This section features details of the history of Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Lifesaving Club Inc.

In time we will add audio and video clips from some of our older members, telling of the days gone by. Essentially we are immortalising them on this website, and hearing them tell us (in their own words), their personal observations of the highlights of BHMP SLSC's history.

Remember, "A Club that ignores its History, has no Future."  Let us recognise and cherish our heritage, and maintain the level of pride in our Club which has infused Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park members for 90 years now.

History of the Burleigh Beach Club

The story below was submitted by John Roehrig. Originally penned in 1998, it tells of the decision to form the Burleigh Beach Club (our supporter's club) and the philosophy behind its development as a Burleigh icon.

The origins of the concept of  a licensed Club within the existing clubhouse facilities goes back a number of years.  In the early nineties an "offsite" licensed club complete with gaming machines on the old Burleigh Pool site had been considered but unfortunately this arrangement fell through.  Alternative sites were looked at but rejected as unsuitable.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 21:05
Definitive history - our more controversial days

History Book CoverA Colourful past for our Club...
This may give an insight into why we proudly call our Club the "Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Life Saving Club." It also demonstrates that we are strong in our convictions, our beliefs and sense of justice... oh yes, and perhaps a touch of 'larrikinism.'

Research for the information contained in this page was gleaned from numerous sources, personal interviews with old members, and two publications: I'm Telling You Burleigh Heads Will Do, and The Heart of Paradise. Both written by local historian, Robert Longhurst. The latter is a marvellous history book on Burleigh Heads.

A 75 yr history of the BHMP SLSC 1923 to 1998, titled I'm Telling You Burleigh Heads Will Do on this website.

It's funny how some early community concerns are still the topic of conversation at Burleigh today. Looking back we can find it laughable that some restrictive attitudes prevailed, however the significantly more 'prudent' social mores of the time should be considered when reading this document.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 20:54
Nev gallops into retirement to lean on bar named after racehorse

In Queensland, there are two private lunch clubs which are named after famous racehorses – The Carbine Club and The Bernborough Club. Now the name of another horse is to go down in history in a similar way.

Nev Morgan is a member of the prestigious Carbine Club and he is so taken by his rising star of the racetrack, Rangirangdoo, that he has named the new beach bar at Burleigh Heads Surf Lifesaving Club The Rangirangdoo Bar.

Click here to read the full article Nev gallops into retirement to lean on bar named after racehorse



Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 19:56
SHARK! SHARK! in Tally Creek – Report by Christo

I published a story about the Shark Hunt in Tallebudgera Creek some time ago but now Peter Christopherson wants to put the record straight.  Cracker didn’t agree with the original version either, wonder what he thinks of this?

SHARK! SHARK!  in Tally Creek – Report by Christo

“There is a bloody big shark in Tally Creek”!!!!. That’s the message that came through to the Burleigh Club from the campers sited on the South West side of Tally Bugger Bridge.  No houses then, all campers.  The date as best as I can remember was Christmas holidays about 1955/56.  Camping was a big deal in those days, all over Rudd Park and from the Surf Club north to the old Burleigh Pub; plus Tally Creek foreshores.  Why the campers didn’t contact Tally Club to confront this pectoral man-eater beats the hell out of me.  Would have saved a lot of bother!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 19:58


The Beaudesert Bronze Squad was coached by Gary Balkin a school teacher at Brooklands State School which was located about 16 kilometres north of Beaudesert. This squad was formed towards the end of the 1959/60 swimming season with 6 members of the Beaudesert  Amateur Swimming Club based at St Mary’s swimming pool in Bromelton Road Beaudesert.

Somehow Gary managed to get a reel from Burleigh so this squad could practice drill on reel, line and belt work during the winter months at Hopkins Park adjoining the swimmimg pool. The reel was stored in the pump shed at the pool.

Squad members:

1. Lloyd Winnett (bank johnny)

2. Anthony (Tony) Hawkins (student)

3. Russell Whitmore (student)

4. Ronald Wilson (mechanic)

5. David Allen (student)

6. Peter Allen (student)

These squad members joined BHMP SLSC on Saturday 1st October 1960 – the first summer weekend of patrolled beaches for the 1960/61 season. Our squad instructors at Burleigh Heads were Bill Mc Neil and Lindsay Thomas who were very thankful that Gary had done all the ground work on our resuscitation, physiology, reel, line and belt work during the winter months.

