News, Sport

Woonona Surf Club celebrates 100 years

Woonona Surf Club members 2013

Woonona Surf Club members 2013. PHOTO: Woonona Surf Club.

WOONONA Surf Life Saving Club celebrated a milestone on Sunday.

The wet weather didn’t deter members and their families marking the club’s 100th anniversary.

The celebration began with a march-past and pipe band, followed by a demonstration featuring the traditional reel, line and belt. An ambulance rescue helicopter carried out a mock rescue off Woonona Beach, while nippers were given an insight into surf lifesaving and tradition.

The club ended the celebrations with a gala dinner at the Lagoon Restaurant, where Surf Life Saving NSW president Tony Haven presented a Silver Level Status award – the first in NSW – recognising the volunteers’ commitment, teamwork and skills.

Woonona is one of the state’s most decorated and awarded surf lifesaving clubs.

In 2009 Woonona was awarded Illawarra Club of the Year and Illawarra Patrolling Club of the Year. Woonona was again named Club of the Year last year. The club has 450 members, of whom more than 110 go on patrol.

Woonona Surf Club members early last century.

Woonona Surf Club members early last century.

Woonona has two beginnings, the first being in the summer of 1913-14. With the outbreak of World War I the club disbanded in 1916, due to the unavailability of a skipper (Captain).

Early in 1920 three well-known Woonona personalities, Alf Burrows, S. Gordon, and N. Cheaney got together and re-formed the club. The club was affiliated with the Illawarra Branch in December 1920 and has been affiliated ever since.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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