Situated some 35 km’s south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula lies a stretch of sandy beach.
In the early days it was known as “Dodd’s Beach” named after Thomas Dodd, who owned some of the surrounding land. Later, a competition was held to select a more suitable name to help real estate agents to promote the sale of land. In 1928 “Boon Boona Beach” was selected as the original winning entry, but a few years later recommendation changed it to “Moana”, a Maori word meaning, “blue sea”.
The Moana Life Saving Club was formed in January 1938 and patrolled as Moana Beach until 1952 under the auspices of the Royal Life Saving Society of South Australia. The club went into recess during the war years, but in 1945 was back on the beach, only with one piece of patrol equipment, a borrowed surf reel.
In September 1952, the Moana Surf Life Saving Club was formed and affiliated with Henley and Grange Clubs to form the South Australian State Centre, which in turn affiliated with the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia. Most of the members were also active players for the West Torrens Football Club; hence the Royal Blue and Gold colours were selected. On our competition caps, two parallel gold stripes are there to represent tyre tracks on our sandy beach.
Operating out of an old Bathing Shed just south of our present location, the club grew in strength, under the guidance of President Mr. Colin Clements. In the summer of 1956-57 a clubhouse was built, due to dedication and tireless efforts of club members. In 1966, an annex was added on to the northern side of the building, funded with money raised by the Ladies Auxiliary.
Our first surfboat was named “Braemar”, which was a double ender bought from N.S.W. Later, in 1957, we purchased the “Good Samaritan” from South Cronulla S.L.S.C. Several years later, the “Nashwauk” arrived (duly named after a shipwreck on our beach). The junior crew had won both State and South Coast titles in 1966-7,1967-8. Once this boat had served its purpose, it was donated to the City of Chicago, USA. “Nashwauk II” the proud workmanship of Mr. A.H Wallace was purchased and delivered in 1971, the last wooden surfboat to be made in South Australia.
In the mid – late 60’s, early 70’s methods of resuscitation, rescue techniques and equipment were being developed, tried and improved. Moana kept up with changes, enter our first I.R.B. and 4WD. In 1979-80, the new generation of life saving has begun, for Moana.
Moana Beach has successfully hosted three Australian National Titles in 1961, 1982 and 1986, assisted with human resources from our neighbour clubs, several State Senior and Junior Titles as well as other carnivals.
The fortunes of Moana ebbed and flowed during the 60s and 70s, by the late 70s the club was beginning to drift. Fortunately, with the introduction of females into surf lifesaving, a junior division was established, and a renewed interest had developed, and the club hasn’t looked back.
A member in 1970 said, “The reason we do not compete at carnivals is through lack of members, the club has only 10 active patrolling personnel, who are required on our beach as their number one priority”. Today’s fortunes are now totally different, membership has escalated, we train and compete in all areas of surf lifesaving and we still patrol the beach successfully without loss of life