Max Waters OAM is being remembered as a humanitarian, a great family man and dedicated surf life saving member.
Max was born in Wingham on February 9, 1930, the youngest of five children born to Charles and Addreanna Waters.
He passed away on Tuesday February 4, just five days short of his 90th birthday.
Max's first job was as a newspaper delivery boy and this developed into a love of print which eventually led him to be apprenticed to the Wingham Chronicle as a linotype operator and print-setter.
This love of print continued throughout his life with various roles including printer, journalist and editor including working with Charlie Uptin at the Port Macquarie News in the 1950s.
Max transferred to the Wauchope Gazette for some years before leaving there to focus on his silk screen printing business in Port Macquarie.
Max's silk screen work was well known and admired among the Rural Show Societies of NSW as well as schools, athletics, football, swimming and carnival of the pines banners and ribbons.
But it was in surf life saving that Max excelled, as a champion R&R participant and general all rounder.
Max's love of surf life saving saw him honoured with life membership at club, branch, state and national level. He received an international lifesaving certificate of merit for services to surf life saving at an international level.
For this work, Max received an OAM in 1998.
Not only did Max save lives in the surf himself, he trained many hundreds of people in first aid and CPR.
Max instigated and was the forerunner of many innovative life saving practices including the vastly successful Bush to Beach series of trips to western schools to educate rural children on surf safety.
His love of surf never diminished and when no longer an active member, he participated in planning and education whenever possible. He received his 70 year service award in 2017.
As a long-time member of Rotary International, Max was made a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a past president of Probus, a founding member of Port Macquarie Apex and one time secretary of the carnival of the pines committee.
He was an official in the Port Macquarie Swimming Club when it began.
As a young man he was a champion tennis player and is recorded as having once beat Rod Laver in a match. Max also, on occasion, played cricket against Don Bradman.
Max had a 15 year stint in central NSW as the editor of the Grenfell Record. This was a role he loved.
As head journalist and photographer he was in attendance at every sporting and social event in town.
Despite being many miles from the coast, he worked tirelessly with the local swimming club and conducted CPR training for freshwater life saving.
Max was instrumental in driving the business house relay events.
On his return to Port Macquarie, Max became editor of the regenerated Camden Haven Courier whilst continuing his silk screen printing business and involvement with Rotary and the Port Macquarie Surf Club.
In later years he followed the exploits of his children and grandchildren with great interest and pride.
He was always known as the man who would call to check on his friends and organised many Wingham Central School reunions up to the 70 year reunion.
Max was a humanitarian and loved few things more than assisting a person to improve themselves through their own efforts. His goal truly was to save lives and this he did.
He was a feminist, wanting the equality of all people regardless of gender, race, status or ability. A fair quote was that "he looked at the world as it should be, not necessarily as it is".
Max loved to have a chat almost as much as he loved loud Hawaiian shirts. He loved his family, who all loved him. His was a life well lived.
Max is survived by his wife Patricia, and their children Peter, Mark, Kristine, Luke and Stephanie. He has nine grandchildren and an ever-increasing number of great grandchildren.
Also making news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.