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Surf Lifesaving Clubs Turn Back Time with History on Show

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 1 May 2018
Freshwater SLSC Cornival 1939
It all began more than 100 years ago at the North Steyne Surf Life Saving Club.

The distinctive caps worn by more than 170,000 volunteer lifesavers around Australia today were first worn in 1910 by surf patrollers at the club.

This and other interesting historical facts and memorabilia will be on show at three heritage-listed surf lifesaving clubs on the Northern Beaches, as part of the National Trust’s Heritage Festival.

On Saturday 5 May, from 10am to 2pm, North Steyne, Freshwater and Newport Club Houses will open their doors to the public.

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said the event is an excellent opportunity to see inside the three clubhouses, go on a guided tour, meet members of the club and view historical displays.

“Many of the Northern Beaches surf lifesaving clubs are among the oldest in Australia. North Steyne was established in 1907, Freshwater in 1908 and Newport in 1909. 

“Surf lifesaving is synonymous with the Australian identity and etched into our cultural fabric. Their role is invaluable and this exhibition highlights not only how the organisation has developed, but the amazing work they do,” Mayor Regan said.

Though not the original clubhouses on the sites, the current buildings were all constructed in the early 1930s in the then new ‘Mediterranean Clubhouse’ style.

This style of architecture was popular between 1915 to 1940, reflecting the similarity of climate between Australia and the Mediterranean.

All three clubhouses were partly financed by a scheme designed to provide jobs for unemployed workers made redundant during the depression.

Among the interesting memorabilia is a surfboard at Freshwater used by famous Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku during his 1915 surfing display at the beach.

Kahanamoku popularised surfing around the world in his day, and the event was influential in the development of surfing in Australia.


Surf Lifesaving Clubs Turn Back Time with History on Show

Date:
Saturday 5 May 2018

Time:
10am to 2pm

Venues:

  • North Steyne SLSC, 93-95 N Steyne, Manly
  • Freshwater SLSC, Kooloora Ave, Freshwater
  • Newport SLSC, 394 Barrenjoey Rd, Newport
Newport Surf Life saving Club 1910
Freshwater SLSC members 1913
New Newport clubhouse opened 1933
Duke Kahanamoku's visit to Freshwater beach 1915
 
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