Shower or two, 17° - 23° Swell 8am E 1.2m ~8s | 11am E 1.4m ~7s | 5pm S 1.8m ~6s
Tides 02:36 am 1.17m | 08:00 am 0.77m | 02:24 pm 1.44m | 09:27 pm 0.57m |

Proudly Serving Our

Community Since 1931

A proud history

On a Sunday morning early in November 1929, three local young men, Bob Brading, Fred Annand and Alec Callender, took part in a rescue in the surf in an area commonly used by bathers. Later, back at Alick Martin’s tea rooms (middle right of the picture above), Responsive imagea lengthy discussion took place with a number of locals and holiday makers as how to ensure the safety of swimmers. A surf club seemed the only way to go.

A further meeting of locals was called and in attendance was a member of Ocean Beach Surf Club, Jim Brooker, formally of Bronte Surf Club with local dentist Dr Eric Martin and a number of keen local lads.

As with such ventures nothing comes easy, Alick Martin offered the tearooms as a meeting venue and a storage area beneath the shop was designated to hold any lifesaving gear needed.

Jim Brooker offered to train a squad to gain their Bronze Medallions, and at the same time obtain his Instructors certificate. Time seemed of no great importance and more meetings took place. Some young volunteers dropped out and others took their place. It was not until December 1930 that the serious training started with the loan of a reel from Ocean Beach.

April 5th, 1931 saw the inaugural squad of eleven young lifesavers obtain their Medallions and Jack his Instructors qualification. Of that squad ‘Doc’ Martin and Jim Brooker went on to become our first Life Members. The tearooms at Martin’s Dairy were to remain the unofficial clubhouse of the now established Killcare Surf Club until council built a clubhouse in 1934.

As told to Jim Saunders by Alec Callender, March 1971. Pictured - Our first President, Dr E.A. Martin, R&R Training, 1932

 

The Minutes of the first meeting of the Killcare Surf Life Saving Club

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Utopia

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From 1946 - 48, for a young city slicker from Lakemba , those weekends with Killy surf club were close to “Utopia”. We would leave Central on the electric and change to the steamer at Hornsby and the next hour and a half with other members for company was always something different. A game of cards, a bottle of “Dirty Annie” (beer) the coal cinders with every tunnel, what a way to start the weekend.

Woy Woy station was always a relief, then on to the ferry for another much cleaner 45 minutes (if we went via the Creek it was another 10 minutes). Killcare wharf at last, pick up a few provisions at Moore’s store, then the hike up that pebbly hill and down the other side to the clubhouse. A dark night, no footpaths, poor street lights, civilisation was yet to reach Killcare.

The clubhouse door was never locked, and by now the hurricane lamp was lit and the bunks (three double) looked inviting, the sound of the surf and a few sleeping potions soon lulled us off to sleep.

Saturday morning , bright ,some were, and early it was over to the Beach Shop for breakfast. About 9.30 or 10, Don Whiting was there for boat training. This was seriously hard work in that clinker-built tub called “BLUEBOTTLE”, the crew of Allan, Syd, Don, Ken and myself would sometimes row round to the bay for training in the rip. No half measures with Don.

The afternoon, if there was no carnival, could be taken up with R. & R. training. Here Georgie Dodd starred in the belt. Healthy, why these boys could hold their own with any club on the coast and often did. Saturday night, with female distractions (these days called Groupies), a trip to Woy Woy or a concert night on the ferry was most enjoyable.

Sunday was Club events, swims, beach events, cracking the occasional boomer in the boat, it was all part of that wonderful time of youth at Killcare. A time of growing up, of friendship, competition and the making of a better man.

I’m sure that many things have changed, but for those of us that are left, these were times to be treasured. Many met their wives at Killcare, and some family members still tread our golden sands. Unfortunately the sands of time are running out, so stop and listen those proud echo’s of the past for they will always be there, a reminder of the better things in life.

Don Ginns

Pictured above - (l to r) S. Gould, R. Walters, A. Vaughan, D. Ginns, F. Garlic, 1948

 

The Erko Boys

Bronze Training 1959 - (lto r) Rod Roberts, Phil Tubby, Bill Maxwell, Neville Hopkins, Roger Gurr, John Bourne

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During the winter season of 1958 a strong Rugby League team from Newtown came up to Gosford to play a trial Rugby League game against ‘Gosford Townies’, the local league champions.

