Media Release: History in the making at Mona Vale Surf Club
Today, history was made with clubbies, locals, and politicians on hand to celebrate with one of the club’s oldest and longest-serving members Christian Boss, who literally gave a hand, by having his hand-cast in plaster next to one of the youngest nippers to be included in the design of the new building.
The Club is being led into the modern era with not only a new building, but its first female President in the club’s 99-year history, Paula Tocquer.
The first Mona Vale Surf Club was built in 1923 and was located on the sand dunes towards Darley Street. In 1934, a new clubhouse was built 100 metres to the south of the existing club, and then in 1969 it evolved to reside on the current site, where it has served its members and the community for more than 50 years.
We spoke to President Paula Tocquer to find out what it means to be at the helm during this exciting chapter.
What are your thoughts on getting a new club?
The new club house is so desperately needed as the old club one was not only tired, but just could not accommodate the lifesaving operations and growing membership anymore.
What emotions are you and the members feeling now that construction has finally kicked off?
Many have expressed a little sadness to see the old building go. So many memories were made in the old club house. But that said, we are all very excited to have a new place to call home.
How long has this been in the making?
I have been on the committee for the last eight or so years and I know many prior to that have been trying to get this project off the ground. Many people have put a lot of time and effort to make this happen.
What will the new clubhouse mean to the club and the community?
The club has many facets to it from lifesaving and education, nippers and surf sports. All these areas will benefit but most of all the operational aspects of patrolling our beach will benefit most greatly. The community can enjoy our beach knowing they and their families are safe.
How does it feel to be the Club’s first female President?
I am very proud of our club. It has so many good people that do so much. It is difficult to express how this makes me feel to be honest. It is just such a great privilege.
How long have you been a clubbie? What is your greatest achievement while being a surf lifesaver?
I am actually new to the movement. I joined about 13 years ago when moving to Mona Vale from Bondi. It was a great way to meet people and be part of the community. I would say there have been many achievements along the way, but the most rewarding part of being in SLS is teaching the bronze medallion and seeing students pass their assessment and receive their uniforms.
Key features of the purpose-built clubhouse
- improved accessibility
- nippers’ facilities
- storage for the local board riders club
- function space
- first aid room
- family change facilities
The building design features lots of natural materials, and the use of solar panels and recycling rainwater to minimises its environmental impact.
Until the new clubhouse is completed early 2022 (weather permitting), lifesavers will operate from specially fitted out shipping containers and temporary buildings located in the beach car park.
The new building meets the many needs of the club now and into the future so they can continue keeping our community safe. The $10million project is funded by the NSW Government, community contributions through Mona Vale Surf Club fundraising and Council.
Keep up to date with the project.
Image – L-R Mayor Regan, Surf Club Life Member 77-year-old Christian Boss, 9-year-old nipper Avigail Kedmi, Surf Club President Paula Tocquer, and Minister Rob Stokes