Surf Life Saving

The Tweed Heads Surf and Life-Saving club was the first official Life Saving club in Queensland and was formed in 1909 to patrol the Greenmount Beach .   It was initiated in 1908 by Sydney dentist Harold Bennett who brought an old line and belt to Tweed Heads from New South Wales for the purpose of forming a life saving club.

The first recorded rescue was on February 21, 1909, when lifesavers used a lifesaving reel off Greenmount Beach to rescue four young women and a young man who had been swept away by a rip. The iconic Aussie image of the Australian lifesaver with the red and gold cap has been as much a part of the Austrian ethos as the digger’s slouch hat.  Queensland has 59 surf life saving clubs and in the 2010/2011 period recorded saving 3,610 lives on Queensland beaches.

Surf lifesavers at Burleigh Heads, ca. 1935 John Oxley Library Image number 93832

Kirra Surf Life Saving Club, Kirra Beach, ca. 1946.  John Oxley Library image number 203635

Surf lifesaving boat, Coolangatta, ca. 1933.  John Oxley Library image number 171167

If you’re spending New Year’s Day at the beach in 2012 have a terrific time…and remember to swim between the flags 🙂

Happy New Year from all of us at the John Oxley Library.

Karen Hind, Librarian – State Library of Queensland