Lithgow Life Saving Club handicapped by lack of experience in the surf.
One of the most unusual objects in the collection at the Lithgow and District Family History Society is almost unrecognisable as a trophy. The inscription reads: LITHGOW L.S.C. POINT SCORE CUP Annual Competition Between Lithgow and South Brighton Clubs.
Lithgow was probably the only inland city to have a team that regularly competed in coast surf lifesaving competitions.
The Small Arms Factory Life Saving Club was formed on 25th March 1935. Fourteen members of the SAF Amateur Swimming Club had earned their Bronze Medallions and Royal Life Saving Certificates and soon organised a lifesaving patrol at the factory dam.
Twelve months after its formation, the Lithgow Club hosted a visit by the South Brighton Club, the current champion club of NSW. A friendly competition between the two clubs for the Lithgow Cup was won by the visitors 10 points to three.
In 1937 the two clubs engaged in competition at Brighton-le-Sands. Lithgow was defeated, largely owing to their lack of experience in the rough surf.
The Lithgow Club held a successful carnival in March 1939 attracting five metropolitan clubs. Perhaps the most spectacular event was the march past, the clubs with their variously coloured costumes presenting an inspiring sight. The annual competition between Lithgow and South Brighton for the Lithgow Cup was held on the Sunday morning at the factory swimming pool. Lithgow Club was the winner of the point score that day.
Doug McDonald was an active member of the Lithgow Club. In 1938 the SAF Life Saving Club was involved in the sesquicentenary celebration of European Settlement in Australia. Lithgow photographer H.K. Cockerton's photo of the club marching down Main Street was published in the Sydney Mail.
The competition between Lithgow and South Brighton for the Lithgow Cup continued until at least 1946. Gradually news of the SAF Lithgow Life Saving Club disappeared from the pages of the Lithgow Mercury.
By 1953 no members of the Lithgow Life Saving Club were on duty at the factory dam.