Bondi might have claimed being the world's first Surf Life Saving Club in 1907, but Pambula two years before in 1905, formed the Broadwater Aquatic Club, that stayed active until the mid 1920's. It's members helped start Pambula Lifesaving in 1914. February 7th saw a carnival held in connection with the opening. The membership fee was set at 2 shillings for gents and 1 shilling for ladies. The club has had its ups and downs over the years with the intervention of war and other events but Pambula has now grown to a strong and vibrant club.
Pambula's first permanent Surf Lifesaving clubrooms were constructed on the southern cliff face where the start of the Jiguma walk is today.
Life Saving Expansion
The Life Saving Association of Australia organised instructional teams of Surf Lifesavers to the South Coast in 1924 to:
• stimulate interest in sunbathing
• help to establish clubs
• demonstrate up to date lifesaving methods
• improve facilities that already existed on local beaches
As a consequence from 1925 onwards, an annual Surf Carnival was organised, where local and Sydney clubs competed.
Sydney Lifesavers were anxious to visit the Far South Coast to give demonstrations in resuscitation and the new lifeline and reel.
Weekend patrols kept the beach safe and the public were requested to swim between the flags.
By 1929 financial support was strong and facilities including a shelter shed, ladies surf house, gents surf house and clubrooms were built.
World War 2 brought tragedies in the water with few lifesavers to cope with them. After the war Tathra sent examiners and instructors to reform the Pambula SLSC in 1950's. The Pambula club patrolled its own beach, as well as Ford Oval and Short Point with homemade boards and skis and the compulsory reel and line on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
In November 1959 authority was given to commence building the new clubhouse and members were in by July 1960. The official opening was held in March 1961.
In the 1959-60 season the total membership was 43 lifesavers and they performed 25 rescues, the biggest number in the branch.
Pambula Clubhouse 1961
Pambula's First Surf Boat
The first boats used in the surf were a hybrid between a whaling boat and a canoe. The original double ended style gave way to a tuck stern by 1946 and the flotation tanks in the front and rear were an insurance in a big surf. The boats of this era were heavy clinker boats of solid cedar and brass rowlocks. Poor country clubs, like Pambula, could only afford discarded Sydney club boats. Pambula boat 'Boofa' now resides in the National Maritime Museum.
• Surf rescue boards made their appearance at Pambula as a valuable lifesaving tool and great apparatus for competitive carnivals.
• 'Gremlins' or 'Nippers' established 1961
• The preferred resuscitation method E.A.R was made compulsory in 1969
• First girls in Nipper movement
• Juniors and seniors merge
• First IRB donated 1974
• Clubhouse extended