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A few of the Newtown team came from Erskineville and stayed at a place at Killcare owned by the Tubby’s. They all had a great weekend and decided when the summer came, they’d join the local Surf Club.

Killcare was very lean in numbers that year, and the small influx was a great help to the patrolling numbers as well as Surf Carnivals. But it was a committment - it meant coming up to Killy every weekend to gain their bronze and in those days it was two and a half hour steam train from Central to Woy Woy, then a Ferry to Killcare.

The first 6 gained their bronze in early 1959, including Phil Tubby snr, Rod Roberts, Roger Gurr, Bill Maxwell, Dennis Shoesmith & John Bourne. Responsive imageFor the next 10 to 12 years more members came from the inner Sydney Region, swelling the Killcare numbers to record levels and of course the financial side benefited greatly.

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The new Surf Boat ‘Blue Bottle IV’ was taken back to Erskineville during the week for a boat crew to train at Tempe on the Cooks River - you would not believe the chaos caused by parking a surf boat outside the Erskineville Hotel. The Erko was the Sydney Clubhouse and very successful raffles and other fund raisers were carried out there along with Club meetings.

Every year a bus was hired by the fund raising Committee to bring the local supporters to Killcare for the day. Many had never been to the beach let alone somewhere as remote as Killcare.

In all, 50-60 past members of Killcare originated in ‘Erko’, some still tied up in the club some way or other. Some of the Erko Boys still around the club include Jim Mcfadyen, Dennis Howard, Greg & John Bourne, Jim Tubby, Phil Tubby Snr, Brad Berry, Ray Comans & son Blake Comans, Clarrie Kemister, Gus Gurrin & Richard Moulton.

Illustrations by Kev Annand(?). Dennis ‘The Shoe’ Shoebridge, Jim ‘Mac’ Macfadyen, Bill ‘Slim Bill’ Maxwell, & John ‘Capt. Rats’ Bourne.

 

The Clubhouse

(above) Martin’s Tea Rooms served as the innaugural Killcare SLSC Clubhouse until a new, purpose-built clubhouse was built by Council in 1934.

The first clubhouse was built in 1934, by the Gosford Shire Council, for the grand sum of, 150 pounds. Late additions to this very basic building included a boat shed, gear room, roofing and new floor, plus repairs and maintenance cost an additional 1200 pounds.

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At the Annual General Meeting in September 1949 two Gosford Council Members were invited to inspect the surf clubhouse, at the time they agreed that something had to be done, as the general condition was appalling. After much discussion, and possibly a few ambers, it was suggested that a new clubhouse was the go.

The hypothetical was put that if Council supplied sand and concrete the club members would construct the building blocks from which the council would commence construction.

In an act of optimistic faith the club purchased building moulds and proceeded to construct a number of blocks, which were stored adjacent to Darky Nathaniels home on Beach Drive.

After much correspondence, and repeated requests for further advice and plans for the clubhouse, secretary Alan Buck, took the time to personally approach Gosford Council, the obvious answer was quickly forthcoming - no firm commitment had been given and council did not have the funds. The modest outlay had to be recouped and it was left to one of our associate members Mr. Joe Board to purchase these blocks to build a retaining wall for his home in Araluen Drive.

In 1966, due to the dilapidated condition of the clubhouse, club officials, J Macfadyen, J Tubby and N Hazard, were requested to inquire into the cost of a new building. One of Sydney’s outstanding architects, Mr. Steven Kalmar, designed a modernistic ‘A’ frame building. The plans were approved by Gosford Shire Council, funds were raised, mainly at the Erskineville Hotel, owned then by surf club patron, Max Gornik.

First stage foundations were laid in 1968, but it was decided that this building was not in harmony with the surroundings and permission was rescinded by the council. The cost of foundations and Brian Green’s gumboots was in excess of $3000.

In 1970, under the leadership of Life Member and President Mr. Bob Brading, the first section of the current clubhouse was commenced.

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The wife of our first President officially opened it on 27th March 1971, Mrs. Rose Martin. At the opening were three of the original members. The second section was opened ten years later.

