Woonona surf club celebrates 100 years

Much has changed at Woonona Surf Life Saving Club since those first early days in 1913, but one thing remains the same - the deep passion for saving lives.

The diverse and highly trained patrol crews of today are a world away from those black-and-white photo days of stern-faced young men with their traditional reel, line and belt rescue gear.

They have evolved into a slick rescue machine, with Woonona one of the state's most respected and decorated surf lifesaving clubs.

Woonona SLSC will this year mark its 100th anniversary, kicking off the festivities tomorrow with a family fun day on the beach between noon and 3pm.

The event will be followed by a gala dinner at the Lagoon restaurant, where the club will be presented with its Silver Level Status award for overall excellence, the first club in NSW to receive the distinction.

LSNSW president Tony Haven will travel to the Illawarra to present Woonona with their award.

"The club has worked hard to develop and engage their members. I am very proud to be awarding this to them - especially in their centenary year," Mr Haven said.

Club president Peter Evert achieved his bronze medallion in 1976, and over the past 37 years has witnessed the transformation of the club and surf lifesaving.

He said families were the backbone of the club, with more than 15 family groups involving both parents and children taking on patrols.

Mr Evert's own children, Lauren, 23, Tess, 21, and Lindsay, 19, all grew up with red and yellow coursing through their veins, and wife Gail is also an associate member.

"That's really something I've promoted as president in the last three or four years, we're a family organisation," he said.

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