We’ve arrived at May 2018 which marks a special occasion. It’s the month in which Red Beach Surf Club notches up 65 years since its formation.
The formation of the club came about through a drowning at nearby Orewa Beach. In the summer of 1953, Toby Mitchell, on holiday in Pinewoods Motor Camp at Red Beach, witnessed the fatality from his bach on a hilltop overlooking the Orewa estuary. He felt that if surf lifesavers had been on hand at Red Beach they might have been able to reach the drowning person with less difficulty than the rescuers experienced.
He discussed his ideas on the formation of a club at Red Beach with Peter Bevin, a New Zealand champion lifesaver, and then with Allan Gardner, the chairman of the Auckland Surf Life Saving Association. Mitchell, along with Red Beach residents and holidaymakers interested in safety at their beach, banded together to progress the idea of establishing a surf club.
During Easter of 1953 they invited officials of the Auckland Surf Life Saving Association to meet with them and discuss forming a club. On Sunday 31st May 1953, the officials were again invited to attend a meeting of Red Beach residents on the community green in Pinewoods Motor Park – this time to add another name to the list of Auckland surf clubs. Mitchell was elected as the club’s first president.
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Article published in the "8 O'Clock" - Saturday 6th June 1953