DHBC Life members

Life Memberships are issued to club members who have contributed positively and significantly over a period of decades, in most cases, in excess of 30 to 50 years. To date, club Life Membership has been issued to the following members:

John Charles 'Charle' Paris (1879-1950)
The founder of Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club

In the Inner West, the major clubs were the Marrickville Bicycle Club (1897), Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club (1908), Petersham Bicycle Club (1910), and the Enfield-Burwood Cycling Club (1912). Born in 1879, John Charles ‘Charlie’ Paris originally joined the Marrickville Bicycle Club (established 1897) around 1900. By 1906, Paris had set up his own bicycle shop at 2 Hercules/Loftus Street, Dulwich Hill. In 1908 he led a group of disgruntled club members to break away from the Marrickville Club and set up a rival club that they called the Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club. Over the next four decades Paris led the club, holding the role of Secretary for many years. His local bicycle shop acted as a focal point and meeting place for club members. All club rides started from this location, and club meetings were held there. In turn, Paris had a relatively captive market of club members who needed a ‘Paris’ bicycle built for them and associated services. In later years Paris also became a Speedwell bicycle (Bennett & Woods) agent.

Info sourced from: Marc Sebastian Rerceretnam, ‘Bicycles for Sale: Bicycle Businesses in Sydney, 1850s to 1930s’, Sporting Traditions, 2018.

Bicycle business owner and Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club founder, John Charles Paris.

Bicycle business owner and Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club founder, John Charles Paris.

A Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club member, Percy Fitzgibbon, with his CharlesParis-built bicycle, 1910.

A Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club member, Percy Fitzgibbon, with his Charles Paris-built bicycle, 1910.

Club members outside Charles Paris’s bicycle shop at Loftus/Hercules Street, Dulwich Hill, 1937.

Club members outside Charles Paris’s bicycle shop at Loftus/Hercules Street, Dulwich Hill, 1937.

Mr Cotton snr

No information available

Edward 'Ted' Pink snr (1881-1972)

Foundation member

William 'Bill' McCord

Bill joined the club in the early 1930s and competed on Henson Park when it still had a dirt track. He was elected as Chairman of the club for 12 years.

Jack Sandberg

Jack joined the DHBC in 1937. After the war he acted as club Secretary from 1946 and was a club delegate the cycling peak body of the day. He remained active within the club into the 1980s and 90s.

Arthur Percival (added on 21.3.69)

Arthur was born a Kiwi. It's believed he joined the club in the 1950s and was one of a band of 'constant' workers who helped build the Camperdown velodrome even though he was about 70 years old at the time. Up to the 1970s, Arthur was considered one of the oldest competitive riders in the DHBC.

In the late 1990s the following members were included:
Lionel Cox (1930-2010)

Lionel needs no introduction. He is the only club member to have won an Olympic gold medal. He was with the club from 1956 and was a regular at Tempe track training.

Arthur Donnelly (c1930s-2013?)

Arthur rode with the Lakemba, Rozelle, Petersham clubs before he joined DHBC in the 1960s. He acted as 'Marshall for the Union' for many years attending as a delegate to Council meetings. He had a great interest in track racing and could be seen at Tempe velodrome regularly in his later years. Arthur also received a CNSW Medal of Merit for 50 years of service in 2001.

In the 21st century the following members were recognised:
Alan Sumner (c1936-)(added in 2008)

Alan joined the club as a junior track racer in 1950, after club juniors coach Claude Heathcote called on him to fill a vacancy in a club race at the old Henson Park track. Alan acted as a club committee member from the 1960s and well into the 2000s, and was pivotal in holding the DHBC together, when most NSW clubs were disintegrating due to disinterest in cycling.

Alan is still racing today, aged 87 years, but mainly with the Waratah Veterans Cycle Club, while still wearing his red club jersey. He is currently the oldest racer in the state, and probably in the country.

Coral Shying (c1936-)(added in 2008)

Carol is the partner of Alan and was his right-hand person during the clubs difficult period from the late 1970sand early 2000s, when cycling as a pastime was at its lowest ebb in Sydney.

