Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 26 May 2003
Page: 14851


Mr KING (1:52 PM) —On Saturday I attended the centenary ball of the Bronte Surf Life Saving Club at Darling Harbour along with 950 members and supporters. The club has a large membership and enjoys strong community support. At Bronte everyone is drawn to the beach by its beauty, the slopes of the valley and the friendliness and facilities of the club. The centenary ball, an outstanding success, was a credit to all involved. The club has never been stronger.

The story of this club began in the late afternoon of Boxing Day, 1902. William Fox of Woolloomooloo drowned at Bronte Beach. Among the distressed onlookers was John Bond, a sometime farmer, soldier and nearby resident and the first official instructor in Australia of the Royal Life Saving Society. He was conducting a course in water safety, probably for the Waverley branch of the society established in 1894. Soon after, with the help of locals, Bond set up regular beach patrols at Bronte, which become known the following year as the Bronte Volunteer Surf Life Saving Brigade. Ever since, volunteers have been saving lives at Bronte Beach.

On 7 February 1931 a time capsule was buried at the old clubhouse, which was uncovered when it burnt down in 1974. A capsuled message signed by the then president of Surf Life Saving Australia read:

The story of surf life saving in Australia is of heroic achievement and steady progress. It began first in New South Wales in Bronte in 1903 as a necessary adjunct to our great summer pastime, surf bathing, until it has spread like a flame throughout the continent.

I commend the club executive, led by its president, Graham Ford, honorary secretary Tony Coates, Captain Kerrie Visch and executive officer Ross Miles on their fine leadership. I warmly congratulate the Bronte Surf Life Saving Club on a centenary of service and achievement to the community of Bronte.