Eddie Davidson was a member of the club for just over 10 years (from around 1955/56 to 1967). He then joined the Cook Strait Divers – a spearo only club.

He joined WUC at the same time as Malcolm Blair – Peter Strong, Joe Tomlin, Warwick Hurdley, Eric Heath and Dave Waters were already members at that time.
Eddie says it was the chance to spearfish kingfish at Kapiti that made them join the club.

In 1965 WUC won their first spearfishing Nationals – this was held in the Bay of Islands, Malcolm Blair was the overall winner.
That year the club won the Mudgway Trophy, which was absolutely huge, and was the premier spearfishing interclub trophy at that time (donated by Clive Mudgway). This trophy was for interclub competitions (not won by individuals). WUC managed to hold onto this trophy for a long time - until 1968. The Hutt u/w club was the main challenger for the trophy – WUC challenged them to a swim from Breaker Bay.

1961 –Eddie won the NZU Kingfish trophy, on a club trip to Mayor Island. Bill Hall previously won this trophy in 1959.

1967 – Doug Timbs won the Nationals, Eddie was runner up, and as a result, WUC won the Nationals team trophy. Both Doug and Eddie then went to Australia to represent NZ, with two other spearos from other clubs.

1969 – Eddie won the Nationals, and then went on to get 9th place in the All Japan open spearfishing champs (held at Hachijo Island) – and also 3rd place in the World Spearfishing Champs, which was held on the same day.

1970 – Eddie came in the top 10 at the South Island open champs.

1979 & 1984 – won the father & son trophy.

In 1968, he attended the Australian champs at Shoal Bay, and was so impressed with the large number of prizes, he started the North Island spearfishing champs – with good prizes – at one stage it was bigger than the NZ Nationals.

During the early 60s and 70s, spearfishing was a bigger sport than scuba –in a slightly different twist to the “beach clean up”, the club was asked by the Wlg City Council to get rid of the sting rays in Oriental Bay, as they were chasing the swimmers out of the water.

Eddie also was involved in a wide range of other related activities:
He was involved with the NZU Sporting Committee to support and promote spearfishing. He then joined the NZU Scientific Committee – which helped in liaison with the “greenies” and he helped to run the committee in a more business like manner. He also helped develop the NZU Code for Air Quality for scuba tank filling, was involved in scuba training in Thorndon pool, and played underwater polo (this involved carrying a weightbelt from one end of the pool to the other, without getting beaten up by the opposition. This all sounds a lot rougher than underwater hockey, and even underwater rugby).
Eddie was also the first with a single hose regulator in Wellington – he saw the “US Aquamaster” advertised in the US Diver magazine. He recalls how he tried it out with Malcolm Blair near Soames Island – his weights and tank were so heavy, he sank straight to the bottom and landed in mud up to his knees, and had to pull himself up the anchor line. It was only after getting to the surface, that he realised he was supposed to take some weights off his belt, to compensate for the weight of the tank.

WUC was also called apon from time to time to dive as volunteer police divers. Eddie recalled finding a few bodies.

Eddie also did a bit of wreck diving – a few months after the Waihene sank, he went with an Australian who had permission to take photos of the wreck. Eddie kept a souvenir of the dive a secret for many years – he finally donated it anonymously to Kelly Tarlton.

The club used to do lots of trips away. On one trip to Mayor Island with Doug Timbs, Geoff Henry, Bill Baldwin and Malcolm Blair, Malcolm had just rebuilt his boat, but it leaked, so each night they took turns to bail it out. Doug and Malcolm forgot one night – and the boat sank. However, Eddie remembers they still got lots of kingies (how could he forget – it was on this day he won the NZUA Kingfish Trophy).

They built special “Mayor Island” spearguns, large guns with rubbers and trigger mechanisms. However, the triggers were only designed to work at normal pressure, so unfortunately didn’t work very well with the extra pressure of additional rubbers.

White Island was a popular place for the club – they went there many times. On one White Island trip, they chartered the Tidesong, which launched from Tauranga, so they could all sleep aboard. Eddie recounted the story of the exploding spaghetti!!! (You had to be there!).
Other trips were to the Three Kings and Stewart Island.

The most eventful trip was one to Matari Bay. Everything seemed to go wrong on this trip. Peter Johnson (who was in charge of the local fairground) started building a boat to take to Matari Bay – he was still finishing it as it was launched! Eddie took the Myth and finally arrived after many disasters on the way – the trip also involved stealing a haybarn for toilets for the children – they returned the wood and corrugated iron on the way back. The trip itself was very productive – shot lots of Kingies at Stevens Island, visited the Hotel Mana, avoided local policemen, and motored back from the hotel to the Matari Bay with no navigation lights.

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