Coast's little surf club that could comes of age
THE little surf club that could comes of age with the launch of the 2016-17 patrol season marking its 20th anniversary.
Mudjimba Surf Life Saving Club, the only one on the Sunshine Coast to not rely on poker machines and a licensed club for funding, operates out of an extended gear shed in Power Park, surviving through the strong bonds it has forged with the community.
It has for much of its life also been a critical element for the annual Island Charity Swim which has raised more than $1million for the Nambour and Currimundi special schools providing not only on-water support but hosting the post-swim celebrations.
The club was formed in anticipation of the rapid growth that was already starting to take hold in the mid 1990s when Mudjimba was patrolled only during school holidays by a Maroochy Shire Council lifeguard and roving weekend patrols extending to the Maroochy River mouth provided by the Marcoola Surf Life Saving Club.
It enters its 21st year off the back of a stellar 20115-16 surf life saving season capped by it being named Sunshine Coast Club of the Year.
Mudjimba was also second in the Buhk Wilkes Trophy.
Club members Michael Hughes (SLSQ Volunteer of the Year), Guy Tanner (SLSQ Assessor of the Year), Kamen Burns and (SLSQ Operational Support Person of the Year) received state honours while Peter Harvey (Lifesaver of the Year), Madison Douglas (Under 14 Lifesaver of the Year), and Michael Mathews (Rookie Official of the Year) all won Sunshine Coast Surf Life Saving branch accolades.
Club president Dean Hore said the success had been built on the unwavering support of founding, past and current members and the local community.
"This sense of community has, and always will be, at the core of our surf club values,'' he said.
"The founding members of our club had a 'can do' attitude and an unshakeable belief in what they were doing - making sure swimmers and beach users are safe at Mudjimba.
"This is the foundation of the culture our club still has today."
Local residents led by Steve Smith, Jane Langford and Marlene Kear drove interest in a surf club for the town, putting the wheels in motion in 1994 through a letter seeking expressions of interest.
That was the start of 20 months of hard work by a steering committee chaired by Jane Langford leading to an inaugural AGM at Mudjimba RSL on March 31, 1996.
A newspaper article of the day recorded the "new club will steer away from present trends where drinking and poker machines seem to be the order of the day".
It proved a founding philosophy which has become embedded in the club's DNA.
The club's early development was heavily supported by second-hand equipment passed to it by SLSQ and other Coast clubs.
September 21 marks the 20th anniversary of the club's first patrol on Mudjimba Beach by Mark Windsor, club captain Beau Da Pra and Jason Trillo.
The club's launch relied on 19 active members spread across six patrols which grew by season's end to 36 active members who delivered 2600 patrol hours at an average of 72 hours each.
It was a stupendous effort to get Mudjimba off the ground with Michael Lawrence (316 hours), Mark Windsor (182 hours), Dave Johnston (183 hours) and Laurie Satori (226 hours) outstanding.
The celebrations will kick off from 6pm at the surf club with a switch to the North Shore Community centre if rain looks likely. Club members will be informed by text if there is a change.