South Port SLSC
|Full name||South Port Surf Life Saving Club|
|Members||500 senior, 250 junior|
South Port Surf lifesaving Club (established 1959 – Over 500 lives saved by members.) The South Port Clubhouse is situated in the sand dunes at the mouth of the Onkaparinga River Estuary. Due to it location at the mouth of a major South Australian river and its position in Gulf St Vincent, South Port is an excellent surfing beach both for board riders and body surfers.
The club's beginning
In 1958, following a meeting on the beach after a carnival between officials of Surf Life Saving and Geoff Price, Frank Harris and Geoff Cornwell, approval was given to form a Surf Life Saving Club at South Port. There was an obvious need for a rescue facility at South Port as this was the area where the most rescues occurred and the members from Port Noarlunga S.L.S.C. had to run down to South Port with the gear to perform the rescues and then to carry the stretcher up the cliffs for first aid cases. Many of the members of Port Noarlunga also spent much of their spare time at South Port surfing or body surfing and it was a very popular beach for the growing sport of surfing.
At this time there was also a dispute between the above members and the Port Noarlunga Club at this time due to a minor disciplinary matter and consequently the desire to set up a new club was due to both life saving reasons and personal reasons. The Port Noarlunga Club argued against the formation of the new club and accused the breakaway group of being “rats deserting a sinking ship”. Geoff Cornwell argued the case for the formation of the club and the Surf Life Saving Association under the presidency Don Newlands approved the new club. The original name of the club was South Port Noarlunga but the Noarlunga was dropped as part of the name.
The South Port Club came into being when 7 members of the Port Noarlunga Club applied for permission to form a club to patrol the beach in the vicinity of the mouth of the Onkaparinga River. Good luck chaps and congratulations on your initiative”
S.L.S.A. of S.A. 7th Annual Report
The fledgling club began patrols in season 1958/1959 from February onwards with the following members who are named on the first registration form that was lodged at SA State Centre on 22/12/1958:-
It is interesting to note that the original club colours were to be navy blue and white but Henley Beach complained and the colours were registered in 1958 as NAVY, WHITE AND RED. These colours were subsequently changed in that first season to the current NAVY, WHITE AND GREEN.
In those first two seasons with such a small membership it became very difficult to maintain the patrols and set up a new Club and Clubhouse and it was clear new members were needed to ensure the permanent establishment of the South Port Club. In season 1960/1961 Don Alexander and Graham Ellery who were discontented at Glenelg S.L.S.C. joined the South Port Club and this new injection of experienced senior members enable the South Port Club to become firmly established and start to grow. The ten members involved in the permanent establishment of the South Port Surf Life Saving Club are the Foundation Members of the Club and all members past, present and future are greatly indebted to their foresight and hard work.
In 1960/61 a Clubhouse was purchased for $194 and erected on a section of land that in 1958/1959 had been leased from the Department Lands and the Port Noarlunga District Council.
Surf lifesavers must be competent swimmers as well as experience in rescue, resuscitation and first aid. This experience is gained in a minimum of 20 hours training and followed by a written and practical examination. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old for their initial training and at 16 years of age volunteers are encouraged to become proficient in oxygen administration. Upon completion, members are awarded the nationally accredited Certificate 2 in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)/Bronze Medallion and become qualified them to patrol a beach. Yearly proficiency must be shown to maintain their ability to patrol.
South Port also has junior members, or Nippers as they are more commonly known. Nippers are aged between 5–13 years and learn beach safety and awareness skills, in a fun and healthy environment.