August 25 - 31, 2019: Issue 418


Newport Surf Club Celebrates 110 Years On October 19, 2019 - A Few Club Firsts

Sunday, 21st of November, 1909 'Beach near Newport' (is actually Newport Beach, called then 'Farrell's Beach') from Album 52: Photographs of the Allen family, November - December, 1909. Image No.: a1373014h, courtesy State Library of NSW

On the verge of Spring 2019, and the commencement of the Surf Life Saving Season of 2019-202, which commences on September 28th, a small insight into Pittwater's first surf club.

Newport as a destination for excursionists aboard steamers became more and more popular with the establishment of a wharf below the Newport Hotel in the early 1880's. By the 1890's thousands of people were taking a day trip to Newport, walking over to the surf beach to fish or just enjoy the air, and, in some cases, have a dip in the waves.

As the tracks became roads more and more people came via steamers, coaches and bicycle to camp or have a holiday in the area, staying in cottages, the Bay View boarding house at Newport on the estuary side or in the hotel itself.

The surf club established by residents and weekend visitors at Newport Beach was Pittwater's first surf life saving club. It was also the residents and surf club members who pushed to make this the first Pittwater resumed for the public, backed up by a then young Warringah Shire Council the and the State Government. 

Newport surf club continued with the range and depth of firsts that came about through their membership and the club's passion for saving lives on the beaches or spreading the exhilaration of enjoying the beach.

Once surf bathing was officially allowed at Manly the spread of people finding a less crowded beach to swim at was inevitable.


There was a time when the proceedings of the Manly council were what may be described as decidedly "lively," but all that has been changed, and the business of the marine borough is now transacted in a manner which reflects much credit upon the Mayor and aldermen. The usual fortnightly meeting of the council last evening proved no exception to what has come to be regarded as the rule, and the small amount of business which came before the ratepayers representatives was quickly disposed of. 

The Mayor (Alderman Quirk) presided, and there were also present Aldermen Passau, Carroll, Walker, Russell, A. Ogilvy, D. S. Ogilvy, Dargan, and Meyer. 


The only matter, of any Importance before the council was a motion by the Mayor, In the' following terms:— That it be referred to the by law committee the desirability of having the bylaw relating to bathing on the ocean beach repealed,, and the following one substituted:-

"It shall be lawful for all persons, whether male or female, to bathe In the sea at all times and at all hours of the day at those portions of the sea beach within the municipality of Manly, duly, set apart for such bathing, provided such persons. desirous of bathing, being male or female, shall be clothed or covered from the neck and shoulders, to the knees with a suitable bathing dress or costume; and all children above the age of 8 years, male or female; shall be so clothed to prevent exposure or Indecency; such clothing or covering shall be approved of by the council or other persons appointed, as caretaker or caretakers. Any person Infringing the provisions of the bylaw shall be liable on conviction to a penalty not exceeding £1, and not less than 5s.

During a short discussion Alderman. A. Ogilvy suggested that buoys connected with chains should be put In position off the beach, in order to prevent loss of life. 

The Mayor pointed out that the council should first see its way clear to some return for what would be a heavy expense, especially as the facilities for bathing were largely enjoyed by visitors from Sydney and other Suburbs. 

The motion was carriedMANLY COUNCIL (1903, November 3 - Tuesday).The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 7. Retrieved from

Surf bathing, Manly - ca. 1900-1910, from Star Photo Co. - Unmounted views of New South Wales, [chiefly 1900-1910] | PXE 711 Image No.: a116277h- courtesy State Library of NSW, The Mitchell Library.

By the Summer of 1908 the Sydney newspapers recorded:


The Royal-Life-saving Society has issued invitations to the surf clubs of New South Wales to send delegates to a conference to be held on Monday evening next at the Sports Club, Hunter-street, to discuss the most practical methods of saving life on ocean beaches. At the present time the matter is one of considerable interest. Surf-bathing has come to stay, and every, day sees the 'number of bathers increasing, so that considerable importance attaches to the meeting. It is hoped that the opinions of expert surf-bathers will be obtained, which will enable the society to formulate a special code of rules for the furtherance of the objects of  the meeting. SURF BATHERS' CONFERENCE. (1908, February 8). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 10. Retrieved from

Those rules became available in Spring of 1908:


The Royal Life-saving Society, to which 16 surf-bathing clubs are affiliated, have, on behalf of the Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales, issued a series of valuable hints in printed form. These are set forth in posters, printed in bold type, and will be placed in dressing-sheds in all surf-bathing resorts, from Tweed Heads, on the north, to Eden, on the south. The advice presented, if regarded by bathers, should be the means of preventing much loss of life.

