Les Gleaves, Sans Souci Dolphin Life Member, NSW State spearfishing representative, UW hockey player, great all-round fisherman and man of the sea, an excellent pool player, and just an all-round gentleman and good guy.
Appearing at the Dolphins in the late 60’s as a gangly, quiet teenager Les quickly made his mark spearfishing amongst his peers.
Growing into phenomenal strength both physically and mentally, and possessing a freakish breath hold and a fantastic fish sense Les had this unerring ability to usually spear the biggest fish of an outing. Les held the World and National Record for Dogtooth Tuna at 55kg, an amazing achievement at this time (speared in 1986 in the Coral Sea) the record lasting a decade.
Selfless and a good listener. he would be that guy who would often take the juniors and beginners on his boat, never worrying much if it affected his day; you could ask Les anything and he would tell you what he knew to help you progress; he would listen to everyone’s tales of woe (typical of all fishermen) yet I could bet after you spilled your misery he would have some quip, or his own experiences of the day to say to brighten your own day. Les continually assisted on committees of his club, Zone and State and held positions as Sports Secretary and Records Officer amongst other roles.
Revered amongst the Spearfishing Association scene as a lovely bloke, who possessed a cracking sense of humour, Les was seldom seen without a beer in hand after a dive usually bare chested wearing his customary wetsuit shorts for all seasons and climes. Les was a fount of knowledge on all things fish, superb at fish identification, and complemented this with knowing where best to find each species of fish.
Les, myself and plenty of others were looking forward to catching up with you at the USFA’s coming 75th anniversary, those that had the good fortune to have met you will miss you, may the waters you dive be clear, the fish abundant, your spear flies true and forever cold is your beer. Thank you for being so kind and patient with me, and for everything you gave to spearfishing, you never asked for anything in return. You were one of my heroes.