Posted by: debrakolkka | July 26, 2010

The end of an era

Matti Allan Kolkka

Allan Kolkka died last week.  He was my uncle – Dad’s brother.  As well a being my lovely uncle, he was a legend in the lifesaving world.  His involvement in lifesaving started decades ago, in the early days of the service on the Gold Coast.  His name is synonymous with the Northcliffe Surf Lifesaving Club.  He was instrumental in the development of the Northcliffe Nippers in 1966 and his 3 boys, Bruce, Ross and Noel became enthusiastic participants.   His wife Norma was always there as well, cooking and looking after the boys – it was a family affair.

Allan was president of the club for 15 years and was made a life member in 1981.  He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to surf lifesaving in 1999.  He was a quiet achiever.  If something needed doing, he just did it with a minimum of fuss.  His infectious good humour made him fun to be around.  He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

A memorial was held for him last week and over 500 people attended.  His son Bruce bravely spoke at length about his father’s life.  As well as all the wonderful stories he told about his Dad, he had a couple of humorous tales to tell.  My favourite was about Allan’s first cappuccino, just a couple of years ago.  He drank it, obviously with enjoyment and commented “How long have they been making these?”  Grandson Tyson also spoke lovingly about Allan, with help from his cousins.  His friend David Shields spoke with affection about his memories of Allan.

After the service we all went to the Northcliffe Club where Allan’s ashes were scattered into the sea in front of the club.  What a perfect way to celebrate a life well lived.

Allan's ashes were released in the sea in front of Northcliffe Surf Lifesaving Club

It may be the end of the Allan Kolkka era, but his 3 sons and their children are still there to carry on the lifesaving tradition for years to come.

Matti Allan Kolkka - 13/10/1929 - 18/07/2010


  1. I am so sorry for your loss Debra xx he sounds like he was an amazing man

    • Thank you Sandra,
      He was amazing, but I just remember him as a lot of fun. He had the most infectious chuckle.

  2. So sorry to hear that Deb – our thoughts are with you… Sounds like an Uncle I had as well – “the fun Uncle”
    Love Mike & Kellie

  3. I am very sorry to hear that Debra and my thoughts are with you and your family. RIP.

  4. condoleances with your uncle Debra. Amazing man

  5. Thank you everybody for you kind thoughts. I am so glad to have known Matti Allan Kolkka.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. Your uncle sounds like he was an amazing man and will be truly missed.

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