- Wednesday 13 April 2016
On January 7, 1921 the Nambour Chronicle reported: “The finest holiday on record” was the unanimous opinion of campers and others at the good old ‘Dore’, and for the ideal holiday resort, especially for those whose tendency is to live in the water. The term ‘swimmers paradise’ is no misnomer.’
The old ‘Dore’ as Maroochydore was known in 1921 was in safe hands with the Maroochydore club on patrol in “swimmers paradise” from January 1916 when the Maroochydore club was formed.
Maroochydore had the honour of being the first lifesaving club on the then North Coast which soon after saw a rapid development of lifesaving clubs.
Lifesavers such as Maroochydore’s Axel and Joe Suosaari were outstanding competitors and were members of the Queensland team which won the Australian championships in 1929. Axel was also a national champion in the surf lifesaving belt events.
The first inter-club competition for women in Queensland was held between the newly formed Alexandra Headland women’s team and the Mooloolaba Neptunes in 1929.
Nothing much has changed. It still is a swimmers paradise here on the Sunshine Coast and the Maroochydore club members still patrol with distinction.
As the Sunshine Coast plays host to the iconic Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, we will shine the spotlight on the history of this sport that has helped shape Australia.
Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.
Hero image: March past at the Australian Championships on 29 March, 1980 at Maroochydore.
Image 1: Queensland surf lifesaving team at Bondi in 1938.
Image 2: Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club members in Viv Evans truck, Currie Street, Nambour, early 1950s.