The posters contain the following advice:

Don't bathe if subject to 'giddiness or faintness, or shortly after a heavy meal.

Don't bathe in secluded spots by oneself, or near rocks, or where quicksands exist.

Don't bathe where the waves are not breaking, or where the water is smoother or darker than elsewhere.

Don't bathe where "danger" signals are placed.

Don't enter the water when feeling cold, or remain in the water when the hands or feet become numbed. Cramp resulting therefrom will thus be avoided.

Don't attempt to swim when entangled with seaweed, but lie on the back, with arms extended, to assist floating; then gently withdraw the feet, get them to the surface, and float from over the seaweed.

Don't waste strength by struggling against the current or "undertow" if carried out, but swim across or around it- The bathier will then probably be swept by the waves into shallow water.

Don't get flurried, but if help is required raise one arm only over the head as a signal of distress. Then turn on the back and float, facing the Incoming waves.

Don't struggle with the person attempting the rescue.

Don't loose foothold. If the sea be rough, keep close to shore, especially if inexperienced in surf-bathing. 

Don't remain in wet costume after leaving the water.

Don't be foolhardy, but keep together, thus avoiding possible fatalities. In case of an accident, remain cool and collected, mid «void hampering in any way the work of the life-saver.

Bathers are recommended to Join the local surf club, and learn the Royal Life-saving Society's methods of rescuing and resuscitating the apparently drowned, as explained on the Illustrated chart and in the handbook of instruction of the society. It is most important that every surf bather should be able to swim. HINTS TO BATHERS. (1908, September 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

Meanwhile, at Newport:


The members of this club had a very enjoyable time on Sunday, at Newport. The members left the Quay per ferry boat, at 9.30, and journeyed to Newport via The Spit. During the day the members  indulged in surf-bathing, much to the enjoyment of the spectators. Dick Vaux, Harry Balls, Bob Gardiner, and Monty Andrews gave exhibitions of shooting the breakers.

Poor Tom Quill is still -unable to accompany the club in the Sunday runs. CYCLING CHATTER. (1908, September 16). Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

By the following Spring the residents of Newport :


The Newport residents communicated with the Warringah Shire Council at its last meeting on the matter of financial assistance towards the provision of surf-bathing accommodation on their beach. It was pointed out that the pastime had greatly increased in popularity in this location, and towards the end of the last season the local attendance in the breakers was considerably increased by Sydney visitors and other tourists. It was further desirable that accommodation should be provided as a matter of decency. 

The councillors, while being sympathetic, admitted there was a difficulty, as Newport had not been included in the resorts mentioned in the recent application to the Government for money, and which was granted. It was subsequently decided to vote a sum of £10 towards the provision of temporary enclosures, with a proviso that the residents interested subscribe a similar amount, making £20 in all. SURF BATHING AT NEWPORT. (1909, October 16). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 21. Retrieved from


Surf bathers at Newport who recently received financial assistance from the Warringah Shire Council towards accommodation, have now formed a club. 

At the initial meeting the following office-bearers were elected: — Patron, Dr. Arthur, M.L. A.; president, Mr. W. E. Trevor Jones, hon, secretary Mr. Lewis, hon. treasurer Mr. S Greig, vice-presidents; Cr. Quirk, C. D. Paterson, J. Barrett, S. Greig. F. Meddows and Slater; in general committee, Messrs. W Boulton, L Scott, R. Boulton, T. Bulfin, J. Sykes. SURF BATHING AT NEWPORT. (1909, November 9). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 11. Retrieved from

Newport Beach: one of the first men's squads - Leighton Scott is in light coloured trunks at the front, Godfrey Snell is on far right, and Norman Cook is beltman

