Surfers paradise Surf Lifesaving Club

Local Heros Saving Lives since 1925

Club History

From the book “The Story of a Surf Club” by the Late Peter Lacey

Precise details as to the actual establishment of the club have been difficult to obtain. Our earliest association was with the Royal Life Saving Society, as was the case with all clubs formed before 1930 in Queensland. In fact, this still water body decided to place a reel on the beach in 1921 for the safety of bathers in the area. However, very few people surfed at Surfers Paradise in those days and with only a dirt track between Main Beach and our location this was to be expected.

Jim Cavill is credited with having the major influence of establishing a life saving club on Surfers Paradise beach. With the building of the Surfers Paradise Hotel in 1925 he proceeded to look into every avenue of attracting customers. One such means was, of course, a surf club offering security to bathers who came to the area.

Jim had no trouble convincing local resident Charlie Walsh, who had similar ideas for some time. Even back in 1924 Charlie had shown great interest in lifesaving on the beach and could see the possibilities of the scheme. The proposal gathered momentum throughout 1925 and Charlie attended a meeting at Southport SLSC in November 1925 to study their set up.

The following month, from notes kept by Charlie, the first meeting of interested locals took place. Held at Jim Cavill’s Hotel in December, and including Jim, local store proprietor Jack O’May, Bill Emzim, Frank Smith, Charlie Walsh jnr and Arthur Bardsley, Charlie Walsh presented the facts of the situation and gave notice that he would attempt to provide life saving facilities for the public throughout the summer.

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