Blockhouse Bay Surf Lifesaving Club

In the late 1930s, a group of young Blockhouse Bay men formed the Blockhouse Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.

They took their training very seriously and were coached by Barney Clews. During the week the club members would train at Blockhouse Bay beach doing exercises on the shore, and swimming across from Te Whau Point to the sandbank and back again. On Friday nights they caught a bus to Karekare, where they stayed in the clubhouse over the weekend and did their surf training, before travelling back to town on Sunday night.

The team decided to do everything properly and outfitted themselves in a black uniform with yellow stripes (see picture).

The team

The team: Ron Phipps, Dave Hesketh, Charlie Stanbridge, Bill Williams, George Phipps,
Ray Kealey, Graham Plummer, Lindsay Parker.

In the early 1940s the club travelled to Waihi one weekend for the provincial Surf Championships. The members stayed in an old bach there — the 'Angels' Retreat'.   Unfortunately, the angels were not on their side and the club was disqualified from the competition.

Angels Retreat Waihi

Outside the Angels' Retreat at Waihi

As with so many other organisations, World War 11 meant a decrease in membership and the Blockhouse Surf Lifesaving Club closed down about 1943.

Thanks to Ray Kealey for the information and photos.