Images

  • North Curl Curl Surf Club members with surfboards April 1956.

  • NCCSLSC ‘B’ Boat crew with the surf boat, ’Boofa’ in 1947, with from left to right, Billy Gray, Jack Maggs, Bob Duff, Keith Stoneman and Les Cook. 

  • Life Saving at North Curl Curl Beach c1948.

Thursday, 3 November 2022
Libraries

This November the North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club, (NCCSLSC), will hold its centenary celebrations. The NCCSLSC, was formed in October 1922, by way of a letter to the former Warringah Council. The letter was dated October 19, 1922, and noted that residents had formed the Curl Curl North Surf Club, as it was originally called, and wanted to control the reel, line and belt used for rescues1. The NCCSLSC was only the second surf club to be established at the northern end of a beach at the time, the first being the Brookvale Surf and Life Saving Club, in February 19092.

Bathing was more popular than ever from the beginning of the 1900s, as was the risk from drowning, and local bathers began to form lifesaving clubs in Sydney. The formation of the North Curl Curl Club was prompted by the drowning of William Pfeiffer, an 11-year-old boy, from Harbord, during the manual opening of the Manly Lagoon entrance, now known as the Curl Curl Lagoon, at North Curl Curl, on April 10, 192134. Tragically the reel, line and belt housed at the beach had been in poor condition. Warringah Council replaced the equipment and residents made sure it was maintained, and housed in a shed built by council. After a fundraising event, George Sayce, who was one of the first settlers in the area, built a clubhouse in January 19245, with help from members and their families, located west of where the old boat shed is presently6.

North Curl Curl Beach c1920.

The NCCSLSC 1924 building became inadequate as time went on and a new club was built in December 1934, designed by architect Bertram Ford, of Balgowlah, who also designed other local surf clubs at South Narrabeen and Avalon Beach7. The opening was celebrated by a four-day long weekend carnival and sporting events8, with the official opening by Minister for Labour and Industry, John Dunningham.

Surfboards, surf skis and surfboats replaced the original reel, line and belt for surf rescues9, with NCCSLSC’s first surfboat, the Barracoota, being reclaimed from the dunes at North Narrabeen Beach10. It was built by Charlie Proudfoot, in the 1913 banana boat design, made of kauri wood and very heavy, making it difficult for surf crews to wrangle in training11. The NCCSLSC purchased various surfboats over the coming years, with the purchase of the very first carvel-built surfboat, Blue Bottle1213, which had first been launched at the North Steyne SLSC. It was made of the more buoyant cedar wood. Others included the ‘Boofa’, acquired after the Second World War, affectionately named after Mr Bostock of the Manly Amusement Pier’s pet Alsatian dog14, and the “Jantzen” named after a swimsuit manufacturer. The “Nola Hubbard”, was the first surfboat named after a women, the former president of the Ladies Auxillary. Kevin Martin of Wheeler Heights donated the vessel to the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, in 198315. Examples of the wonderful classic surfboats are still a major spectacle of surf carnivals during surf lifesaving events to the present day16.

NCCSLSC ‘B’ Boat crew with the surf boat, ’Boofa’ in 1947, with from left to right, Billy Gray, Jack Maggs, Bob Duff, Keith Stoneman and Les Cook. 

Another historical highlight of the NCCSLSC was the former president of 16 years, ‘Snowy’ Huston, undertaking nippers before it became an official surf lifesaving program in the 1960s, with children, ‘clinging to his legs’17 as activities were run up and down the beach.

The present NCCSLSC clubhouse was officially opened on August 25, 1979, and a time capsule was buried in the floor of the boatshed. The NCCSLSC will have a three-day weekend of events from Friday, November 25 to Sunday November 27, 2022, and an Open Day on the Sunday, when the time capsule is to be opened.

To recognise the value and importance of Surf Life Saving Clubs and their service to the community, the Northern Beaches Council has provided surety of tenure over the next coming 20 years for 16 surf life savings clubs at Bilgola, Bungan Beach, Newport, Collaroy, Freshwater, Long Reef, Mona Vale, Newport, North Curl Curl, North Palm Beach, North Narrabeen, North Steyne, Queenscliff, South Curl Curl, South Narrabeen, Warriewood and Whale Beach. Surf lifesaving has a special place in the hearts of the Northern Beaches community and Surf Life Saving Clubs and the work of their members do an incredible job keeping us safe on our beautiful beaches. Happy 100 NCCSLSC!

Launching of the Jantzen surf boat at North Curl Curl Beach c1949.

This article was created by Northern Beaches Council Library Local Studies. For enquiries, please contact the Northern Beaches Library Local Studies Team at LocalHistory@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au or visit History Hub.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

John Morcombe, “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”, The Daily Telegraph, July 15, 2022, accessed October 25, 2022, https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/north-curl-curl-...

Morcombe, “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”

Morcombe, “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”

4 “History”, North Curl Curl SLSC, accessed October 26, 2022, https://nccslsc.com.au/club-information/history/

Morcombe, “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”

North Curl Curl SLSC, “History”

Morcombe, “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”

Morcombe, “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”

MAAS, “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club“

10 MAAS, “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club“

11 MAAS, “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club“

12 “Surfboats”, Northern Beaches, Recollect, accessed October 26, 2022, https://northernbeaches.recollect.net.au/nodes/view/11996?keywords=surfb...

13 MAAS, “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club“

14 MAAS, “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club“

15 MAAS, “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club“

16 Northern Beaches, Recollect, “Surfboats”

17 The Manly Daily, Club’s ‘curial’ history

 

Bibliography

“100 years of surf Lifesaving”. The Manly Daily, Saturday, October  6, 2007.

Australian Surf Rowers League. “A HISTORY OF SURF BOATS IN AUSTRALIA”. Last modified Friday, February 23, 2018. https://www.asrl.com.au/about-asrl/entry/a-history-of-surf-boats-in-aust...

“Club’s ‘curial’ history”. The Manly Daily, February 23, 2008.

Morcombe, John. “North Curl Curl SLSC celebrates 100 years of service to the community”. The Daily Telegraph, July 15, 2022. Accessed October 25, 2022. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/north-curl-curl-...

Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, MAAS. “Surfboat used by North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club. Accessed October 25, 2022. https://collection.maas.museum/object/212320

North Curl Curl SLSC. “History”. Accessed October 26, 2022. https://nccslsc.com.au/club-information/history/

Northern Beaches. Recollect. “Surfboats”. Accessed October 26, 2022. https://northernbeaches.recollect.net.au/nodes/view/11996?keywords=surfb...

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