The History of South Coast Branch
South Coast Branch (Queensland) was formed in the summer of 1945-46 mainly as a result of the expanding lifesaving activity in Queensland, but hurried along by a problem existing in the 1930’s and 1940’s in relation to the administrative control of Surf Life Saving in Queensland.
On April 6, 1945, the governing body of Surf Life Saving in Australia, announced the appointment of a committee of top officers, empowering them to make findings on a dispute over boundaries at the time. One of the final directions of the Committee of Inquiry was that the area controlled by the Point Danger Branch be reduced by fixing its northern boundary at Currumbin Creek (ultimately altered to Tallebudgera Creek) and that the clubs situated north of the creek and Southport be formed into a new Branch.
In the mid seventies, thoughts turned to the branch establishing headquarters – a home of our own. Behind Mermaid Beach AEME SLSC clubhouse was an old council toilet block that had become redundant because of the inclusion of public toilets in Mermaid’s new clubhouse. A word with our good friends at the Gold Coast City Council resulted in an arrangement for the old building to be partly demolished and then repaired to our specifications.
The building has served us well, and has also been utilised by other organisations in the locality. The office administration is now situated at West Burleigh, however the building still remains and is utilised for all meetings and training courses. Recently renovated offices downstairs now hosts SurfCom headquarters together with the Duty Officers.
The History of the Red and Yellow
The red an yellow flag was initially used with great success in World War 1 particularly by ships and when flying at full mast, indicated man overboard and all friendly ships in the vicinity commenced search procedures immediately. On the 25th April 1915, the red and yellow was hoisted to symbolise mate ship on the shores of Gallipoli. In order to ensure that the ANZACS could easily recognise friend from foe, the red and yellow flag was conceived to signal a safe haven for their own.
Upon returning from overseas service, Australian soldiers saw the need to establish a common image in the early 1920’s to represent safe swimming areas on Australian beaches. The red and yellow was born on Australian beaches at the instigation of these men who saw the flag as a representation of years of mate-ship, service and above all, a duty to protect others.
The red and yellow flags have come to be an Australian icon, representing a culture founded on the need to be a true mate and put others first. The red and yellow cap branches from the foundations of the red and yellow flag and ensures that Life Savers are easily identifiable to the public, thereby providing beach-goers with the same security they have when they see the flags flying.
Branch Life Members (as at March 2014)
Norman Woodroffe*, John Rootes*, Harry Weimer*, Fred Richards*, Phillip Roubin*, Charlie Taylor OAM*, Ronald Tallon OAM, Michael Claybourn OAM*, Jack McMaster AM DFC*, Garth Andrews OAM*, Patrick Kelly*, Don Stone*, Kevin Hoskins OAM, John Di Betta*, Peter Webber, Colin Douglas, Colin Pratt*, John Taylor OAM, Kenneth Bird OAM, Terry Imrie OAM, David Sandilands*, Connor OAM, Peter Connell, Ron Daly, John Hayes, David Irvine*, Helen Irvine, George Hill, Barrie Crichton OAM, Haydon Stokes, Bob Watson, Ron Hendy, Mark Fife OAM, Michael Buttrum, Steven Sharpe, Matti Allan Kolkka OAM*, Harold Silman*, Robert Worsley, Claude Jeanneret OAM, Valerie Connell, John Roehrig, Marg Watson, Jeffrey Paskin, Roger Griffiths, John Brennan OAM
*Denotes a deceased member