Surf club turns 95
By ED SOUTHORN
TWEED Shire's 100th anniver-sary wasn't the only significant milestone celebrated locally yesterday ? the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club entered its 95th year.
The landmark Greenmount-based club, the oldest surf lifesaving club in Queensland, was formed on this day in 1911.
The club's nippers secretary, Kellie Schutz, yesterday morning was busy as usual on a Sunday, helping co-ordinate a large contingent of future surf lifesavers.
Long-time Greenmount Surf Lifesaving Club members were scheduled to gather for celebratory drinks at the clubhouse yesterday afternoon.
Club life member and historian Peter Winter said the club had survived despite having to re- cruit youngsters during World Wars I and II and was the first surf lifesaving club in the world to award a bronze medallion to a woman.
"It's a great club and has always been very active," Peter said.
He said Edie Kieft, who passed away recently, successfully completed her bronze medallion ex-amination in 1922 after she had shown great persistence in club activities.
But it was not until 1991 that NSW surf lifesaving officials presented the medallion, which is now displayed at the clubhouse, Peter said.
He said women were not formally admitted to the NSW surf lifesaving movement until the 1980s.
Peter said the former Tweed Times newspaper, a forerunner of the Daily News, had canvassed for public subscriptions to pay travel costs for Sydney lifesavers to give a demonstration at Greenmount in 1908.
This led to the short-lived Tweed Heads Surf Bathers Club, which became the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club.
In the club's early days, Sydney dentist and surf lifesaver Harold Bennett would train club members during his regular visits to the Tweed.