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Garie Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1938 at the request of the
National Park Trust after a hiker drowned. It originated in a desire by the
Trustees of the National Park to have Garie Beach a safe surfing resort
in view of its increasing popularity. Representations were made to the
Surf Life Saving Association of Australia and on Sunday 20-11-1938 an
inspection of the beach was made by the President of the Park Trust,
the Hon. H.W. Whiddon M.L.C. With him were Mr. K. Moffat, Park
Superintendent, Mr S.E.Stringer, Mr A.A. Joel, Mr J.A. Cameron,
Mr. R.Moroney and Mr. J.B. Dillon.

Following this inspection a meeting was held at which a number of
visitors to the beach immediately volunteered to become foundation
members of the new club. The club flourished and earned for itself a high
reputation. The National Park Trust was so impressed with the work being
done that they erected a clubhouse at Garie in which members could spend their week-ends. Transport was provided to and from the beach in a truck until 1952. In later years a private bus service was subsidised by the Park Trust to transport visitors and club members from Waterfall train station.

The club was formed with 16 Active Seniors and 1 Active Junior.

During Garie’s first season of operation, its first reels, belts and boxlines were provided by the Trust. The first surf ski was given to the Garie club by the S.L.S.A.A. The beach was patrolled every Sunday and Public Holiday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The first rescues were carried out, two without line and one with the line and first aid treatment was rendered to a large number of Park visitors.

In the 1939-40 season the first surf boat, the “Waratah” was presented to the club by the National Park Trust and the first double ski was presented by the S.L.S.A.A. The first Surf Carnival was held on 10-12-1939 at Garie Beach.

In February 1942 the club closed down due to the majority of members enlisting in the armed forces in World War 2. The clubhouse was used as an orderly room by the Army who erected barbed wire on the beach and mined the Garie Road. Troops were camped nearby ready to set off the mines in the event of an invasion. The clubhouse suffered damage and the loss of a large amount of equipment during this time. The remaining gear was stored at Audley in the National Park.

Garie S.L.S.C. was re-formed in 1946 at the completion of the war. A Ladies Committee was formed and assisted in raising funds for a new surf boat and in 1947/48 the Ladies Committee raised funds for the first March Past reel.

In the 1948/49 season, the first two cliff rescues were performed using members lowered over the cliff by surf lines. Also in that season a boatshed was constructed. In 1948/49 the first teams competed with a March Past team and a boat crew at the Australian Championships held in Sydney.

In 1951/52 the first Australian Title was won by J. “Bunta” Byrnes for musical flags at the Australian Championships held at Wollongong Beach.

In 1954 the club started a fund raising campaign to build a new clubhouse. Work began on construction on 13-2-1957 under the guidance of H.”Binky” Hawker and Robbie Hoffmann who were both builders. Labourers and tradesmen were recruited from among club members. The new clubhouse was officially opened on 5-10-1958.

In the 1960/61 season, a winter swimming club was formed to keep the members fit and involved during the colder months. The group was called “Garie Goosepimples” and they competed regularly in races held at local swimming pools until 1988.

The first nippers were started in 1972/73 with a membership of 55. They were called the “Garie Guppies”. The “Guppies” were managed by a strong team of leaders, Neville Cooper, Owen Hailey, Keith Brown, Alf Taylor, Neville Nolan and Bill Bowley. The nippers remained an active part of the club until 1981/82. Then in 1989/90 the “Guppies” were re-started with only 8 members. Since that time they have grown to over 140 members with many going on to become Active Patrol members.

The 1973/74 season saw the introduction of radio communications within the clubs of the National Park. The first I.R.B. was obtained for use by the National Park District clubs by a grant from the Government. That same year the club voted to accept female members. However it wasn’t until 1980/81 that Garie had its first female Bronze holder, Sue Hailey, commencing patrols. Then in 1988/89 the first female executive member was Rita Taylor who became Club Secretary.

Since its inception Garie SLSC has performed 2400 rescues. Since 1980, records began to be kept of preventative actions. From then on there have been 15137 preventative actions. Again, since 1964 Garie SLSC has been the sole first aid body and during this time have attended 6989 first aid cases ranging from minor cuts and bluebottle stings to car accident injuries, spinal cases and heart attacks. We have also been called upon to perform 7 cliff rescues and been involved in extensive bush searches for missing people.

The beach is approximately 1 kilometre long and roughly faces south. This means the normal surf is large and has contributed to 7 members being nominated for meritorious awards. The club has never been big compared to other Sydney Branch Clubs but we have a very proud record of no lives lost while the beach is patrolled.

Garie members have obtained 1287 lifesaving awards to date. As well, our club provides personnel for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, the Offshore Rescue Boats and the Branch Radio Room. Many members, too numerous to list here, are members of the Branch Board of Control and Branch Executive. Club Captain, Brad Taylor was elected a Life Member of the Sydney Branch in 1999.

The first committee consisted of:
• President -A. Joel (later to become Sir Asher Joel)
• Captain – W. McKenzie
• Secretary – T. Hoffmann
• Vice Captain – S. Moloney
• Treasurer – S. Moloney
• Gear Steward – J. Waugh

The first Bronze Medallions were gained by:
• T. Buck
• W. McKenzie
• T. Hoffmann
• S. Moloney
• D. Buck
• J. Waugh
• L. Marks
• H. Buttery
• H. Hawker
• G. Warnes
• W. Turnbull


B. Baker *
Cecil Buck *
Richard Buck *
Edward Buck *
Henry Buttery *
W. Edgar *
Robert Furlonger *
Tom Hoffmann *
Sir Asher A. Joel OMA *
Les Marks *
Norm Martin *
W. J. McKenzie
Sid Moloney *
A. Walker *
George Warnes *

* Deceased

Life Members of Garie Surf Life Saving Club

Mick Bretherton
Stephen Quinn
Peter Collins
Neville Cooper
Lionel Ford *
Bob Ford
Bob Glasson
Owen Hailey *
Hilton (Binkie) Hawker
David Hoffmann
Rob Hoffmann *
Keith Midson
John Quinn
John Stewart *
Peter Sullivan
Bill Tapp *
Alf Taylor *
Brad Taylor
Rita Taylor

* Deceased

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