History of Broulee Surfers S.L.S.C.

(Part One) (click on images for larger versions)

Following a public meeting on November 4 1979, the surf club was formed on November 11 1979, at another public meeting held at the home of Police Sergeant, Don Campbell, who became the club’s foundation President.

The Broulee Surfrider’s Club was asked to join forces with the surf club and, with their agreeance, immediate action was taken to become active. The following day classes were commenced for the Bronze Medallion.

The foundation Executive Committee was:

President Don Campbell
Senior Vice-President Kel Wehner
Junior Vice-President Michael Home
Secretary Jack Horne
Treasurer Paul Keary
Assistant Secretary Shelley Clarke

Committee Members were:

Tom Hanlon Brian Weekes
Ken Filmer Ian Louden
Mark McDonald Tom Roach
Shirley Willis Brian Southwell
Dick Pasfield  

It was a balanced Committee, half were local residents, the other half were Broulee Surfriders.

Meetings were held regarding a surf club building and the obvious functional and satisfactory site was considered to be in the ‘corner’ adjacent to the public car park and the Council’s amenity block.

Objections were raised to the site of the building by the Lessee of the adjoining caravan park and the club suggested an alternative site south east of McNee Street, but this was rejected by the Shire Council and the State Centre of the Surf Life Saving Association. Both were adamant that the clubhouse should be in the ‘corner’.

Then, having the Shire Council’s full support; the Surf Club confidently proceeded to apply  for State Centre’s Capital Assistance Grant and plans were drawn and approved by Council.


Work begins on the clubhouse.

In October 1980, the Shire Council rescinded it’s approval due to objection, again, by the Lessee of the caravan park, and the Nowra Land Board’s non-acceptance of a two story building.

As a result, State Centre, shocked to learn that Council’s decision has been reversed, thought it might be necessary to withdraw the Club from that year’s building grant.

The club carried out beach surveys and public opinion surveys. The result from the public surveys was 661 for and only 7 against the site where the Clubhouse now stands.


In December 1980, the Broulee Progress Association called a public meeting on Broulee Beach to consider where the clubhouse should be situated. Approximately 150 people attended, including three councilors, with only two people voting against the ‘corner’ site.


A public meeting was held on Broulee Beach on December 21 1980. One hundred and fifty people attended and only two voted against the Club House being built where it now stands.

In September, 1981, in an effort to bring the problem to a head, the Club members poured the footings and began laying the brick walls.

Also in September 1981, it became obvious that an impasse had been reached in the club’s negotiations with Council. Graham Macdonald, a club member, arranged a meeting and met with the NSW Minister for Lands, Forests and Water Resources, Lyn Gordon. Graham Kennedy, the club’s Honorary Solicitor, also attended this meeting.

At this meeting the clubs plans for the club house, boat shed and essential parking area were outlined. The difficulties the club had encountered during negotiations with the local council were also outlined to the Minister. Council at this time appeared to be favouring the owner of the adjoining caravan park who also wished to have tenure over the proposed surf club site.

The result of that meeting was that the Minister granted the surf club tenure over the proposed site. The Minister also issued a directive to Council and Nowra Lands Dept to activate this Permissive Occupancy on the proposed site in the name of BSSLSC. This was a major turning point forcing the local council to negotiate more favourably with the club’s committee.

The matter was brought to a conclusion when the Council finally decided to hold a formal meeting with the Surf Club Committee. The meeting, chaired by John Hatton, resolved to allow the Club to proceed with the building.

One condition was the ‘rezoning’ of the land which brought about another four months delay.

January 1982 finally saw official approval given and building commenced.

During all the problems with the Clubhouse the Surf Club was maintaining beach patrols on weekends during the summer seasons.

The Club’s gear room was confined in a three feet by twelve feet service area between the toilets which contained the cisterns. The only gear the club had at that stage was a surf reel, rescue board and patrol flags. The I.R.B. was kept at a private home.

During the 1980 / 81 season, the Club was fortunate to acquire their first (and for nine years, their only) I.R.B.  J. B. Young’s store in Moruya donated half the money, the remainder came from a dollar for dollar grant.

First IRB

In December 1980, J.B. Young's store in Moruya donated half the money for the club's first I.R.B., the remainder of the money came from a $ for $ grant.

A jet rescue boat was also purchased and during the season, four major accidents were attended by both it and the I.R.B.

Broulee was represented at the first NSW I.R.B. Championships and both ‘A’ and ‘B’ crews made it to the semi-finals of the rescue event.

The board riders in the Club competed in seven contests during the season, including their yearly open contest on Australia Day.

By the end of the 1981 / 82 season the downstairs section of the Clubhouse was completed and the Club received its next progress payment from State Centre.

Also during this season a member of the public untied the stern rope of the jet boat while it was tied up at the public jetty at Mossy Point. With the turn of the tide the boat was pushed under the jetty and, as the water level rose, it filled the boat and sunk it.

Once again the Club competed in I.R.B. Championships, this time on the Central Coast.

The four man crew qualified for three semi-final heats but were forced to withdraw due to motor failure.

The board riders held five contest this season plus the Broulee Open Surfout with $2,000 worth of sponsored prizes.