This building is a true product of club effort. The Jarrah wood floor was destined for a dance hall at Terrigal but was exchanged by a Council Works Officer. The electric fittings never reached their work site in Sydney. The hot water system arrived from Rheem, shop damaged and at less than cost. The kitchen equipment was won in a card game at “City Tattisals”, and other items personally supplied by members at their own cost.

Since the first clubhouse was erected in 1931 the elements have sort to move us from our current site. In 1948 two weeks of torrential rain soaked the surrounding hills causing a slip of the mountain behind the clubhouse. This landslide moved the clubhouse off its foundations pushing it bodily fifteen feet foreword to overhang the front verge by three feet. The club stayed in this position, propped-up, for two weeks until the slide was cleared and sufficient manpower could be found to right the situation.

In 1958 a fierce storm with high northeast winds whipped up a huge sea, which devastated the south end of our beach. The creek run-off, which passed the front off the clubhouse, was three feet deep. The combination of runoff and wave action eroded the gentle grass slope to an eight-foot drop immediately in front of the club exposing rocks never previously seen.

By 1962 nature seemed to have settled and a boat shed was built behind the clubhouse, however in 1963 a rain soaked hill decided to drop in and destroy the back wall. Thoughts now turned to a new clubhouse adjacent to what is now the public carpark, the foundations were laid before the council changed its mind. So back to the old site. In 1972 the new clubhouse was finished and firmly established, nature again intervened. A storm of similar magnitude to 1958 threatened the very doors; it was the work of Ian McCall and our local members who poured tons of rock fill and old car bodies into the enroaching ocean, which stopped the erosion.

It was later claimed that the falling tide was the saving factor, but we prefer to think it was the hard work of our volunteers that saved the day.

 

Fierce Competitors & World Champions

(above) Marcus Kain, Steven Munnery, Brice Johnson & Andrew Hopper celebrating a win at the World Chamionships in Forida

Killcare has always been a very competitive club. In the 1940’s were the Dodd Brothers, George an Australian Belt Finalist and brother Ken representing in State Titles.

Later came swimmers Colin Gow and Don Hollwell both of whom were outstanding belt men, and were to become Branch champions for the club.

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During the 1950’s Killcare came to the fore with what can only be described as our most competitive R. & R. team. The team of Jim Saunders, Ken Nowland, cousins Adrian and Bill Murphy, Brian Green and Alex Cameron, competed successfully at Branch and State carnivals for a number of years. Brian Green, during this period of strong belt-men on the coast, became another of Killcare’s renowned belt swimmers.

The young Lex Cameron continued to be a competitive force for the club over a period of possibly 20 years and can only be described as a swimming icon. His brothers Jack and Alan were keen boatmen, Alan a sweep for a number of years.

Killcare boat crews over the years have been hampered by old and heavy boats, but were renown for their big sea challenges.

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Possibly our best years were in the late 40’s when a Junior and Senior branch title was won. 1953 with Ron Walters sweeping saw us make the semi-final at Manly, only to crack a big one and land at the next beach. Beach Teams since the Steward Brothers from 1934-39, have always been in the Branch and State top ten, with Ken Steward our first state sprint Champion. Later came top runners, Hanscombe, Ginns, Beck and Vaux. From the 60’s on Mison, Gregory and Neal, with a special mention of the Annand Brothers, John and Noel, who’s Australian Titles lifted the club to new highs.

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After two years as Branch sprint and flags Champion, John Annand left the club to successfully compete for Tamarama. He returned in 1967 to form a beach relay team which gave us our first Australian title, followed up by a barely recognised International title.

Killcare entered the doldrums as a competitive force from 1970 enjoying only mediocre success at Branch level.

From 2000 to 2006, coached by John Bourne, the Killcare Men’s Beach Relay Team won 5 consecutive titles at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, 5 consecutive titles at the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships and 4 consecutive World Titles.

Over the years a few team members changed due to injury, work commitments and geography but the team spirit and enthusiasm never wavered.

The main runners through the glory years were Stephen Munnery, Brice Johnson, Andrew Hopper, Marcus Kain, Brett Westwood, Nathan McKay, Adam Bird, Dean Porter, Joel Maybury and Nick Leon.

