Bungan Beach

Bungan Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Founded: 1952

Affiliated: 6.11.1953

First Clubhouse Built:

How started:

Although the surf at Bungan Beach was regarded as dangerous it was not until 7 April 1953 that a surf club was established by a group of locals and regular surfers at the beach. The only access was via two steep tracks at the centre and northern ends of the beach. The first “clubhouse” was a tin roofed lean-to in the centre of the beach followed by a Caterpillar packing case to store reels and boards. In 1954 an ex-army Nissan hut was purchased, dismantled and carried down the northern track and re-assembled on the site of the current club. It was cement rendered in 1960.The difficulties of access meant that members needed to be dedicated, a trait that continued for decades. Membership slowly increased to the stage where the club held restricted carnivals in 1957, 1958 and 1960. Water and electricity were connected and a boatshed and separate canteen were added in 1959.

Dwindling membership in 1964 saw the club reach a low point but a membership drive targeting juniors from St Ives and Strathfield again saw the club viable. Novice boat crews had represented Bungan in two marathon boat races prior to 1969 when Gordon Harmon transferred from Newport to form a crew from existing members. This resulted in the club’s Open crew being runners up in consecutive State and Australian Championships (1970-72) and members realised they could match larger clubs. The boat crew were members of the winning Branch teams in 1972 and 1973.

After previous unsuccessful applications to Council for a new clubhouse, plans for a new building were approved and in July 1970 the old Nissan hut was demolished. The new building was finally opened on 8 January 1972. However, the landmark storm of 28 May 1974 demolished the southern end of the club and it took until 1977 for rebuilding to be completed. A mass rescue in 1974 resulted in a donation of $500 from one of those rescued. The boat crews continued to feature at carnivals along with Ed Ifould the club’s outstanding solo competitor in board, ski and ironman events.

Lavinia Wood and Carmen Campton became the first two female members in April 1982 while the club’s first major sponsor was Channel 9 in 1982-83. In 1985 the Open boat crew, swept by Ross Jorgensen, broke the ice by winning the State and Australian Championships with a record of two firsts, a second and a third over consecutive years at the Nationals and were members of the Australian team vs NZ. Despite this success the club ran into problems in 1987-88. Following an approach by Bob Richardson, a Barker College teacher, surf lifesaving was adopted as a school sport in 1988, beginning a mutually beneficial association with Barker which continues to the present day. From an initial squad of 6 students, numbers increased to over 100 in 1996-97 and ex-students began to take up administrative positions in the club.

Efforts to gain approval for a new clubhouse in the mid ‘80’s were frustrated by the existing building being in a “wave- action” zone.  An amended concept utilizing the existing site and land to the rear was accepted and a building application was approved in July 1999. Fundraising and donations allowed construction of additions and renovations to the existing building to commence in 2000, with vehicular access finally a reality. Boat crew(s) again represented Bungan and featured in major carnivals during the 2000 -2010 decade. The new club building was officially opened in 2011.

Highlights of recent years have been the successful association with Bungan Boardriders, the introduction of Nippers in 2018 and its continued growth, and the consolidation of gains in membership, awards and a healthy financial position. Members have also been recognized at Branch and State level for their achievements.

Yewen and Beeby Families picnic at Bungan c. 1919                                    Clubhouse c. 1995

Our Supporters