Palmy army?s 75th
PALM Beach Surf Life Saving Club stalwart Maurie Webb has seen a lot of changes to the surf lifesaving movement since he joined the club as an 18-year-old 60 years ago.
New technology and equipment and the introduction of women and Nippers were just some of the changes during his long service to the club and movement.
But one of the bigger milestones the 79-year-old club legend will mark is his club's 75th anniversary which will be celebrated tomorrow and next Saturday night -- a time for him to catch up with old friends and relive past glories.
"There's been tremendous changes ... it's a different culture from the old days when everybody knew everybody and were mates, now there are groups such as the boaties which have their own events," Mr Webb said.
"Most clubs here on the Gold Coast were dormitory clubs where 90 per cent of members came down from Brisbane by train - now 90 per cent are local and 10 per cent are from Brisbane, so it's a different culture altogether and not the same closeness that used to be, or companionship we used to share," he said.
"Young kids these days expect everything for nothing whereas we used to work to collect money to keep the club going ... we'd go down to the movies at half-time to collect and we were on top of the world if we got 10 shillings," he said.
Mr Webb, regarded as the club's elder statesman who has set a big example to an army of volunteers, was awarded an Order of Australia in 1983 for his service p Continued Page 2
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to surf lifesaving and selected as his club's Clubman of the Century in 2001.
He has served the club and the state governing body - in many capacities over the years including secretary and president of both and was the first member of the club to win an individual State surf lifesaving medal, win a medal at the national championships, win gold at the world masters games and elected to the Australian surf lifesaving team.
The club has currently about 50 active members and 150 Nippers but an army of supporters - about 9000 who are members of the Palm Beach Supporters SLSC at Jefferson Lane, Palm Beach.
Supporters club general manager Brad Smith said the surf club, unlike other Gold Coast clubs, did not have full-time lifesavers.
"We're reliant on volunteers - so the ones you see patrolling the beaches are local kids who are members of our (supporters) club - the supporters keep that side of the club going," Mr Smith said.
"We exist on this strong local presence and we employ lifesavers at the bar or other parts of the club so they get an income when they're not pulling people out of rips," he said.
Tomorrow, the public is invited to join club members celebrate at the club. A fireworks spectacular will light the night sky from 7.30pm and live entertainment will be provided by Waxcactus.
Next Saturday night, club members, friends and supporters will celebrate at the club with a gala evening including music and dinner.