From Manly to Daytona Beach Florida, Via Reggio Italy and Lorne WA, JB and his team dominated and are the only NSW Regional inductees to the Surf Life Saving Hall of Fame.

 

Elite Lifesavers

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At the 2017 Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence, Jennifer Webb was awarded a rare Meritorious Award for a dramatic rescue on Easter Monday 2016.

As told by Patrol Captain Greg Judd...

Killcare has fewer rescues but when we do, they're serious. Easter Monday was a day 16 year old Jennifer Webb displayed bravery and acted without hesitation. On her fourth straight day of patrol on 2 different beaches and putting her newly acquired SMAR (Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue) skills to the test, she demonstrated a degree of athleticism and decisiveness that truly saved a life.

For the preceding 6 hours we'd been on patrol, conditions of the day had required consistent vigilance of the flagged area. Swell height was moderate, however intermittent sets would come in causing flash rips outside the flagged area. Conditions were not as hazardous as previous days, although still challenging given the public holiday crowds. 'Swimming not advised' signs had been posted to ensure parents remained vigilant of their children. Seventeen preventatives were made during the day.

A group of boisterous friendly lads, aged 18-22, had been playing soccer north of the flagged area. Just before 3pm a 22yo old male, who later advised he had no swimming ability, dashed into the water to retrieve their soccer ball. He had unwittingly entered a flash rip. At the time of the incident a 'swimming not advised' signage was posted directly in front of them in the area north of the flags. He had first asked for 'a hand" from his friend at the shore when he got out of his depth. But his friend told me he was scared to reach out and pull him back to solid ground because he was scared of being pulled in himself. However, another from the group with some swimming ability had gone in to swim after him and soon became our 2nd rescuee.

Our primary Swimmer Jennifer Webb used the rip to her advantage and was past the break in a manner that Responsive imagea member of the public later described as lightning speed. The victim had been howling with terror between waves and had used the last of his energy when another set arrived sending him under. Jennifer retrieved the man from under water by his hair and with the assistance of a nearby surfer, secured the tube around the conscious yet rag-doll like patient. More waves arrived. The patient endured. At this stage the 2nd victim was perhaps 40 metres from shore. Kynan Hughes demonstrated athleticism as he ran full tilt 50m over sand to get back to the tent, grab a board and take off after the 19 year old.

A passing SLSA member from the Northern Beaches asked me if I wanted another board in the water. He did not wait for an answer. I later thanked him for his help and autonomous actions. Our rescuer, the surfer and the victim were now around 80m from shore. Thanks to assistance from this off duty lifesaver Jennifer was able to expedite the rescue by grabbing his board riding the first set in with the patient, returning him rapidly to shore where oxygen therapy rendered promptly.

Leah Judd coped well with a distressed patient who was vomiting repeatedly whist she administered oxygen. It was clear the patient had inhaled a lot of water and there was risk of secondary drowning. An ambulance was requested in the first few minutes. Medical advice was also requested and Central Coast 19 assisted over radio.

In January 2018 Jennifer was further honoured with a Pride of Australia Medal in a ceremony at the Sydney Opera House (pictured with SLSA CEO Melissa King and SLSNSW CEO Steve Pearce).

 

Life Members

Life Membership of Killcare SLSC is amongst the highest recognition of service the Club can offer. Awarded to those

"who have rendered special service as such over a period of fifteen (15) years and whose nominations have been endorsed by a four-fifths majority of members at the Annual General Meeting"

The award also requires that the recipient has served on the Club management committee.

 

Dr E.A. Martin

1932/33

J Brooker

1933/34

Jim Hulme

1955/56

R.E. Walters

1956/57

Bill Steedman

1957/58

Roy Tubby

1973/74

A Duell

1975/76

R Brading

1978/79

Charles Wilmot

1979/80

RM Macfadyen

1980/81

A 'Lex' Cameron

1992/93

Paul Wheelahan

1998/99

Cliff Deane

1998/99

John Bourne

2000/01

Greg White

2001/02

Karen Burke

2009/10

Phil Tubby

2012/13

Jonathon Burke

2012/13

Bryce Cameron

2013/14

Yvonne Hayter

2014/15