The Varsity Camps.-One of the most interesting and healthy adjuncts to our educational system Is the University camp for the Great Public Schools. Although similar camps have become almost an Institution In connection with college life In England, it was only last year that the Idea was Introduced into New South Wales. Rural camp schools are a somewhat similar institution. Early in the year the first camp was held at Newport, and was a most enjoyable and interesting departure. The second will be held at Mona Vale, and will last from January 20 to 27 . The movement will probably extend shortly to the other States and New Zealand. The Idea is to hold a camp on military lines, but the only parade is the bathing parade in the surf early In the morning. A number of University men devote a portion of their vacation to giving the lads from the Great Public Schools a good time. The camp commandant this year will be Professor H. S. Dettman, of Auckland, and tho adjutant, Mr. L, V. Waterhouse, of St. Andrew's College. On the council are the headmasters of all the Great Public Schools, and Mr. Waterhouse Is hon. secretary. LORDS AND-THE BUDGET. (1909, December 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

In 1910 another First for Pittwater through the Newport Surf Club:

The three Hope sisters and Vera Lewis - one of the first in the world girls life-saving team, 1910; Women in at the beginning of Newport Surf Club - Annie Brennan, Elsie Brennan, Muriel Bulfin (Newport School and Hotel), Alto Corner, Olive Corner, Doris Hope, Francis Hope and Winn Hope - to name a few!

Newport Beach was not public land to begin with. The Farrell family, after whom the beach was called for many years, had to be persuaded to allow it to become so. The papers recorded:

Proposed Resumption of Newport Beach

At a public meeting held at Newport resolutions were carried urging the Government to have the Newport beach resumed by the Warringah shire council as a public reserve. Speakers representing local residents, tourists to the district, and the Newport Surf Club pointed out that resumption would been easier matter at present than later on, when the beach would probably come under private ownership. The proposal is to resume the whole of the beach from low water-mark to Barranjoey-road, and it was decided to ask the council to arrange a deputation to the Minister for Lands on the subject. EMPIRE FORESTS. (1910, March 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from


The Newport Beach, which was recently resumed by the Lands Department and Warringah Shire Council, was dedicated on Saturday before a large gathering. The ceremony was performed by Mrs. Nielson (wife of the Minister for Lands). Councillor Ralston, (president of Warringah Shire) in presenting Mrs. Nielson with a pair of silver scissors with which to sever the blue ribbon, said they could well call it a red-letter day in the annals of the shire. The council had recognized the necessity of securing the beaches for the people, and a few more would be resumed later on.

Mrs Nielson, in cutting the ribbon, said “I hereby declare the Newport beach open for the public.”
Alderman C. D. Paterson and Dr Arthur, M.L.A. also spoke and congratulated the shire on securing such a fine beach.
During the afternoon the members of the North Steyne Surf Club and Newport Surf Club gave exhibitions in the surf and refreshments were supplied by a committee of local ladies and gentlemen. The Warringah Shire Band rendered a programme of music.
 NEWPORT BEACH OPENED. (1911, April 10). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from

The annual report of the Surf bathing Association of New South Wales, to be presented to members at the fifth annual meeting on Monday night, congratulates the delegates on the success achieved and progress made in the development and safeguarding of the pastime during the past year. 

The number of clubs and kindred associations is now 22, on increase of five on the previous season and comprises no fewer than seven clubs outside the suburban area, namely, the Helensburg Stanwell, Kiama, Newcastle, Newport, Port Kembla, Redhead and Stockton clubs. During the season 50 surf medallions were presented to persons passing an examination on life saving methods for the surf, bringing the total number of awards to 140. 

The awards during the season were distributed as follows -North Bondi 22 Bondi 12 Manly 12 Stockton, 3, and North Steyne 1 North Bondi also heads the list of awards with 35, North Steyne being next with 33, and Bondi Surf Bathers next with 31. SURF-BATHING ASSOCIATION. (1912, October 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from

Newport was off and racing !!:

The North Steyne Surf Carnival for Saturday next has received a record total of 452 entries. The following clubs will be represented: — Newcastle Surf. Helensburgh and Stanwell Park Life Saving. Newport Life Saving. Manly Surf, Coogee Surf, Manly Seagulls Life Saving, Freshwater Life Saving, Bronte Surf, Little Coogee Surf, Bondi Surf, Manly Life Saving, and the North Steyne Surf  Club
.  NORTH STEYNE SURF CARNIVAL. (1912, December 26).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from


Norman Cook, the captain of the Newport Surf Club, together with Smelles, another member, has just returned from an extended tour of the Continent. He has picked up some fine ideas concerning club work, and intends putting them into operation on the Newport beach. 

