Remembering the Women of Royal Life Saving Society of Australia

Do you have stories and photographs from the early days of the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia (RLSSA)? Historian David Grant, who was secretary of the Mentone Life Saving Club for 25 years, would like to hear from you for his new book about the history of the movement in Victoria.

“People have the best intentions to safeguard historical records, but committees change and remembering who has kept what becomes a problem,” says David. “In your own families it’s even hard – who has the photos your great-grandparents kept?”

Many of the documents from the early RLSSA days in Victoria were also lost to fire and floods, so all donations of records, photographs and stories are greatly appreciated and all are recorded and if necessary copied and returned.

He’s particularly interested in the stories and documents related to the female members of the Life Saving Clubs, who always had equal rights to men from the very first days when the Victorian RLSSA branch began back in 1904.

“Sadly, the contribution of the female members wasn’t well-documented, so I’d be interested to hear about the stories of these women, who paved the way for female involvement in sport,” says David.

He has written two previous history books – Down to the Beach, documenting 90-years of Mentone Life Saving Club’s history, and a book on the members of the club who served in World War 11, which involved reading through 750 letters that were sent home to the president from the 80 members serving overseas (including a dozen female members). Order Down to the Beach from the Mentone LSC store.

Please contact David Grant with your history stories, photographs and/or documents by phoning 03 9580 4541 or LSV Archives on 0477 008 411.

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