Pambula surf club prepares to celebrate 100 years

Former and current members of Pambula Surf Life Saving Club will walk down memory lane over the Australia Day weekend when the club celebrates its 100th birthday.

Lifesavers, the local community and holidaymakers alike will witness, and in many cases, participate in a surf carnival, rescue demonstrations and a centenary dinner and reunion, all being meticulously planned by the club to mark the event.

“This event has been 100 years in the making and is a significant moment for a volunteer organisation that has been such a big part of the local community for all those years,” club president, Don Hay, said.

“Since forming in 1914, Pambula SLSC, despite being the most remote club in NSW, has been at the forefront of lifesaving, pioneering many innovations including the first formalised Nippers, advocating for females to play active lifesaving roles, training the first female rescue boat driver in the country, and instigating the Special Nippers program for children and young adults with physical or intellectual disabilities.

“We even hosted the first visit by the National Greek Lifeguarding Association in 1999, after travelling there to train the first Greek Lifeguards,” Don said.

On Saturday, January 25, a surf carnival run on the original 1914 program will be held from 10.30am, followed by a barbecue, and history and clubhouse tours. Then a Rescue through the Decades demonstration will take place displaying the many and varied rescue techniques from human chains to helicopter winching.

“Surf lifesaving has come a long way during the past century, and considering Pambula SLSC was formed only seven years after the formation of the association in Australia, we have practically been there for the entire time,” Don said.

“Other than the WWII years, when brave young men from this area went off to war, Pambula has been proud to raise the red and yellow flags signalling a safe place to swim for the thousands of people who flock to the beach each year.

“There have been countless rescues, people warned to safety, first aid cases, young members instilled with knowledge for life, and competitors using these skills to compete for the club in their treasured green and gold colours”.

Weather and operational conditions permitting; the helicopter may land and be open for inspection by the public.

On the evening of Saturday 25, Pambula SLSC will play host to a Centenary Dinner, with many former lifesavers and their families indicating they will attend the event.

“We are looking forward to seeing many of our former members joining our current membership to help the club in celebrating this historic milestone,” Don said.

Bookings are essential for the Centenary dinner, and details can be emailed to Don Hay president@pambulasurf.org.au or Peter Terry theterrys@acr.net.au.

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