The Newport Club, unfortunately suffers from the want of local talent. Most of its good active members are fellows who visit this spot on Saturdays and holidays. The sixth annual meeting of the club was held last Saturday. The report showed a very prosperous state of affairs, and pointed to the necessity of its members devoting all their spare time to beach work. SURFING. (1913, November 14). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 5. Retrieved from

Newport Warwick estate - showing Woolcott 1920. Item No.: c050400006, Subdivision Materials, courtesy State Library of NSW

Above:  Newport Beach, Sydney, February 1922, 1 / Michael Terry - PIC/8847/3/6 LOC Nitrate store PIC/8847  Below: Newport Beach, Sydney, 1922, 1 / Michael Terry - PIC/8847/3/6 LOC Nitrate store PIC/8847


Newport Club has decided to enlarge the clubhouse. When this has been completed (the plans are being prepared), a series of dances and other social functions will be organised. Newport, is apparently a safe bathing spot, for, to date, only one bather has been seen in difficulties. GOSSIP FROM THE SURF (1923, November 16). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 11. Retrieved from


The Newport Club's surf-boat was rowed to Manly Beach during the week, in readiness for the championship race to-day. Messrs. A. Stayner. Dyer, Sharpe, Peglar, Burnett, and Brennan rowed the 12 miles in a trifle under three hours. Off Long Reef they passed through shoals of sharks, and, as one member of the crew expressed himself, "you could have knocked them over with your hat.''

A. M. Stayner plays football during the winter months with the western Suburbs first-grade Rugby Union team. Colin Robertson is a promising junior, who will be starting in the junior surf race championship to-day. He is a Sydney High School boy and was a member of the school's first fifteen, and a G.P.S. first representative at football. IN THE SURF (1924, February 23). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 5. Retrieved from

Newport Beach - The Boulevarde Estate 1929. Item No.: c050400067 Subdivision Materials, courtesy State Library of NSW - section from land sales flyer shows a carnival in progress on the beach being used as an attraction for land sales.

During the 1930's more Ladies Firsts for Pittwater arrived through this surf club:

The 1930's were also when we begin to hear more about the ladies behind this surf life saving club - always clearly present and supportive, their activities to raise funds to support the men brought out the genteel social side of this club and this era. Not without criticism to begin with:

There's a popular song that beware the fact that 'Wedding bells have broken up that Old Gang of Mine. But what have they done to the Newport Surf Club. Once it flourished. Members took an active interest in all suiting matters, carnivals were a success, crowds thronged the beach and admired the sturdy, bronze types who handled the surf-lines so well. Now it languishes. In fact, in the eyes of the N.S. Wales Surf life-Saving Association, it is defunct. The club house remains. In It there is all the gear required by the up to date club, and many evidences of PAST PROSPERITY while a surf boat rests near by. But there are no life-savers! And all because of wedding bells. The story of the club's demise came out at the meeting of the Warringah Shire Council. Since last season all the club's members decided to desert the Newport sands and single bliss, and get married. But the wedding bells may not have the last ring. An attempt is to be made to form another club. Perhaps membership nominations will be restricted to bachelors well past the age of eligibility.
 WIFE-SAVERS NOW. (1931, January 3). Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 - 1956), p. 14. Retrieved from

The members of the Collaroy Ladies' Surf Club entertained the members of the newly formed Newport Ladies' Surf Club at their clubrooms at Collaroy on January 30. The afternoon was spent in discussing the organisation of a surf club, and much valuable advice was given to the visitors. It was decided during the afternoon to hold a picnic at Narrabeen on February 27, when all those who attend will meet at Narrabeen bridge at 11 a.m. Among those present at this gathering were Mrs. Vennard (president of the Collaroy Club),Mrs. White (captain), Mrs. F. H. Booth (president of the Newport Club), Mrs. Cliff Rudd(honorary secretary), and Miss Mary Thompson (captain).

