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building located on The Strand. To fund the purchase, he ran the first big raffle with a car as a prize. Members contributed their time in dismantling the building, transporting it to Picnic Bay and reconstructing it. By September 1947, the double-story dormitory building was in place. In an effort to beautify the Picnic Bay area and to provide shade for visitors, Burkie Hammett organised the planting of trees along the Esplanade at Picnic Bay and the large fig trees on the foreshore today survive from those originally planted by Burkie and his helpers. “The 1950s and 1960s were boom years for Picnic Bay and by early 1952 the clubhouse and dormitory building had been repainted in preparation for the State Titles hosted by Picnic Bay at Kissing Point on the weekend of 16-17 February, 1952,” Deanne says. It wasn’t until 1955 that electricity was connected to Picnic Bay and Nelly Bay from the mainland, and in 1957 it was connected to the club facilities. By this time, the high cost of repairs and maintenance in up-keeping the clubhouse and dormitory was a cause for concern and the Committee favoured the construction of new facilities. It was agreed to continue using the existing Below: Critter Hay Memorial Surf Race Easter Sunday

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buildings for the ensuing few years until funds could be raised for the new building, which was completed in the 1966/67 season.

“THE FIRST CLUBHOUSE WAS A 3.5 X 3.5 METRE BUILDING WITH A LARGE BELL ABOVE THE ROOF. ITS MAIN PURPOSE WAS TO STORE EQUIPMENT BUT THE ODD ‘LARRIKIN’ WAS KNOWN TO RING THE BELL AT ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT, AND IT COULD BE HEARD ALL OVER THE BAY.” The Official Opening was held December 3, 1966, with the mayor in attendance and presentations taking place in front of the clubhouse on a large platform that had been created by blasting and levelling a huge rock on the beach. “The old art-deco styled clubhouse was used to store gear and equipment,

however, when Cyclone Althea hit on Christmas Eve in 1971 it was destroyed,” Deanne says. “The new clubhouse was also extensively damaged but insurance fully covered this.” Over the years, from the 1970s to the present time, additions, upgrades, repairs and maintenance have ensured the clubhouse remains as a testament to the hard work and compassion of club members. “Picnic Bay extended its presence in 1999, heading back to include the mainland. Back to Townsville – back to its origins,” Deanne says. “Picnic Bay members patrol at both Townsville and Picnic Bay and it was decided to reflect this in the club’s future. In 2010 members voted to incorporate Townsville into the name, making it the Townsville Picnic Bay Surf Life Saving Club.” With two major celebrations coming up in the forthcoming season – the club’s 90th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the island clubhouse – it’s an exciting time for members. Anyone interested in attending the celebrations can contact the club on 4724 4211 or email admin@tpbslsc.com.au for details.

Below: Picnic Bay 1950’s with Dressing Sheds, Club House and Members Dormitory

DUOMagazine November 2016  

Every month, DUO captures the unique spirit of our region and grabs the attention of your community. We’ve been doing it for a decade, makin...

DUOMagazine November 2016  

Every month, DUO captures the unique spirit of our region and grabs the attention of your community. We’ve been doing it for a decade, makin...