The Wild Women (and men) of wongo

Gerry Roslund – Lifeguard of Wongo

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Gerry Rosland and his Wongo woman mate

While most of the cast making up the handsome men of Goona were college students, Gerry Roselund was a bit older, having already served in the Marines from 1948 to 1952, and was working as a lifeguard in Miami Beach when he was cast in THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO.

Born October 15, 1929, Gerald Osborne Roslund was a private first class in the Marine Corp and had his training at Parris Island. In 1950 he was stationed at Camp Pendelton attaining the rank of corporal. He married Shirley Morton (aka Shirley Grounds) on March 2, 1951 in San Diego, California.

He later married Betty Louise Morrow on October 1959, in Dade County, Florida. In 1960 the couple lived at 5990 Indian Creek Drive, Apartment 3. Betty passed away July 10, 2011 in Broward, Florida.

As a member of the local Beach Patrol, Gerry won awards and had a few adventures. An issue of Stars and Stripes from June 24, 1959 mentions Gerry in a story about a shark sighting at Miami Beach. Gerry was the first to spot the shark, which was chasing a school of tarpon in shallow water. He and other lifeguards whistled an alert to bathers to get out of the water.

In 1965 he rescued a man caught in an undertow for which he received an award.

Another news story, this time from 1972, concerns a group of skinny-dipping protesters invading Flamingo Park’s swimming pool. “Word came down from City Hall there would be skinny dipping from 10pm on,” said Gerald Roslund (42), a beach patrol lifeguard for 19 years.

Roslund casually mingled with the nude swimmers, reminding them that soap was available in the locker rooms.

Asked about ground rules, he replied, “There are none. They’re here to have a good time and that’s it.

Gerry Roslund died in Miami on May 6th, 1996. He was survived by his wife Betty and his son Gerald Jr.

Author: Mike Barnum

I am a lifelong lover of films, with a taste for movies of all genres, new and old, as well as pop culture from around the world. I currently write for the U.S. based film magazines CLASSIC IMAGES and FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE and have also been published in FILMFAX, SCARLET STREET, and VIDEO WATCHDOG.

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