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Jantzen Diving Girl logo reproduced courtesy of Skye Group

City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club man's march-past swimsuit

Date: 1948-1954
Dimensions:
Overall: 780 x 380 mm, 0.2 kg
Clothing size: 36
Medium: Machine knitted wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club
Object Copyright: © Jantzen Diving Girl logo Skye Group
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00004519
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Description
    This swimsuit in club colours features black heraldic swan wings, and the diving girl logo used by Jantzen from 1948. Although men's swimwear became increasingly brief during the 1930s, and topless by the end of the decade, the march-past swimsuit retained the covered chest and half skirt of the classic Racerback swimsuit of the late 1920s.
    SignificanceThis is a rare example of the march-past design worn by members of the City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club at surf carnivals in the 1950s. The club was active from 1936 to 1954.






    HistoryBy using this vintage march-past design well into the second half of the 20th century, the surf life saving movement perpetuated the classic 1930s image of the lifesaver as the bronzed hero of the Australian beach. The march-past swimsuit also came to represent the pageantry and tradition of the life saving movement.

    City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club was founded in December 1924 at City Beach by members of the City of Perth Amateur Swimming Club and became Western Australia's third Surf Life Saving Club.

    The earliest surf carnivals, originally called gymkhanas, were held at Manly, Bondi and North Steyne in New South Wales in 1908 as fund raisers for the Royal Life Saving Society. Surf Life Saving clubs formed around Australia from 1907 onwards, with carnivals held in the summer months as a way to test the skills of members and maintain their fitness for patrol and rescue work.

    Carnivals usually opened with the ceremonial march-past parade of competing teams wearing swimsuits in club colours marching with military precision while carrying club pennants and surf reels. Carnival events included surf races, alarm reel (belt race), surf relay (surf teams), rescue and resuscitation, as well as novelty events such as tug-of-war, pillow fights, catching the greasy pig, chariot and sack races.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club man's march-past swimsuit

    Primary title: City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club man's march-past swimsuit

    Related People
    Maker: Jantzen

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