It has been repainted and given pride of place in the front yard.

The old home demolished and sign


It seems there are a number of homes in the area with the name Hinemoa – meaning ‘Lady of the Lake’.

It is name based on a New Zealand Maori story where ‘Hinemoa’ clings to a stump known as Hinewhata during her legendary swim to Mokoia Island to meet her beloved, ‘Tūtānekai’.

This stump was placed in Lake Rotorua as a symbol of the mana (authority) held by her father Umukaria over the area.



Times are a changing!

We are delighted that Moore Rd has been planted from Albert St to Charles St with trees that in years to come will provide a shady walk from the Village to the beach.  Unfortunately a  number of
the trees died and a small number vandalised. The council has been diligent with replanting and some watering. With the prediction of an El Nino giving dry weather it would be
wonderful if locals could provide some water to trees near their residences. There is no doubt that this avenue would add to our local area.

Jacka Park is looking wonderful. The new Elizabeth II Memorial Tree and plaque will add colour when it flowers hopefully in spring. The enhanced children’s playground is filled with
laughter and the Memorial area is looking beautiful with the new seats and paving. It is also wonderful to have a toilet in the park. A park and playground is not really complete without public toilet facilities.

Public Transport



The 167, such an important bus for our area, has experienced a significant number of cancellations. This makes it very inconvenient if you are planning to travel or just get to work on time.

Since the privatisation of the buses to the new owner, Keolis Downer, we have also noticed with new timetables that the ferry and bus appear to have lost coordination. We will be approaching James Griffin on this matter, however we would appreciate your comments on our Facebook page.









On another note,  we are delighted that the older Freshwater class ferries are to be brought back into service. We are hopeful that they may get an conversion to electricity in the future.




Northern Beaches Council

We are delighted to congratulate Sue Heins as our new Mayor

and David Walton as the Deputy Mayor.








Both Sue and David have been councillors in our ward and have strongly supported our community. We wish them all the best in their new roles and will look forward to working with them as always.



Typical Defibrillator (as installed at Watermark)

After a radio program on the need for ready access to defibrillators, we undertook to contact a range of groups within Freshwater to find what defibrillators are in Freshwater. Amazingly the only one available out of hours is outside the SLSC. There are defibs at Freshwater Family Doctor, Harbord Public School, Freshwater Senior Campus, Harbord Hotel, Diggers,
Watermark, GFitness, but only the one available after hours. There may  be others we aren’t aware of, but we appear to be missing one accessible in the village for long hours.

We have approached IGA who would consider installing one, but there is a concern about vandalism if it is available 7×24.



Irene Crump Reserve APPROVED!

We have some good news to share on the Undercliffe Reserve renaming.

Irene Crump Reserve

The Council has recommended to the State Geographical Names Board that the Reserve should be renamed Irene Crump Reserve to honour Mrs Crump and that has been confirmed and gazetted.

Mrs Crump was instrumental in saving the Reserve when developers wanted to destroy it to build units on the site and which would’ve extended to the sand. Mrs Crump was the Prinicpal at the Harbord Village Kindergarten for many years, and she was appalled at the thought of losing the Reserve so she legendarily climbed what is believed to have been a Coral Tree and refused to budge until the machinery being used prior to Council approval to demolish the Reserve was removed.

The parents of the students at the Kindy banded together to stand guard over the Reserve when Mrs Crump had to be at the school and thus the community came together to ensure the security of the land for public use for future generations.

The work being done by the volunteers who are busily working to revamp and regenerate the Reserve are doing great homage to Irene Crump’s vision and her legacy and now we have a renaming to honour this beloved community minded woman.

The Friends of Freshwater are now overseeing the signage and commemorative plaque wording which will be completed by Council and the State. We will advise on the timing of a dedication of the Irene Crump Reserve when we have further details.
We are sure the community will want to be involved.


The whales are here

Record number of Whales sighted off NSW Coast

The whale migration season spans from May to December, offering a fantastic opportunity for whale watching enthusiasts.

During this period, various whale species can be observed as they make their annual journey. Humpback whales are the most commonly sighted species, with their numbers steadily increasing over the years. These magnificent creatures undertake a long migration from their Antarctic feeding grounds to the warmer waters of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef for breeding and calving before returning to their Antarctic habitat over the second half of the year.

Our resident Whale expert and FoFW Committee member Angus Guthrie has reported the most recent migration statistics.

Each year the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans (ORRCA) conducts an annual census of whales sighted migrating up the New South Wales coast as a citizen science activity.

This year the census was conducted on 25 June 2023. As reported by the ABC on-line, preliminary results indicate that more than 5,092 predominantly humpback whales were sighted on Sunday, up by 1,847 on last year. Hopefully this encouraging trend will continue in the years to come.



Artist image of the new Wuruna Installation

The Lookout at the northern headland of Freshwater Beach, which has for long been a prominent vantage point for whale watching and ocean maritime activities is in need of a name.

Council is currently in the process of installing a major sculptural piece on the Headland as well as natural bush landscaping.   This Sculpture will be known as WURUNA which is an Indigenous word for smouldering fire. When Captain Cook was moving along the eastern seaboard in 1770, his crew recorded a whole series of smouldering fires on headlands. Little did they know that these were indigenous signalling and communication tools.

Wuruna Pt. – MacKillop Park construction zone

Given this contextual history, the Friends of Freshwater favours the naming of this Lookout, WURUNA POINT.  It will be within the current McKillop Park which we think would also be more appropriately called RAMSAY MCKILLOP PARK after the former Mayor of Warringah and not Saint Mary McKillop as assumed by most. Councillor Ramsay McKillop died in office in 1926.

Council has advised that it will be erecting signage to explain Ramsay McKillop’s contribution to our community. Friends of Freshwater will continue to pursue a proper name change.