Denmark Surf Club Celebrates 60 Years

29 May 2019

The Denmark Surf Life Saving Club had a lot to celebrate when its members came together recently to commemorate its 60th Anniversary. As the current title holder of the Lavan WA Surf Club of the Year award and also a finalist in this year’s awards, the Club took the opportunity to give out a few awards of its own.

More than 150 people packed the Denmark Civic Centre with numerous heartfelt speeches from special guests.  Sue Sinagra – the first woman to get a Bronze Medallion at the Club in 1981 – spoke of what it was like when females only had limited participation rights.

“We weren’t allowed to use the change rooms so we had to use a harem tent on the beach and when we went to Perth for competitions we were never allowed to stay with the boys,” Ms Sinagra said.

She added that things had changed drastically since those days and the Denmark Surf Club had a way of “getting into your blood”.

“My husband and our four boys have been avid members for decades. My babies used to be in their basinets in the first aid room while I was on patrol and they were often not the only babies there,” Ms Sinagra added.

Club President Jane Kelsbie highlighted the continuing growth of the Club’s numbers which saw a 20% increase in members this year alone.  With over 360 members – 150 of those being Nippers-  the Club is going from strength to strength.

This was reflected in the presentation of the President’s Award that went to the Club’s Communications Officer Serena Kirby.

“Serena has played a vital role in increasing member numbers and has worked hard to make sure every one of us is reflected in all the photos, newsletters and media,” Ms Kelsbie said.

Social Officer and patrol member Joanna Svagelli also received special acknowledgement by winning the Club Person of the Year Award.

“Jo embodies the spirit of the Club and is a dedicated volunteer who worked tirelessly this season and generated considerable funds for the Club through our social events. She also helped feed 3,000 people at the Country Carnival event which was a mammoth effort,” Ms Kelsbie said.

Other worthy award winners included Deb Edmondson who was announced as the Diamond Lady Iron Woman. Anthony McEwan collected the Open Club Champion award while his daughter Olivia McEwan was named the Under 15 Club Champion.

This year’s Senior Life Saver of the Year was Tim Sinclair, and keeping it in the family, the Youth Life Saver of the Year went to Mia Sinclair.

Also launched at the dinner was a special commemorative book – DSLSC Green & Gold: 60 Golden Years – compiled by local historian Bev McGuinness. Filled with colour photos and press clippings documenting the Club’s history, copies of the book are available from George Mumford at Mitre 10 for $30 each.

Summing up, Ms Kelsbie said the evening was a “resounding success” that was topped off by a stunning three course dinner by Silas Masih from Pepper & Salt and guests danced until midnight to local band Dig The Dust.

Photos from the evening can be viewed here.