About Merewether SLSC
Merewether Beach is located on the East Coast of Australia approximately 60 N.M. North of Sydney. Our beach is one of three on a stretch of sand approximately 1000 metres in length extending from the Merewether Ocean Baths in the south through to Dixon Park just north of Merewether Beach. As one the premiere surfing locations in the Newcastle area, the Merewether beach location was recognised as a National Beach Surfing Reserve.
Kiosk facilities are provided all year round alongside changerooms overlooking the beach. Voluntary members of the club have patroled the beach on weekends and public holidays from October to May since December 1907. On weekdays a Newcastle City Council Lifeguard patrols the beach. Merewether is one of 13 Surf Life Saving Club’s affiliated with the Hunter Branch of Surf Life Saving NSW and nationally with the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia.
Swimming at the beach in the late 19th & early 20th Century was mainly segregated, with men bathing in the Gulf approximately 230 metres south of the present day baths. The ladies and children selected a safer spot in front of the present day Surf House. Hence the name “The Ladies” for which it is still known to this day.
In October 1907 following a serious shark attack public meetings were held to petition the Government to provide a safe bathing place, change sheds and lifesaving apparatus at Merewether Beach.
On December 16 1907 the inaugural meeting of Merewether Amateur Swimming and Life Saving Club was held and the first officers of the club were elected. Following on January 16 1908 the first Annual General Meeting was held, an executive committee was elected and constitution formed. Mr C.H. Tonkin was elected President,Colonel Ranclaud Vice-President, Mr A.Asher Secretary/Treasurer and Mr J.P. Williams Sports Secretary.
Life Memberships were bestowed on Mr. E.A. Merewether, Colonel Ranclaud and Mr. A. Watt, per annum active memberships were also taken. Defined by “The State Parliament” in the early 1900’s as being the finest beach in the State. It’s no wonder that Merewether Beach has always been so popular for recreation and pleasure.
Our first Surf Carnival was held on March 7th 1908 with Newcastle and South Newcastle Surf Clubs and Perseverance Swimming Club competing with Local Members. Voluntary members of the Club have provided patrols of the beach since inception and have been responsible for the rescue of hundreds of people, often under very dangerous circumstances.