So far the members of the Newport Club, which has only been formed about a fortnighthave collected the sum of £16 towards their clubhouse. It is estimated that £100 is needed to carry out their venture. Many people have volunteered help, and among the offers is one of a roof for the new building, which it is hoped to have erected this year.
To augment the building fund an all-day tennis tournament will be held on the courts of Mrs. Stead Thompson and Mrs. S. Blundell, of Newport, on February 10. Plans are also being made to hold a dance In April.
 LADIES' SURF CLUB. (1932, February 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

A new surf boat, built for the Newport Surf Life-saving Club, will be launched officially at Newport Bench by Mrs Dunningham (wife of the Minister for Labour and Industry) next Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock, when the club will open its season. 
NEWPORT SURF CLUB. (1932, September 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from


The eighth annual carnival of the Newport Surf L.S. Club will be held on Tuesday, December 27, when the Harrington and Hitchcock cups will both be competed for. Fifteen clubs are competing.

The Harrington Cup was presented by Mr. J. Harrington, patron of the club, and Is for surf boots It must be won twice In succession or three times In all, and Is at present held by Manly LS. Club. The Hitchcock Cup was presented by Councillor Hitchcock for competition among clubs In War-ringah Shire. It Is for a point score In connection with the rescue and resuscitation competition, surf belt race, surf race, boat race, beach sprint, beach relay rare, and Junior boat and surf races.

The carnival will start at 11.30 a.m. with the rescue and resuscitation event. In which there are three heats of three teams each. The grand parade and march past will be held after lunch. NEWPORT CLUB. (1932, December 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from

The third Newport surf club building officially opened September 30th, 1933 – the height of the Depression in Australia – is the structure most will recognise in today’s Newport SLSC clubhouse and was the First two storey clubhouse for Pittwater:

LIFE-SAVING CLUBS. Work Praised by Minister. The Minister for Labour (Mr. Dunningham), speaking at the opening of the Newport Surf Clubhouse, on Saturday, warmly praised the work of life-saving clubs, and said they should be subsidised by the State at some future date. The beaches were a great national asset, and the sport associated with them tended to develop the best type of citizen. The Postmaster-General (Mr. Parkhill) said that he had urged the remission of sales tax on life-saving gear. Expenditure on the new club building and recreation hall included £1850 contributed by the State Government, which also allocated£5000 for the draining of an adjacent swamp area.  LIFE-SAVING CLUBS. (1933, October 2, Monday). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

NEW SURF CLUBHOUSE AT NEWPORT. Surfers at Newport this season will have the benefit of this commodious building, which has been constructed for the local club. NEW SURF CLUBHOUSE AT NEWPORT. (1933, October 4).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from


Mr. Dunningham (Minister for Labour) praised the work of the surf clubs. Mr. A. Parkhill. M.P., was also present. THE OPENING OF THE NEWPORT SURF CLUBHOUSE. (1933, October 4). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), , p. 30. Retrieved from 

SURF CLUB DANCE. Huge baskets of multi-coloured flowers were an additional attraction to many of the tables which were all decorated with the club colours, maroon and gold, at the tenth annual dance of the Newport Surf Life Saving Club, which was held at Hordern Brothers' last night. The official party was entertained by Mr and Mrs Robin Cale, the latter wearing a classical gown of black trimmed with gold lame. Among their guests were Mr and Mrs Percy Cran, Mr and Mrs J H Stevenson, Mr and Mrs Norman Gilbert, Mr Ronald Wilkinson, and Mr and Mrs Jack Cran. The club's treasurer and captain, Mr S Roberts, with Miss Joyce Moore, entertained a large party, which included the Misses Winifred Needham, Ena Bayliss, and Joan Harbutt. Another large party was entertained by Mr G S Gilder, the club's secretary, and Miss Paddy Francis Also present were Messrs J Stringer, Frank Stayner, Cliff Rudd, George Mellion Miss Joy Stayner, Miss Lynda Ross, Mr E Wells, Mr and Mrs T P Nossiter, Mr and Mrs N Hawley, Miss Bernice Ross, Miss Nancy Kelk, Mr E R Bromley, and Mr J Sanders. SURF CLUB DANCE. (1935, May 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

The bones of the 1933 clubhouse can be seen standing strong still in 2019

Newport Surf Life Saving Club Members, 1936 - few early Nippers among this crew!

