New club­house a dream come true

Pic­nic Bay Life Sav­ing Club cel­e­brates the open­ing of a mod­ern new club­house in 1966 by re­ward­ing nine stal­warts with life mem­ber­ships

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - IAN FRAZER

EV­ERY­THING was up to date in the new Pic­nic Bay Life Sav­ing Club head­quar­ters opened by Townsville Mayor An­gus Smith on De­cem­ber 3, 1966.

Built at a cost of $ 23,000 by con­trac­tor Phil Turner, the club­house was re­plete with ul­tra- mod­ern, stream­lined fa­cil­i­ties, the Townsville Bul­letin re­ported two days later.

“The mod­ern kitchen will be the envy of many a house­wife who sees it, elec­tric fea­tures in­clude a fridge, stove, toaster, hot- wa­ter urn and griller.

“The dor­mi­tory houses 34 mem­bers on 17 dou­ble- decker beds. Rub­ber pil­lows and mat­tresses will sup­ply the ut­most in com­fort.”

Si­t­u­ated at the south­ern end of Pic­nic Bay on the site of the old club­house, the spa­cious new brick build­ing also con­tained a club room, first- aid room, of­fice, toi­lets and showers.

Ar­chi­tect Don Aescht had made al­lowance for sec­ond floor to be added if needed.

The open­ing was the cli­max of a 12- year fundrais­ing cam­paign ne­ces­si­tated by the club’s post- war growth.

Cel­e­bra­tions in­cluded a cabaret dance at the Ho­tel Mag­netic, a con­cert by the re- cently formed North Queens­land Air Train­ing Corps cadets band and an in­ter­club com­pe­ti­tion on the beach and on the sea.

The club in­vited 200 guests and ex­tended an open in­vi­ta­tion to all Mag­netic Is­land res­i­dents to join in the fun.

The fol­low­ing nine club stal­warts were hon­oured with life- mem­ber­ships: Les Fin­nerty, Reid An­der­son, Keith An­der­son, Bob Lin­nett, Tom Hughes, Ge­orge Sadd, Bill Ham­mett, Ron Mor­ri­son and Cyril Cur­rie.

Mr Cur­rie was a foun­da­tion mem­ber of the club orig­i­nally formed in 1927 as the North Townsville Life Sav­ing Club.

He was listed as the North Townsville’s club au­di­tor at its first an­nual meet­ing in Fe­bru- ary 1928 and be­came first pres­i­dent of the Pic­nic Bay club, a po­si­tion he held for 25 years. Mr W G ( Billy) Betts was inau­gu­ral pres­i­dent of the North Townsville club.

In Oc­to­ber, 1938, Mr Cur­rie of­fi­ci­ated at the open­ing of the club’s first club­house, de­scribed by the Bul­letin as a hand­some and modernly de­signed struc­ture cost­ing £ 825.

He said the club’s top pri­or­ity had been build­ing sharkproof sea baths at Pic­nic Bay, a pro­ject that even­tu­ally cost £ 600 af­ter heavy seas twice de­stroyed the wire net­ting en­clo­sure.

They had then raised £ 200 to­wards a club­house and bor­rowed another £ 625, guar­an­teed by a “Sugar Daddy” in the form ferry op­er­a­tor Hayles Mag­netic Is­land Ltd.

This guar­an­tee had been merely a prom­ise by mem­bers to re­pay the money, not a for­mal agree­ment, and had been based on Hayles’ con­fi­dence in the club.

The first club­house re­placed a shel­ter shed. It had been a dream and like all dreams had taken a long time to ma­te­ri­alise, Mr Cur­rie said.

Pic­ture: TOWNSVILLE CITY LI­BRARIES

Townsville Mayor An­gus Smith con­grat­u­lates Pic­nic Bay Surf Life­sav­ing Club life mem­ber Keith An­der­son at the of­fi­cial open­ing of the new club­house in De­cem­ber, 1966.

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