Lifeguard oral histories

Telling it like it is

In this photo from a Sydney newspaper, late 1930s, the Lifeguards, then called Beach Inspectors, model their new uniforms on Bondi Beach. Left to right: James (Jim) Lapthorne, Aubrey (Aub) Laidlaw, William (Bill) Pugh, Thomas (Tom) Meagher, Roger Riley and Joe Dobson. 

The Waverley Council Lifeguard service started in 1913 and has operated continuously for over a century. In 2001, realising that the history of the Lifeguard service had been largely undocumented, the then Local Studies Librarian and senior Lifeguard at Bondi Beach began conducting interviews with retired Lifeguards and their families.

Need more information?

Local Studies Librarian
Phone: 9083 8744


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