September 15, 2004 by

Al Baldwin


Categories: Misc.

Al Baldwin was a man with a mission: to protect the tourists and residents of Australia’s Gold Coast from skin cancer and sunburns.
Known as the “Suntan Man,” Baldwin spent three decades walking along the area’s sandy beaches and spraying people with a machine filled with protective lotion. Some say he sprayed nearly 3 million beachgoers. This philanthropic effort made Baldwin an unofficial ambassador for Australia and a tourism icon. It also earned him the Commonwealth Seniors Medal.
Raised in a New Zealand orphanage, Baldwin moved to Sydney in the early 1950s and opened his own restaurant. In 1968, he relocated to the Gold Coast in Queensland to manage the Broadbeach Hotel and to run a company that rents out beach equipment to patrons of Surfers Paradise.
Baldwin died on Aug. 31 of lymphatic cancer. He was 74. Hundreds of mourners in bathing suits gathered at the beach to honor his memory. They set up a beach chair bearing his sunglasses, cap and suntan-spraying machine, then scattered his ashes in the surf.

3 Responses to Al Baldwin

  1. Susan Greer

    Al was a guest at the wedding of our daughter, Nancy Greer when she married H.B. Moreland. Al visited Sarena Campbell in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Sarena brought Al to the wedding and reception in Houston. He made a big impression on all our guests. Gail Greer Kemp (my husband’s sister) saw Al’s obituary in the Albuquerque newspaper and knew immediately who he was. Small world.

  2. Peter Taylor

    Al and I had something in common, we both ran beach hire businesses. Al was on the Gold Coast and I’m at Manly Beach Sydney.I have only been operating for 13 years compared to Al’s 30, but over the years we would often compare notes about the temperature, the surf or how windy it was.Al was a great bloke and a great talker(I have long distance phone bills to prove it), he will be sadly missed.It is so sad to see so many people affected by cancer,we should all appreciate and enjoy life each day to the full,dont forget to show your family how much you love them.

  3. Michael Palmore

    Im from a world away in Corpus Christi located in South Texas. THis is where I met Al Baldwin who became my close friend. I met him at a sport shooting range where he was fascinated when he saw my assault type rifles and started a conversation. I let him fire my rifles most of the afternoon and we spent alot of ammo. WE traded addresses and started writing toeachother for years after. That was probably 11 years ago now, We lost touch as penpals do in time but I never will forgot the Suntan Man. He was such a likable character with an open mind, free spirit and a big heart. Ill really miss him.

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