Palm Beach

Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Founded: 26.11.1921

Affiliated: 30.09.1922

Club colours of black and green were chosen to reflect the colours of the First Battalion, First Australian Imperial Force.

How the Club was formed:  January 25th 1920, Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Marks attempted to rescue of a woman carried out to sea in a rip. Marks had become the youngest Lieutenant-Colonel in the British and Dominion armies. Fully clothed, Marks swam out but could not reach the woman in time. Marks was overcome by the strength of the rip and exhausted. Both Marks and the woman drowned.  This was the third drowning at Palm Beach over a couple of years. Following Marks’ drowning, the Palm Beach Progress Association sort the service of a paid lifeguard and hired Austin Dellit, a member of Collaroy SLSC.

Formation Date:   On November 26th, 1921 locals and weekend visitors held a meeting and voted to form the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club and speedily became affiliated with the Surf Life Saving Association of NSW

First Bronze Medallion Squad: January 1922, a squad of 17 gained the Bronze medallion including Adrian Curlewis who became President of SLSA for 36 years. By 1930, qualified membership had grown to 54. That season, 27 rescues with belt and line, 27 without and 1 by surfboat were recorded.

Clubhouses:  February 1922, a wooden shed was built beside residence of Peters family (now the current surf clubhouse).

The second clubhouse was a small timber building was built on Hordern Reserve, in the southern corner of the beach. It was demolished and a third clubhouse built in 1929 on Council land further north, where the Douglas Marks Pavilion is now situated. In 1936, the Club purchased the weekend house of William Chorley, then a deceased estate. It was converted into a clubhouse with accommodation. That building is now the Cabbage Tree Club. The large Peters residence ‘Powhokohat’ was purchase in 1954 and became the current Clubhouse. This heritage building was significantly refurbished in 2022.

Competition: In 1922, a ‘Johnny Walker’ design surf boat was purchased. First carnival held on New Year’s Day, 1923. In its early days, the club was very competitive in the water, on the beach and on surfboards. The club has had continual representation in the boat competition since its inauguration. In recent years, the club has become a consistent winner in surf boat and masters’ competition and has won a number of Australian Championship titles.

Junior Activities/Nippers Formation Date:  During the war years, there was a Junior Lifesavers squad

Club Historian:     

Has a History Book been written?  75 Year History published in 1996 and a 100 Year history to be available in 2023/24 season.

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