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 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.