Brief Club History
Early in 1955, a number of “local identities” joined together to propose the formation of a surf life saving club. Dick Ellis, Alan Forster (then members of the Sorrento – Portsea Club), together with World Champion swimmer John Marshall, met with Ron McKillop (Honorary Secretary of the Foreshore Authority, now the Foreshore Committee) and with a deputation from Victorian State Centre.
The Foreshore Authority agreed to the formation of a club, and a public meeting was called for on April 1st, 1955. The meeting was held in the Progress Hall at Shoreham and attended by 65 people. At the meeting, which was chaired by Cr. E. Rundle, it was unanimously agreed to form the Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club. A draft constitution, drawn up by the co-founders was adopted, and the club’s first president, Geoff Raws, was appointed. Under his guidance and with the support of his fellow co-founders, the club grew rapidly.
From 1955 until 1960, members worked on a voluntary basis to build the original clubhouse. However, it was destroyed by fire in suspicious circumstances in 1974. With the proceeds of the insurance, ‘Willards’ – a former guesthouse – was purchased. This building served as a “temporary” clubhouse until 1990, it was then sold and the proceeds used to develop a new clubhouse complex “on the beach”.
The complex was substantially extended during the period 2000 – 2002, expansion costs being covered by club fund raising activities, sponsors donations and support from the Victorian State Government. The club now boasts a comprehensive facility including training areas, radio room/tower, patrol and first aid facilities, meeting areas, amenities, bunkrooms and storage for surf-craft, boats and rescue gear.
The club has in excess of 900 members (including nearly 200 active members and 460 Nippers) and is based on a foundation of loyalty and family values, with many of the current active members being second and third generation members.
Since its inception, the club has also been strongly represented in all aspects of carnival competition, from 1955 (the inception of Interstate competition), until 1992, there was always a Point Leo competitor in a Victorian team. The club also boasts a long list of Victorian and Australian Champions.
The club has produced many great lifesavers over the years and its members have been active at Surf Life Saving Victoria. The Club patrols the Point Leo Surf Beach located between Hastings and Flinders on Western Port Bay. The beach is one of the closest surf beaches to Melbourne, only a 60-minute drive from the CBD. Since the inception of the club, there has not been one single drowning occur on a patrolled beach, a record that we strive to maintain.
Club recipients’ of Victoria’s most prestigious Surf Life Saving Award, the John Wishart Medal include: 1961 John Forsyth, 1962 Eddie Kidd, 1965 Geoff James, and 1994 Brad Newton.
The Club operates patrols on weekends and public holidays from early December through to Easter. The club patrols Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday and Public holidays. Between Boxing Day and Australia Day Professional Life Guards patrol the beach on weekdays and Saturday mornings.
More details on Volunteer Patrols are in the Patrols section of this site.
The Mine Newsletter
A club newsletter, The Mine, is produced throughout the year and posted on the website. The Mine keeps members informed on a diverse range of topics, including – carnival results, upcoming events, social activities, member profiles and much more!
Check the Downloads section for the latest version.