Coolangatta gold treasure hunt

A 98-YEAR-old gold medal presented to one of the first captains at the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club has life member Alan Hickling on the lookout for more medallions.

Meeting minutes from the time suggest similar medals were also given out and Mr Hickling thinks they may still be around the region.

“The club believes this was one of the first medals given out in appreciation of support and good work,” Mr Hickling said.

“I think it might look a bit familiar to some people, their old uncle might have shown it to them once.”

The 9 carat rose gold medal was awarded to captain, instructor and foundation member TA. Ninness in 1911 by the club, known then as Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Life Saving Brigade and Citizens.

The medal was acquired by the club from a Queensland antique collector.

“We believe there are others similar to this out there,” Mr Hickling said.

Mr Hickling said he hopes other medals presented to the club can be part of the planned centenary celebrations on March 13, 2011.

“We have a lot of history to go through, that's why we're getting ready now,” he said.

Records from foundation member J.E. “Bluey” Gray showed Captain Ninness was a member of the first squad to do the examination for the Royal Life Saving Society in 1910.

“The minute books show he was always in attendance at all meetings as a brigade captain and the brigade representative and was later made a committeeman in which he was always very heavily involved,” Mr Hickling said.

“Ninness was also a member in attendance in the foundation meeting of the club on March 13, 1911.”

Mr Hickling said not much else is known about Captain Ninness, but he is believed to have been from the local area.

Mr Hickling said Captain Ninness took part in several rescues, which helped lead to the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta SLSC being established on March 13, 1911.

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