Mick Mazza (1939-2018)(added in 2017)

Mick is an old stalwart of the DHBC. Mick has been part of the DHBC for most of his life. He regarded the club as his family and his home was a living shrine to the club with photos, letters and prizes adorning his sitting room. Mick first joined the club in around 1956 aged 16 or 17 years. By 1960 Mick was acting as the club's Publicity Secretary from 1960 to 1975. Between 1975 and 1982, due to desperately falling club membership numbers, meetings and AGMs were not held, but club rides, training and competitions continued under the tutelage of club members Claude and Sonia Heathcote. When meetings resumed in 1982 Mick was again part of the committee and remained so until at least 2005 - in excess of 45 years on the DHBC executive committee. Mick was made a Life member on 7 May 2017.

Special Posthumous Recognition Award for Claude (1919-82)and Sonia (1921-2008)Heathcote

Claude was also made a Life Member of Cycling NSW in 1965. Sonia received a CNSW Medal of Merit for 50 years of service in 2001.

The club thrived in these early years largely due to the kindness and generosity of people like Claude and Sonia. Al Sumner, who knew Claude as a junior when he joined in early 1950 referred to Claude as a "honest, wonderful gentleman". He was greatly loved and admired by all. It was this degree of openness, transparency and goodwill which made the DHBC thrive in its early years. He acted as club Secretary for decades.

Claude was also a fantastic bike rider. His nephew, and former club member Stephen Heathcote said Claude participated in at least 20 to 30 'Goulburn to Sydney' (annual) bike races. He came in 2nd in one year. He had stopped to help a fellow competitor with a puncture and rode together for the finish line, to be pipped at the line by the very man he helped.

Sonia joined the club in the 1930s. Sonia Witchard met Claude Heathcote in the club and married soon after. Like Claude, she played a key role in steering the club after the death of founder Charlie Paris until the 1980s. Claude died in 1982. In 1988 she published a short history of the DHBC called ‘Dulwich Hill Cycling Days 1908-1988’. She ‘retired' from club activity after 1988 but received a Cycling NSW Medal of Merit for 50 years of service in 2001. She died in 2008.

Claude Heathcote (1919-1982)

Claude Heathcote (1919-1982)

Sonia Heathcote (1921-2008) on her tandem bike

Sonia Heathcote (1921-2008)

Lindsay Munks(1961-)(added in 2018)

Lindsay joined the club in the early 1990s. He also joined the club committee and with the likes of Sonia Heathcote, Alan Sumner, Lionel Cox, Arthur Donnelly and Mick Mazza, helped steer the club during the difficult period covering the 1990s and the early 2000s. It was Lindsay who initiated the idea of the ‘Saturday Slowies’ ride at Centennial Park in the 2000s, an initiative which helped rebuild interest in club activities from the early 2010s onwards. He was also one of the initiators of the non-club specific, retro bicycle group called the ‘Valley Wheelers’ (with Ian Carswell, Toff Harris and Peter Tregillgas) and remains one of the primary organisers of the Sydney Classic Bicycle Show (est. 2013). He is currently the DHBC’s Treasurer (2023). Lindsay was added as a Life member on 7 April 2018 at the 110th anniversary celebrations. Ratified at DHBC AGM, in May 2018.

Ron Webster (1942 -)(added in 2023)

Ron started cycling in Townsville in 1957 at aged 15 when his neighbour invited him to start cycling with the Townsville Professional Cycling Club. Results came in his first ever road race with a 2nd in the School Boys Championship raced in Cairns. He described himself as a classic roadie, enjoying riding hard off the front to beat the sprinters. As the TPCC turned into the City Wheelers, Ron raced road and track in Townsville, Cairns and Mackay. Visiting all the velodromes in the region, Ron still has the scars from falling on a dirt cycling track. In 1959 Ron raced the Queensland Professional Track Championships in Mackay.

A cycling hiatus occurred with enlistment into the Air Force in 1962 but Ron returned to his beloved sport in the early 1980 when he joined the Veterans club in Sydney. While racing around the venues in Sydney he met Alan Sumner who convinced him to join Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club, thus his membership of our club started in 1986, aged 44.

