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Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club men's march-past swimsuit

Date: 1959-1963
Overall: 780 x 400 mm, 0.25 kg
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00000924
Related Place:Cronulla,

User Terms

    This march-past swimsuit was worn by Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club members at surf carnivals in the 1950s and 1960s. It features a lightning pattern in the traditional club colours of blue, black and white. Although men's swimwear became increasingly brief after the 1930s, the march-past costume used by surf lifesavers retained the covered chest and half skirt of the classic Racerback swimsuit of the late 1920s.

    By 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 recalled the pageantry and tradition of the early surf life saving movement.
    SignificanceThis is a rare example of a march-past design worn by members of the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club at surf carnivals in the early 1960s.
    HistoryThe 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, such as Cronulla, began to form 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: Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club men's march-past swimsuit

    Primary title: Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club men's march-past swimsuit

    Related People
    Maker: Jantzen

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