Tony, David, Russy and myself went to Burleigh with Gary on Friday afternoons. Ron Wilson worked on Saturday mornings at Blunck’s Garage and drove to Burleigh in the afternoon. Lloyd Winnett worked at the National Bank. Sometimes he worked late on Fridays and came down to Burleigh on Saturday. However, when he finished early on a Friday the five of us would somehow cram into Gary’s two-door, two tone brown and fawn Triumph Herald and Gary would drive to Beenleigh then down the old Pacific Highway to Labrador, Southport, over Jubilee Bridge to Narrowneck, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Miami, then on to the club house at Burleigh Heads. Up to the 1960 December school holidays we would cram like sardines into Gary’s car on a Friday afternoon and after a few stops to stretch our legs we would eventually arrive at our destination.

From October our squad continued to train at St Mary’s 25metre pool in the mornings before school/work and practice drill in Hopkins Park in the afternoons along with more swimming. We then spent the weekends at Burleigh leading to our Bronze Day which was organized for Saturday 3rd December 1960. Up to this point in time Ron Wilson had failed in all of his attempts to achieve the 400 metre proficiency swim in under 8 minutes.

At Burleigh on 3rd December 1960 our Bronze Examination was delayed while Ron Wilson was taken by our squad instructors and the two branch examiners to Jack Evans Pool at the southern end of the beach to undertake another 400metre swim.

We sat patiently on the rock wall above the beach to await their return. We expected a positive result, however, when they did return we were told that Ron had failed the swim. The five of us were totally devastated when informed by the branch examiners that Ron was ruled ineligible and that today’s Bronze Examination would not proceed.

That appeared to be the end of our great expectations.

However, the season was into its third month and the club was desperate to have additional qualified patrol members on the beach for the forth coming Christmas holidays.

As the branch examiners were about to leave they were collared into discussions with Gary, Bill, Lindsay, Charlie Taylor and Merv Clelland  regarding various options to have our squad qualified as soon as possible. An agreed solution was to locate an acceptable replacement for Ron Wilson and at the insistence of these senior club members the branch examiners reluctantly became involved in seeking a replacement. Telephone calls were made to other clubs. The Southport Club provided a member who was proficient and exam ready and who was arriving from Brisbane that afternoon. The branch examiners then rescheduled the Bronze Examination for the next morning.

The bronze squad on Sunday 4th December 1960 at Burleigh Heads was the first bronze medallion squad for BHMP SLSC for the 1960/61 season

1.     Lloyd Winnett (junior)

2.     Tony Hawkins (cadet)

3.     Russell Whitmore (cadet)

4.     David Allen (cadet)

5.     Peter Allen (junior)

6.     Gary Keenan( junior - Southport SLSC)

Somehow after 52 years I have managed to keep my Bronze.

Engraved on the medallion :


P.S. Allen


·       Tony Hawkins, Russell Whitmore and David Allen were cadets and achieved their qualifying certificate at Burleigh Heads on Sunday 4th December 1960.

·       Lloyd Winnett and Peter Allen were juniors and gained their bronze medallions at Burleigh Heads on Sunday 4th December 1960

·       Gary Keenan of the Southport SLSC gained his bronze medallion at Burleigh Heads on Sunday 4th December 1960

·       Bill McNeil and Lindsay Thomas qualified for their instructor’s certificate at Burleigh Heads on Sunday 4th December 1960.

·       Ron Wilson did finally achieve his proficiency swim and gained his bronze medallion at Burleigh Heads on Sunday 5th February 1961.

·       After turning 16, Russell Whitmore and David Allen gained their bronze medallions at Burleigh Heads on Saturday16th December 1961 during the 1961/ 62 season.

·       Tony Hawkins was not a member of BHMP SLSC in the 1961/62 season as he had joined the Navy and headed to Western Australia in October 1961 to be based with the frogmen unit at Fremantle.

Some memorable snapshots:

·       Catching a boomer at Burleigh.

·       Going for a row with Jimmy.

·       Enjoying a beer off the wood in the old courtyard.

·       Having a famous Yatala meat pie on the way home on a Sunday afternoon.

·       Looking for Gary’s teeth in the surf after one Sunday morning surf race.

·       House to house collections.

·       Chook raffles.

·       Hitching rides to and from Burleigh.

' Beaudesert Boys & instructors'.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 20:23