In 1953 Newport Surf Life Saving Club hosted the Aussies:


A bulldozer levelling Newport beach in preparation for the Australian surf life-saving championships, which will be held there to-morrow. In the background, members of the Western Australian team can be seen training for the championships. SURF CARNIVAL PREPARATIONS (1953, March 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 4. Retrieved from 


There were over 8,000 persons at Newport Beach, about 20 miles from Sydney last Saturday for the Annual National Surf Life Saving Avocations Championship Carnival. All six States were represented and there was some keen competition At times the Chief Superintendent had three events going at the same time. The Governor-General Sir. W McKell who was welcomed by the National President His Honour Judge A. Curlewis and Mrs. Curlewis.

The march past was headed by a Pipe Band comprised of mainly lassies who were followed by four standard bearers carry the Union Jack Australian flag, N.S. Wales and the Surf Association banners The event which took about half an hour was won by Freshwater Club to whom the pennant was presented by the Governor-General.

After the carnival the principal guests were entertained at the Warringah Shire Hall in which the Newport Beach is located when the Chairman welcomed the visitors at a buffet tea. 

The Interstate R. & R. was won by N.S. Wales 8.2 deduction, with West Australia 8.94 in second place and Queensland No. 2 team comprising Nicholson (Kirra), C. Crump (Miami), Boyd (Tweed Heads and Coolangatta), C. Pollock (Southport), K. Kawula (Forrest Beach) and W Smith (Kirra) Junior R. & R. 

Championship went to South Narrabeen 8.13 deductions with Bondi 9.20 second and Southport 12.91 third. Beazley was patient for Southport and Hurley (heltman), Kirra Culb's points were 18.2. Tweed Heads and Coolangatta were third in the Surf Teams race. Steve Wilkes met his Waterloo in the Senior Belt race which'was won for the second year in succession by D. Morrison of Cottesloe (W.A.). Tooth (N.S.W.) was third. Junior Surf Teams race went to North Bondi 19.3 points deduction, Kirra' second with 25.2. In the Senior Surf Race Championship Steve Wilkes had to take third place to M. Biddington of Manly, last year's winner while Mervyn Kropp of Currumbin-Vikings was a good second. 

Results:— Senior R. ami R.—Freshwater (7.0) 1, Bondi (8.43) 2, Tweed Heads (8.77) 3. Junior R. and R.—Soiith-Narrabeen (9.13) 1, Bondi (9.20) 2, Southport (12.91) 3. Senior Teams Race.—North Wollongong (18) 1, North Kondi (27) 2, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta (33) 3. Junior Teams Race.—North Bondi (19) 1, Kirra (25) 2, Cook's Hill (47) 3. Senior Surf Race.—M. Riddington (Manly) 1, M. Kropp (Currumbin, Q.) 2, S. Wilkes (Alexandra Headlands, Q.) 3. Junior Surf Race.—B.. Mortensen (Clovelly) 1, B. Ward (North Stockton) 2-, G. Winram (North Bondi) 3. Senior Belt Race—D. Morrison (Cottesloe, W.A.) 1; S. Wilkes (Alexandra Headlands, Q.) 2, R. Tooth (Palm Beach) 3. -Junior Surf Belt Race.—B. Brown (Coogee) 1, A. Rigoll (North Beach, W.A.) 2, D. Payne (Q.) 3, March Pa-st.— Freshwater (8.6) 1, Maroubra (15), 2, Bronte (15.2) 3. Senior Boat Race.—Wollongong 1, Bronte 2, Manly 3. Junior Boat Race.—SVansea-Belmont 1, Whale Beach 2, Kondi 3. . Beach Sprint—J. Bliss (North Narrabeen) 1, J. Salter (North Narrabeen) 2, P. Manning (Maroubra) 3. Beach Relay.—North Narrabeen 1, Maroubra 2, South Narrabeen 3. Musical Flags.—C. McPhee (Redhead) 1, N. Pittman (Woonona) 2, J Slade (Stockton) 3. Pillow Fight.—R. Jenkins (Mona Vale) 1, A. Cook (Rondi) 2, B. Stewart (The Entrance) 3. Interstate R. and R. — N.S.W. (8.2) 1, West Australia (8.94) 2, Queensland B (10.96) 3, , Board Race.—R. Hafcelton (Maroubra) 1, J. McMahdn (Bronte) 2, G. Bishop (Maroubra) 3. Single Ski Race.—W. Mcintosh (Dixon Park) 1, T. Gallard (Avoca) 2, L. Lazarus (Newcastle) 3. Doublé Ski Race.—Jonès and Whyte (Stockton) 1, Connelly and Lazarus (Newcastle) 2, Durrington and Cheetham (Maroubra) 3. NATIONAL SURF CHAMPIONSHIPS (1953, March 18). South Coast Bulletin (Southport, Qld. : 1929 - 1954), p. 24. Retrieved from

