Happy Seventy Five years to you USFA!
My mind boggles at all your members have achieved over the decades; from beginning as an action group, started by adventurous men and women “speargunners, on this day 1948, to prevent spearfishing from being banned. These energetic souls wished for official recognition of speargunners, to educate the community about spearfishing, to stop safe access areas being denied to speargunners, to enhance codes of conduct and safety and of course to enable those still to come to be able spearfish in the coming decades.
During this tumultuous post-war period when returned diggers, who had seen indigenous Pacific Islanders spearfishing, thus began turning military equipment into all forms of diving kit to enable them to catch a fish, safety was not often thought about first, nor was being physically assaulted by fishers, recreational and commercial alike, who believed these early pioneers would turn the oceans into deserts, leave alone them being arrested and placed in cells., yes this did happen. What these wonderful ambassadors for spearfishing were able to achieve is quite remarkable. Dick Charles the original President of the USFA said in this day “we band together if we want to continue spearfishing, united we survive – divided, we fall.”
On behalf of all current spearfishers in this land I wish to thank all those who have come and gone, and those here today who have contributed their time to enable spearfishing to prosper. You have indeed made it possible for future generations to enjoy this wonderful recreation and lifestyle, and we cannot thank you enough.
Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association NSW