Our History – 1925 to Now
The City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club traces its origins to the early 1920s, a time when Perth was expanding and the beaches were becoming more accessible and popular.
Clubs had already been established at Cottesloe and North Cottesloe, and in December 1924 members of the City of Perth Amateur Swimming Club started informal life saving operations at City Beach. Early in 1925 Western Australia’s third Surf Life Saving Club was formed.
Early conditions for club members were a long way removed from what they are today – surf boats so heavy that the entire club was required to carry them to and from the water, and clubrooms consisting of little more than a shack in the dunes.
In 1938 more substantial accommodation was built, and 30 years later those clubrooms in turn were replaced by today’s facility in time for the club to host the 1971 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
A commitment to excellence in patrolling City Beach has always been the cornerstone of the club, which has won Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s Patrol Efficiency championship a record 23 times.
By the 1970s, the club was also emerging as a force in interclub competition, and set another record in the 80s by winning the State Championship pointscore 11 times in succession, as well as producing champions in national and world championships.
The members of the 1920s would barely recognise the City of Perth club of the 21st century. There are now well over 1200 members ranging from the very young to the very old, and facilities including a clubrooms with a magnificent view overlooking the beach, thousands of dollars worth of lifesaving and competition equipment, a well-equipped gymnasium, a bar and social facilities, and an army of people helping to run the place. In 2014 the club underwent a major transformation as a part of the redevelopment of City Beach by the Town of Cambridge and the clubrooms are state-of-the-art facilities.
One thing they would recognise, however, is the club spirit and camaraderie, and the club still belongs to those original members as much as it does to the members of today.
If you’re planning to visit the beach, make the Surf Life Saving Club one of your stops.