The Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club will celebrate its 100th anniversary in January 2016. The club was formed on January 1, 1916, with a large crowd gathering to watch the official installation of the life saving reel. The reel had been obtained from the donations of the local community with the assistance of the Nambour Progress Association.
The following day the reel was put to good use as five people required rescuing from the surf during the day. In one incident three people were carried out by the current. Fortunately representatives from the Royal Life Saving Society were visiting Maroochydore providing training and assisted with some of the rescues. The Brisbane Telegraph reported – “There were several scores of bathers in the water at the time, and a number of other persons were about the beach. The situation arose through the venturesomeness of some of the swimmers, who entered the water upon a strong ebb tide with a somewhat heavy swell”.
The Nambour Chronicle stated that although surf lifesavers were providing safer conditions of swimming, they shouldn’t take unnecessary risks – “In future therefore both the reel and squad will be an established fact, with a portion of the squad patrolling the beach all through the holidays, giving bathing a greater amount of safety. Bathers however must not run away with the idea that greater risks may now be taken”.
A detailed history of club was compiled by Ralph Devlin in 1990 for the publication, Home of the black swan : Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club 1916-1991 : a history and is part SLQ’s collection.
Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland