Known for his outgoing and friendly personality, legendary water skier Fred Williams and his wife Bettie are well-loved residents at Golden Ponds Resort.
Considered as the Father of Australian water-skiing, Fred Williams contributed to the industry for over 60 years as a competitor and manufacturer of water skis.
Born and raised in the Mid North Coast, Fred was an avid swimmer and surfer, joining his first local surf club around 9 years old. He won many titles in junior surf and belt racing, which went up and down the coast.
As an adult he worked as a joiner at Arthur Davis Constructions in Newcastle and met his wife Bettie when he came back to Forster for a visit.
“We were married in July 1952 – we’ve been together 60 years now. She’s been the biggest support to me through everything; she’s an amazing woman.”
After falling in love with the adrenaline rush from water skiing, Fred used his knowledge as a joiner to make his first set of skis from old verandah posts. Soon after he opened up his business “Ski Ace” and began manufacturing water skis, before moving his business to Sydney where he became a household name.
Fred remains a legend in the industry as the recent Fred Williams Boaters and Skiers Reunion saw crowds line up at the Tuncurry foreshore for the biggest turnout of former race and ski boats in over two decades.
“I started this boat racing event at Forster Keys a long time ago and we’ve continued to hold it every year. Now we’ve moved it to the Tuncurry area and the last event saw over 6000 people from across Australia attend, with more than 400 people at the dinner.”
Even at 86 years old Fred lives an active lifestyle, taking advantage of the many facilities and activities at Golden Ponds Resort.
“There’s a great community here. I have many friends here who are boaties like me so we talk for hours about what we used to do.”
“I’m still very active. I swim every day at the pool, play golf and just recently joined the bowling club. Life couldn’t be better and I wish I made the move 5 years ago!”
To see if Golden Ponds Resort is also the right village for you, call 1800 72 71 70 and schedule an appointment.