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
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.
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.