Sumner Surf Life Saving Club Demolished

Monday, 1 July 2013

One chapter has closed as another is set to begin following the demolition of the Sumner Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday.

The 55 year-old club house, which was irreparably damaged by the February 22th earthquake in 2011, was demolished on June 29.

2013_Sumner SLSC_Demo1
One chapter has closed as another is set to begin following the demolition of the Sumner Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday. Photo taken by Jacob Davies.

Club president Murray Johnson says the day bought a mixture of emotions. "It was very sad because there is a lot of history attached to the club house for many people. But it's equally as exciting because we know what we've got to look forward to," he says.

The club is currently putting steps in place to build a new club house. Mr Johnson says they hope to lodge the necessary resource consents with Christchurch City Council later this month and will hopefully start building later this year, around September or October. "Realistically it will be the 2014/15 summer that we are fully up and running," he says.

Engineering work for the new club is being undertaken by Aurecon as part of its community investment programme and was initiated by one of its graduate surveyors, Luke Keats, who is a senior lifeguard at the club.

Richard Anderson, a Surveyor at Aurecon, said there was a lot of interest in the development.

"It's really seen as a 'gateway' building to the Sumner village and is an important community asset. It also sits along the path of the proposed coastal pathway project, which has required some planning to accommodate future needs," he says.

A sophisticated ground analysis was undertaken to check potential damage in future large earthquakes and associated risks.

Blair Quane, chairman of club's rebuild committee, said it was a pivotal focus for the community. "It's a popular destination throughout summer, with about 120 children participating in weekend programmes. Many of them progress to become surf lifesavers, all of whom work voluntarily," he says.

The surf club has been working with the Christchurch City Council, which owns the toilet block adjacent to the club rooms, and they organised the demolition to be executed together to minimise disruption to the community.

Mayor Bob Parker said that while demolishing buildings was always sad, in this case, it was a real sign of progress. "The surf club will soon be starting on the rebuild of new club facilities and toilets and this is good news for the people of Sumner. And although it's sad to lose the old buildings, the historic clock and bell from the old club will be incorporated into the new club providing a tangible link to the past," he says.

Sumner Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 1911 and it was the second Surf Life Saving Club formed in Canterbury.

For more information about Sumner Surf Life Saving Club visit

Media coverage:

Sumner surf club demolished, 3 News