Club History

Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club was formed in October 1953 as a result of several important factors:

  • Tragic drownings in the late 40s and early 50s, most notably those of Sister Mary Chrysostom and her would-be rescuer Fred Floyd
  • Increasing knowledge and popularity of a wonderful surf break
  • Expansion of suburbs
  • Disenchantment of several members of Scarboro S.L.S.C. under the stewardship of martinet Dan White

Early beginnings were inauspicious to say the least. There were only eight founding members and they faced the disinterest of the local government authority of the day, as well as a level of antagonism from the Surf Life Saving State body. Those eight members under foundation President Tony Martin showed incredible fortitude to fight many challenges to finally get the fledgling Club up and running. Those men will always stand tall in our history, the other seven being Arthur Hodgkinson (Secretary), Peter Thomsett, Rod Baker, John “Red” Abbott, Ted McQueen, Lee Riseley and Bob Millard.

These men had no equipment, no premises and no backing, but somehow managed to do their patrols and train for competition. In their first season they competed at the 1954 State Championships, winning R & R Gold, the only Club ever to have won this blue ribbon event in their first year. They went on to the Australian Championships to win Bronze, being duped out of Gold in very dubious circumstances. Nevertheless, they made their mark and from then on, the Club proved to be a force to be reckoned with. A real benchmark was made in 1979 when Trigg Island very successfully conducted the Australian Championships, firmly establishing the Club on the surf lifesaving map.

Since its inception, the Club has had three premises, the latest being built in 1993 by the City of Stirling, following a very generous grant from the Federal Government, and would be one of the best in Australia. Membership has grown enormously, presently being around 900 about half of which are Under 14s, and their numbers have to be capped because they need so much supervision. Competition-wise, the Club won six successive State Championships from 1997 to 2002, and 19 Gold Medals at the Australian Championships. The first of these was in Beach Sprints (Terry Landwehr) and one of the most notable was the Open Boats in 1984. Our most consistent and stand-out competitor in the last 3 decades would be Mike Cook.

Want to know more about the club’s history? “Trigg Island SLSC: The First 50 Years (1953 – 2003) is an ideal read. The book was written by Life member Brian Carthew and Janita Cottman. Contact the Club Admin Office for information on how to purchase a copy.

Trigg Island Surf Life Saving Club acknowledges the traditional owners, the Whadjuk People of the Noongar Nation, of the beach on which we work and play. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and are grateful for their continuing connection to the land, sea and sky.