During his 2013 interview, Bert King OAM spoke about another few Firsts that came out of Newport SLSC:

It reminds me of when I started power surf rescue, the Power Boats.

How did that all come about?

In 1964/65 we had a pretty nasty rescue off Avalon, the police called us out, we didn’t have radio in those days. Bilgola couldn’t get out, there was a huge sea running, and Avalon were trying to get out and couldn’t, and Whale Beach couldn’t get out and I managed to get out, mainly because of the protection of the reef I think.

I took a crew and they rowed their hearts out to get there; it was at North Avalon, just where the rip comes out. There were not a lot of board riders around in those days, in the clubs, if it had been today the boardies would have been out there.

Anyway, we got there and the crew were reasonably exhausted, they rowed their hearts out to get there, and then there was only one thing to do; I had to do the swim out of the boat with the belt because that’s what we had; belt and lines in the boat. There were two of them; one bloke was semi-conscious when I got there and the other bloke was trying to hold him up. We got dragged out through the sea; and that’s a good experience for the patients, being dragged out through the sea by the blokes rowing the boat (chuckles). We got them into the boat further outside.

We battled our way back to Newport and I said to the boys, “the only way we’re going to get in safely here is if I take the biggest wave I can find…now you, you look after this bloke (one bloke was on the bottom; they’d been doing resuscitation on him) as we’re going in, and I had one tucked between my legs behind the quarter bar.

So a big wave came and I said to myself “God, don’t lose this, whatever you do.” And I cracked this big wave. By this time the clubbies had run down onto the beach and the police and they were expecting us, they were watching us.
So I cracked it, straight as a die, straight up the beach…whew !!!!
Got to the beach “Oh, no trouble at all mate, do this all the time!”
And I decided after that that there has got to be a better way.

So that’s when the Power Boats started coming in?

We started it at Newport. The first experiments we did when I started were we built a bracket for an outboard off the sweep out-rigger; and even that was controlled into the size and specifications of the boat. We were experimenting with it in Pittwater. The only trouble was when we put this, Peter Liddle; we borrowed his, 35hp Johnson motor onto a surfboat the last six feet of the boat stayed in the water and the rest of it was up in the air. The hulls weren’t designed for it.

We were going past the Royal Motor Yacht Club and the bloody thing flew off the bracket and went ‘chush!’ on the end of the fuel line doing cartwheels in the air. We had to get a diver to find it and get it back!

What was the name of this first Power Boat?

The ‘Bartender’. There’s a photo of it in the book the Newport SLSC – the First Century 1909 -2009 (compiled by Guy Jennings) That was only a standard runabout and we had a canvas cover over that. The second one was the one we developed with Bernard Dowd from the Bartender Safety Boat Company in 1966 and Victoria built it for us. This one was called ‘Ampol Rescue’. That’s stainless steel scuppers there, they were hinged, and a snorkel breathing for the engine which was in here, that was a 110hp Volvo. It was a magnificent surf boat, we did some horrendous and tremendous rescues in that one.

First Bartender off Whale Beach.

What was the first rescue the first Power Boat was used in?

The first rescue it was used in was at The Peak in Newport, which is off the reef at the northern end of Newport.  I was out as we were still learning ourselves, we didn’t have a proper beach trailer then. A board-rider had gone under and there was a decent sea and Hopper, Jack Hopper and I were out learning.