As a DHBC member Ron raced the Inter-Varsity Championships in Perth and the Masters Games in Brisbane, Victoria and Sydney. Ron travelled to Mt Isa to race the Copper City Cycling carnival, could he be our only DHBC member to have ever raced there?1997 was his start racing Penny Farthings in Tasmania. Ron finished 5 100-mile Century rides, competed in 22 National Championships and the World Championships in 2003.

In 2006 he added Audax to his activities and from 2010 to 2012 Ron’s Audax rides were aiming at qualification into the Paris Brest Paris. The 370km NSW Audax ride was all that was left for his ticket to start in the classic Audax in Europe, however in what was a legendary feat of Audax bravery, Ron started the ride with an illness, tried to push through but heartbreakingly had to abandon the attempt. His favourite Audax rides were the Gran Turismo Super Series.

Ron loves the bicycle touring lifestyle. In 2007 Ron and his brother rode Land’s End to John o’ Groats and in 2011 he toured Europe from the Hook of Holland to Bremen in Germany. He proudly wore his DHBC colours in the classic bike meet - Eroica in Tuscany, Italy and in 2003 attended the Tour De France, climbing Mt Vontoux. There were also many tours of Tasmania combined with the Penny racing.
Ron’s favourite bikes were his first bike, a Mick Black from his local bike shop in Townsville and the Jim Bundy that was handmade for him.

Ratified at DHBC AGM, in May 2023.

Geoff Martin (1965 -)(added in 2023)

Geoff Martin has been a member of DHBC for nearly 20 years in which time it has grown from a handful of members to the vibrant and diverse club it is today. What sets DHBC apart from many other clubs is the focus on people, not just racing. Geoff certainly gave racing an enthusiastic shot, and tells the story of his 7 year old son applauding his efforts at Heffron by shouting “Dad, you’re hopeless. You’re coming last!”  But most people don’t win races, and winners can only win if there are people to beat. Geoff understands the value of participation and inclusion - he is an HR professional after all.

Geoff has had a number of roles in the club, and been a ride leader since 2010. His most significant, long-lasting impact has been from his time as President (2005-2011) when he and the committee breathed new life into the club, introducing Saturday Slowies, a juniors program at the track, and speed rated Waterfall rides that helped riders to progress. All these ride innovations brought people to join and stay in the club. And in 2008 DHBC turned 100 and the Centenary Dinner with Mike Tomalaris as guest speaker was one of Geoff’s personal highlights. In 2018 he was struck down by encephalitis which caused an acquired brain injury and he was in RPA for an ages, coincidentally in a ward with Ron Webster. They entertained many of us with selfies from the wards, despite being a tough time for both of them.  It was a long ride back for Geoff and quite a while before he could even ride a bike and eventually ride with the club again, but he’s certainly back now!

Geoff has boundless enthusiasm for cycling, for the club and for life in general and he’s got many a story to tell. His contribution to DHBC has been enormous and the club we have today is because of his ability to see what could be improved and, importantly, make it happen.

Ratified at DHBC AGM, in May 2023.

Margaret McLachlan (added in 2023)

In the early 1960s, eighteen-year-old Margaret McLachlan caused a sensation by winning the club’s annual Ron Jacobs’ Memorial track event. Margaret McLachlan showed herself to be a highly competitive racer often beating her male counterparts. She was the only woman in the race, and she followed this success with numerous wins in scratch races against men.

Margaret joined the DHBC as a 15 year old and by the time she was in her late teens was beating boys in races. Unfortunately for Margaret the NSW Amateur Cycling Union decided to cancel her racing license in 1966. Margaret and the DHBC were furious, protesting this outrage but to no avail.

Undeterred by the sexist bans, Margaret set her sights on breaking ultra marathon records. In 1967 she set a women’s record for the Sydney-Melbourne route breaking it by 4 hours (36 hours and 33 minutes.) This record stood for 3 decades. In 1968 she rode from Sydney to Newcastle in a record time of 6 hours 14.5 minutes. Margaret retired soon after having 2 children and running a bicycle shop with her husband John, first at Stanmore and then in Newcastle.

Ratified at DHBC AGM, in May 2023.