In 1925 the Shellharbour District Surf and Life Saving Club was formed and new surf sheds were opened at the beach. In 1937 a meeting was called at the Shellharbour Hotel to kick start the Surf Club. Local identity Keith Hockey was 16 years old when he attended the meeting and he played an integral part in reforming the club. He served as Honorary Secretary until 1952.
During the war years the club folded up, though the reel was still on hand at the beach if anyone needed assistance in the water. After the war, the Army sold off a lot of its assets. Jim Cullen, owner of the Ocean Beach Hotel, with the help of donations from the local community managed to get a Nissan Hut from near the Steelworks that had been used as an Army canteen. The Nissan Hut was brought on a truck from Warrawong and became the first club house. For the first couple of years, Shellharbour Workers Club rented the hall from the Surf Club for £5 per week, and with this money, the club house was paid off.
In 1962, Keith was appointed Secretary of the Shellharbour South Beach Committee, which was formed to establish life saving on South Shellharbour beach during the holiday period. Campers at South beach would not walk over to North beach for a swim and it became very dangerous.
Shellharbour Council put a lifesaver on the beach during the weekends and eventually increased this to full time, and Lifesavers have been on the beach ever since.
Shellharbour Surf Lifesaving Club 1957.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.