Change of vemue for Kirra Surfriders 50th Anniversary

24 Jan 2012 0 Share

Kirra Surfriders to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Kirra Surfriders to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Due to the forecast of constant rain right through to the weekend in the SE corner of Queensland, there has been a change of venue for this Saturday’s 28th January, Kirra Surfriders 50th Anniversary Party.

Originally the celebrations with live bands were planned for on top of Kirra Hill to be outside at the Kirra Hill Community Cultural Centre. However because of the weather, the KSC Golden Anniversary has been moved to the dryer venue of the Coolangatta Hotel – Boardroom + Balcony Function Room upstairs, Cnr Warner St & Marine Parade, Coolangatta, from 2.30pm this Saturday 28th January 2012.

“Everything is the same including the live bands and BBQ although we’re dropped the tarp surfing in the car park and the groms will now be able to play pool! The big bonus of this late change is that well known local muso Mason Rack will be playing from 10pm,” said the matriarch of the Kirra Surfriders Jenny Sheehan. $10.00 Tickets can be purchased at the Kirra Surf lifesaving Club up until Friday 27th. January. 


About the event

Queensland’s first surfboard riding club, the Kirra Surfriders (KSC) will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with a huge reunion party on top of Kirra Hill at the Community Cultural Centre (formerly Coolangatta State School), Garrick St., this Saturday 28th of January from 2.30 pm until 8pm.

A special feathered friend from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary resembling the Club’s mascot (sea eagle) will launch ceremonies including talks from past Presidents, women members and the KSC’s very own 2 times World Champion Mick Fanning.

Parking will be at a premium and organizers have suggested parking on either side of the Kirra Hill e.g. behind the Coolangatta Post office or alternately next to the Kirra Surf lifesaving Club then walk up the hill. Security will be provided at the venue with access to the east side of the Cultural Centre. Admittance is $10.00 a ticket which can be purchased at the Kirra Surf Lifesaving Club until Friday 27th January. Drinks and meals will be provided at additional cost.

Live Bands comprising of former KSC members will provide plenty of good old rock and roll throughout the afternoon, plus movies and photos of the KSC’s history, a mechanical surfboard for the grommets and a raffle for winning a $5,500 Aus trip to the Mentawai’s thanks to Perfect Wave will be drawn on the day.

Their first Club President Tony Butler was only 15 when elected in 1962, “We were only kids and surfing perfect waves at Kirra with a handful out,” said Tony who admitted his memory is a little hazy from those early embryonic days. “The idea was to form a club to give our members competitive experience and having a good time some of which shouldn’t be mentioned!”

Butler remembers when the club had its first competition with the Maroubra Boardriders with a young Gordon Merchant (Billabong founder) a Maroubra member. “Both our clubs met down at Byron Bay where we slept overnight at the Pass!” He credits the early committee of Mal and Barry Sutherland, Curly Pinnegar, Brian Woodrick, George Hawker, Joe Larkin the late Bill Stafford Senior and John Charlton senior for guiding the club. Their first meeting was held in the ladies downstairs showers as “it was bigger than the mens!” Tony’s father was managing the Kirra Hotel and Tony’s bedroom was above the public bar overlooking Kirra Point! “That was the view I woke up to every morning!”

Meetings became mobile from the Kirra Surf Club to the Kirra Hotel then across to the Patch (Queensland Hotel) at Greenmount until the mid 90’s when the Kirra Surf lifesaving club gave the KSC their own clubhouse  room  for meetings held every month.

This early legacy has allowed the Kirra Surfriders club to develop into one of the great Australian boardriding clubs of today. Its roll call of surfers is legendary and boast such high profile names such as Joe Larkin, John Standing, Keith Paul, Allan Balmer, Graham Black, Furry Austin,Hacka Allen, Les Aberdeen, PT, Rabbit Bartholomew, Michael Peterson, Tommy Peterson, Dave McDonald, Kerry Gill, Ray Manicarus, Jason Buttenshaw, Reg Riley, Kevin Charman, Tony Ray, Sam Watts, Scat Pitchers, Danny Tukino, Jason Frost, Jason Spence, Ismael Trotter, Jamie Kasdaglis, Luke Costello,  Stuart Darcy, Aaron Pinniger, Neil Purchase Jnr , Robbie Cohen, Damon Harvey, Darren Handley , Dru Adler, John “Bearsey” Cummings, Dean Lock, Mick Rabbidge, Joel Pitchers, Brad Lancaster, Adam Fletcher, Joel Green,  Ed, Sean and Mick Fanning, Corey Ziems, Asher Pacey, Clancy Dawson, Jason Stevens, Nathan Bartlett, Matt Lee, Dale Richards, Jack Freestone, Justin Holland, Sam Clift, Jake Cumberland plus the girls from John Charlton’s dau
ghters Carol, Robyn, Denise, Sally Paxton, Serena Townend, Colleen Deane, Donna Cash, their first women’s President Debbie Long, Trudy Todd, Rochelle Scammell, Brittani Nichol etc., some have passed away, some have left and joined other clubs but the spirit of KSC remains as  solid as ever.

Rochelle Scammell whose  Dad Graeme was a former President and Mum Lynn helped to apply successfully for a  Government grant to set up their first clubhouse was quoted in the Book, “Beyond the Green Room”  published in 2001 said, “Kirra isn’t just a surfriding club but an organization that works on team effort and Family spirit! Without this KSC wouldn’t be where it is today!” and that pretty well sums up the Kirra Clubs spirit perfectly.

Their annual Kirra Teams event now sponsored by Volcom in 2012 with as many as 40 clubs will be another huge event in February and following on the KSC team will be vying for the Jim Beam National Surf Tag titles at North Wall Ballina. John Robin has been the driving force behind the 28th Kirra Teams event.

Jenny Sheenan who is the undisputed matriarch of the Kirra Surfriders is asking everyone to bring their picnic blanket, a spare brollie and camping chair as the 50th reunion party will be outside on a grassy courtyard area and as Jenny says” It will be like a big backyard BBQ and a fun afternoon for everyone to celebrate the clubs anniversary and reminiscing with mates about all the good times!”

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