Search on for surf memorabilia and tales of deep

Members of Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club with the Neptune Ladies Lifesaving Club, April 1929

Tales of the deep, swimming carnival trophies, paper bathing costumes and surf stories are just some of the things missing from Sunshine Coast heritage collections.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the heritage team had finished auditing the Landsborough Museum collection donated to Council in 2022 and found there were hardly any items or images that spoke to the region’s rich water sporting heritage.

“Given the prominence of sport and sporting personalities across the Coast, in particular water activities, it is surprising that there are so few sporting objects and stories in the collection,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Now we know where the gaps are we can set about filling them in a strategic move to build our regional knowledge.

“Some of the objects we find will form a Grassroots to Glory aquatic sports exhibition, to be held at Landsborough Museum in April 2024.”

Water sports memorabilia

Sunshine Coast Council Coordinator Heritage Services Peter Connell said he was hoping the community would come forward with items, stories and photos that would help build our regional water sporting knowledge.

“Objects we’re looking for could be anything from diving gear and locally made surfboards to surf wear, swimming carnival trophies, medals or ribbons, even boats and canoes,” Mr Connell said.

“These can be from any era or decade — we’re just as interested in a nipper’s hat from 2020 as a bathing suit from the 1950s.

Tales of the blue

“We’re also keen to hear tales and recollections from the community such as what it was like learning to swim in their local creek or taking part in the school swimming carnival as these really help bring our heritage to life.

“As long as the stories are Sunshine Coast based, we want to hear them.”

Sunshine Coast-based stories will be woven together to create a water sport digital story which will add to a growing bank of oral histories on Council’s Heritage website heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and play during the Grassroots to Glory exhibition.

Sunshine Coast Manager Sport and Community Venues Heath Collie, who has had a long-term involvement with, and passion for, surf lifesaving and aquatic sports said there should be no shortage of stories.

“Many would remember watching local boy Grant Kenny win both the junior and senior ironman titles back-to-back in one day during the 1980 Australian Surf Life Saving Titles at Maroochydore Beach,” Mr Collie said.

“This had never been done before, nor since.”

Mayor Jamieson said in the lead-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Brisbane 2032, Council would strategically build its sporting heritage collection.

“From 2024 until 2032 our heritage teams will deliver a sporting exhibition each year, focusing on a specific sporting area, such as water sports, ball sports, athletics etc.,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This project is the first in a series of sporting programs and initiatives, focusing on local history, in the lead up to Brisbane 2032.”

To share your sports heritage material, contact Landsborough Museum at culturalheritage@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

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