Recently, Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club celebrated their 60th Anniversary, having registered as a Surf Club on 6 September 1958. To mark this historic date, we thought we’d take you back to the very beginning the origins of our Club, because it certainly has an interesting history!
Back then, the Club name was the Police Youth Lennons Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club (just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). It was primarily formed to patrol in front of the Lennons Broadbeach Hotel (pictured left).
The very first competition cap was reported to be half blue and half gold; after a period of time it was decided that this design had to be amended as officials were confused at carnivals. Members unfortunately did not consistently wear the cap the same side, so for some competitors their left would be gold and for others their left would be blue. To alleviate this confusion, a new Club cap was voted in – all gold, with a one inch white stripe down the centre and a half inch royal blue stripe either side of the white stripe. This cap continues to be used today with all our competitors and Nippers.
At this time, (having undergone another minor name change) we were operating as Lennons Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club. Over time, concerns started to be raised regarding the difficulty in fundraising; as the Club had the word ‘Lennons’ in it, the public assumed that the Club had the backing of the wealthy Lennons Hotel behind it, so the public were not inclined to donate to the small Life Saving Club because of it. To combat this, a meeting was called in May 1961 to put forward suggestions for a new name. After heavy discussion, it was unanimously voted that the Club be called Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club, the word ‘kurrawa’ being an Aboriginal word meaning ‘blue sea.’
Construction of the original Clubhouse began in 1963 (pictured right) with the official opening on 27 October 1963. When eating at the Clubhouse, members were asked to bring their own plates, cups and cutlery.
There have been numerous points of interest regarding the Club throughout the years, including:
· The very first Club logo was a surf reel imposed on a gold Maltese cross. Wearing this logo on a shirt or jacket got members a hitch hike ride if they lived in Brisbane!
· In 1963, a bold fundraising initiative involved displaying a dead shark that had been caught. The public were charged 20c each to have a look. This resulted in the Club gaining $44 in fundraising from curious onlookers before the shark had to be disposed of within a few days.
· Also in 1963, a ‘swear box’ was put in place with a silver coin donation being the minimum fee for cursing. It didn’t last.
· In 1965, the President of the Club insisted on having his own bed and quarters in the Club accommodation. Members took issue with this as they felt the President should ‘enjoy’ the same facilities provided to the members. This eventually resulted in the President arriving home one evening to find his bed bolted to the top of the partitions in the shower area.
Kurrawa has grown from the original 24 members to over 1200 today, and has progressed from the original bunk rooms in Lennons Broadbeach Hotel to a new $16m Clubhouse. We are proud to have served the community for 60 years and hope to continue to do so for many more years to come!