banner

Our History

The First 25 Years - 1925 to 1950

During 1924 local residents became concerned for the safety of swimmers who regularly surfed at North Cronulla Beach which Sutherland Shire Council had declared unsafe for swimming. Meetings were convened and in 1925 the very first Executive of the Club was elected.

On the 19th December 1925, the first Surf Patrol took up duty on North Cronulla Beach, their only rescue equipment being a surfline, reel and belt which Members stored on the verandah of a nearby house until a Clubhouse was built.

On the 6th October 1926, the Clubhouse on North Cronulla Beach was officially opened. It consisted of a small weatherboard building without water or power and was located at the bottom of the Kingsway in front of the Alley.

The first Bronze Squad commenced training and Members competed with enthusiasm at the Interclub Carnival, proudly wearing the new club Colours of "the Blue of the Sea and the Gold of the Sand".

History tells us that at the end of the first season of patrols, North Cronulla members had performed 24 rescues and could say with pride. "no lives were lost on North Cronulla Beach"' thereby setting a tradition for the Club Members to follow for the next 88 years.

The next few years were very tough for the young membership and the club nearly folded due to the combined factors of the Depression, resignation of two Foundation Members and the passing of the President and Club Founder.

The Depression saw club membership drop, finance and support fell sharply, competition team cease to exist and only half of the membership could afford to pay their annual fees and others had to pay off over extended periods. The Club survived due to the comradeship and strong bond of mateship and the need to perform their volunteer life saving duties on North Cronulla beach.

During 1932, big seas pounded into the Clubhouse and the Sutherland Shire Council moved the building into Dunningham Park and commenced construction of the first sea wall. The opening of the first Rock Pool provided club members with a great training facility and was regularly used by club members to improve their fitness and strength for swimming in the belt whilst on Patrol.

The updated Clubhouse of 1932 was appreciated by the Members but was really inadequate to the needs of the growing membership of the club and the need to have suitable club facilities for storage of equipment and build on the very important social aspect of Surf Club life during the 1930’s and after the Depression.

The morale of the Members was raised when Sutherland Shire Council approved plans for a new Clubhouse, despite the protests of some residents who believed the cost of 4,500 pounds would result in rates being increased. The third Clubhouse was hailed as "the best surf club" on the coast by Sir Adrian Curlewis when officially opened in 1937.

The new Club was located on top of the new sea wall and consisted of double Boat Shed and two Ambulance rooms on the ground floor. The foyer provided access to two upper floors, caretakers flat and a balcony that ran the length of the building eastern side. The first floor contained a Ballroom with stained timber floors and an Orchestra Pitt and included a Billiard Room. The top floor contained Secretary’s Office and Committee room and a large open roof space with high parapet walls for wind protect for sunbathers.

Unfortunately this was short lived and suffered the same fate and was extensively damaged when monstrous winter seas commenced a two prong attack on the sea wall and the Tank Traps located deep in the sand dune in front of the club in 1946. The force was so severe, the sea wall collapsed and cracks appeared in the Clubhouse walls. The Clubhouse was declared unsafe and demolished and a temporary Armco Hut was built for club members and that was our "home" for the next four years whilst the new Clubhouse was built.

Our current club house was built over many years using building materials salvaged from the 3rd Club House. It was officially opened in 1950 and stands today. The Club was on a high and North Cronulla was one of the strongest clubs in the Association. All this strength, mateship and high morale was tested when on the 19th February 1950, Club captain Major James "Jim" Peryman, lost his own life while performing a belt, line and reel rescue of a swimmer in very treacherous seas at North Cronulla Beach. Jim Peryman was awarded (posthumously) the Royal Humane Society's Silver Medal and Certificate of Merit that now hang proudly in the Judd Room.

The story of the next 25 years will follow shortly.........

 

T 02 Clubhouse 1926

The first surf club was built in 1926 and was located towards the Alley - this photo shows the club membership of the day at the front of the club.

2Nd Club

The second club house was built in 1932.

3Rd Club

The third Clubhouse was hailed as "the best surf club" on the coast by Sir Adrian Curlewis when offcially opened in 1937.

4Th Club

Our current club house was built over many years using building products salvaged from the 3rd club house. It was officially opened in 1950.