Backward Glance: Thank you to the Sea Saviours for their years of service
  • Monday 18 April 2016
While the “Aussies” are taking place on the Coast, each day this week we will continue to pay tribute to the sea saviours for their years of service.

The first wooden surfboat north of Brisbane, known as the “Spray”, was officially launched on December 27, 1930 at Mooloolaba Beach.

Constructed by local boat builders, the Kuskopf brothers of Buderim, this heavy wooden boat took about eight strong men to move. She was modern for her time.

Crowds numbering upwards of 1000 persons were on the Mooloolaba Beach when the surf lifeboat, which a few days previously had been handed over to the Mooloolaba Life Saving Club, was officially christened “The Spray”.

With the water lapping at the feet of those who lined the beach and the surfboat ready to take the breakers, Mr Percy Jakeman, president of the North Coast Life Saving Association and president and instructor in chief of Mooloolaba Club opened the proceedings.

On December 27, 1930, the Nambour Chronicle reported that in the course of the address Mr Jakeman traced the history of life saving on the North Coast.

“Those connected to the lifesaving clubs, went forth. Without seeking any hope for rewards and gave their best in the interests of human life. Some people might think it unnecessary to have a lifeboat, and that it has been secured for the life savers pleasure. That was not so”, Mr Jakeman said.

“It was important that all support the clubs, so that work could go on, given that safety played a part in the popularity of the beaches.”

These words still reflect the importance of surf lifesaving clubs and their members and the support of our communities in 2016.

In earlier times, club members were sometimes transported in the back of trucks to attend surf carnivals.

The trucks were also used to tow surfboats as well as to carry skis and longboards.

Many of the surf lifesavers from Brisbane would put on their club blazer which identified them as lifesavers and hitch a ride up the Bruce Highway or perhaps south on the Pacific Highway to their favourite beach and patrolling club.

People always stopped to give them a lift.

Our tribute to the surf lifesaving community will continue in tomorrow's Backward Glance.


Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

Hero image caption: First Mooloolaba Life Saving Team, ca 1922.

Carousel image M863377 - Champion Queensland R & R Ladies Team from Mooloolaba Surf Club with their instructor Arthur Parkyn (far let) ca 1930.
Carousel Image M867524 - Ladies Life Saving Team, winners of the Neptune Cup, Mooloolaba Beach 1 April 1929. The Neptune's were a Brisbane based club operating at the Ithaca baths.