This first boat you’ve got to realise was used to train the Victorian police; the Victorian police took on bartenders as their boats, it was an American design. The first one had a Johnson 8 in it which was a bit clapped out.

We had to go into the reef beside the break at The Peak, I leant over and grabbed this kid and threw him onto the cover at the back because it wasn’t designed for surf work. I thought I’d pulled my arm out of my shoulder. Anyway, I threw him up there and we came back. Now, unbeknownst to us, sitting on the top of the cliff at Newport watching us do the rescue was the General Manager of Ampol Australia. Allan Leslie was the Commodore of RMYC at the time and also a manger of some sort in Ampol at the time. He was driving the boss around and they ended up sponsoring our first boat built specifically for surf rescue.  If you look at the book that will tell you all the awards for the boat.

Second Bartender being launched at RMYC by Cmdr. Alan Leslie. Newport SLSC Patrons Kel Harrison, 3rd from left, also includes Bert, Michael and Peter King and Jack Hopper.

Then it was very obvious that the club needed some form of communication. Peter Liddle was involved in electronics, so we started the first two way radio. The licence for the two way radio for SLSC was in Newport’s name for probably ten years after that before we had to fold it up.

I was the first captain of Power Boats in Surf Life Saving and we got this radio and it was Newport that had the licence for ten or fifteen years before we packed up. The radio station used to be on top of the clubhouse, on top of where the boatshed is now.  The radio set we had was pretty powerful, we could speak to New Zealand, and spoke quite often to the Patrols on Coolangatta on the Gold Coast. We (Newport SLSC)introduced radio to Surf Life Saving.  Spellsen's had a nightclub in Newport and Mr Spellsen backed us and bought us the radio. Peter Liddle became Radio Officer for NSW originally and then Australia. He went up and down the coast establishing radio stations. He did a great job.

Radio Station above Boatshed.

The First Manly-Warringah Branch Championships were hosted by Newport in January of the 1960-61 season. The Branch had just been formed. 

The Firsts coming out of Newport Surf Life Saving Club continue to the present day.

In 2012 Doug and Sandy Menzies were awarded Pittwater Council’s Volunteers Award for their contribution to the Newport Special Nippers Program over the previous 10 years, a program that is about inclusion for all children and integrating children with a disability alongside other children to help eliminate isolation and stigma. 

An extension of the voluntary services that Newport SLSC has provided to the community in recent years has been the continuance of their ground breaking programme for kids with special needs. This is one of only 2 programmes being offered within NSW, and incorporates our Dolphins and Marlins groups for kids aged 6 yrs up to young adults.

The program was developed and delivered to allow for developmentally disabled kids to participate in junior surf life saving activities (modified Nippers Programme). This has seen youngsters learn and participate in activities such as flags, sprints, beach relays, as well as a number of other recreational activities. The Programme also sees the kids learn to balance and paddle surfboards and to experience the excitement of catching, for many, their very first wave to the shore.

This programme has been very successful and has given an opportunity for kids with special needs, who may not have had such an opportunity if not for a dedicated bunch of members at Newport, to learn about the surf and safety at the beach. It has also given our members the opportunity to meet these special people, and share in their excitement as they master new skills throughout the season.

The Dolphins and Marlins groups are now integrated into Newport’s regular nipper programme, and both groups run concurrently throughout the season.

The above is all just tip of the iceberg stuff really - The Kinghorn Academy, annual fundraisers for others such as The Barefoot Ball, as well as a host of other initiatives mark the progress and approach of being a community focused organisation in this club, from the oldest Life Member to the just signing up Nippers.

This week Newport's Jan Proudfoot, has put up the following post on the club's website:

Tickets are on sale now for our 110th Anniversary Celebration
Please join us to celebrate our 110 year anniversary on Saturday, 19 October at 6 pm
WHERE: Newport Surf Life Saving Club
DRESS: To impress!
Includes entertainment, canapés and grazing tables | Drinks available for purchase
Tickets $35 early bird (1/8/19-1/10/19) $45 (2/10/19-13/10/19)
Booking fee is 50c per ticket Book Here