In May 1910, the formation of the New Brighton Surf Bathing and Life Saving Club took place under the light of a smoky kerosene lantern at New Brighton School.
The summer of 1909-10 was long and hot, with the Christchurch hordes frequently making the tiresome journey to the beach in horse-drawn trams. There was no lifeguard patrol, no reel and line, not even a lifesaving buoy to be thrown from the pier. It relied on the strong swimmers staying at the beach, the stalwart men of East Christchurch who had in the habit of making New Brighton their Mecca since 1905. There were several drownings, as many near misses, not just at New Brighton.
In May 1910, under the light of a smoky kerosene lantern at New Brighton School, local New Brighton resident Alfred P. Hopkins called a public meeting to discuss the formation of a club to safeguard the foreshore of New Brighton. This became the foundation meeting of the New Brighton Surf Life Saving Club, and the foundation meeting of the sport in New Zealand.
Image carousel credits – https://teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/22931/new-brighton-pier https://teara.govt.nz/en/ephemera/2026/new-brighton-christchurch-1909 https://christchurchcitylibraries.com/heritage/photos/disc8/img0075.asp