UNCLAIMED: The Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club has unearthed a couple of hundred bronze medallions during a clean-up and has asked anyone who never claimed theirs to come forward.
UNCLAIMED: The Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club has unearthed a couple of hundred bronze medallions during a clean-up and has asked anyone who never claimed theirs to come forward. Janine Hill

Wanted: 200 lifesavers who never collected medallions

DID someone not get the message? Like, about 200 times?

A clean-up at the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club has unearthed a box containing about 200 unclaimed bronze medallions dating back more than 40 years.

The club has put the call out for anyone who might have earned their bronze, considered a mark of proficiency in surf life saving, to claim their medal.

The club's general manager, Ashley Robinson, said he was surprised that so many people had not bothered to claim the medals they had worked so hard to earn.

"It's nine weeks of their lives. It would be great to be able to return some of these,” he said.

Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club general manager Ashley Robinson with a tin of a couple of hundred bronze medallions unearthed during a clean-up. The club has asked anyone who never claimed theirs to come forward.
Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club general manager Ashley Robinson with a couple of hundred unclaimed bronze medallions unearthed during a clean-up. The club has asked anyone who never claimed theirs to come forward. Janine Hill

Earning a bronze medallion is hard work.

Bryce Groen, the club's chief training officer, said it involved training one day a week for nine weeks.

To qualify, trainees must be able to swim 400m in under nine minutes, do a 200m run followed by a 200m swim and another 200m run in under eight minutes, demonstrate a board rescue with an unconscious person and the same with a conscious person, demonstrate a tube rescue, be able to perform CPR, demonsrate the extraction of spinal injury patient from the water, know 15-20 hand signals.

And that is just the practical side. They must also pass the theory, being a certificate two in public aquatic safety.

Mr Robinson said bronze medallion recipients were notified when their medals were available for collection and he was mystified as to why so many people had never picked them up.

"I stuck my hand in the box and the first one I pulled out was dated 1969,” he said.

The Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club has unearthed a couple of hundred bronze medallions during a clean-up and has asked anyone who never claimed theirs to come forward.
A bronze medallion inscribed A.D.R. Stanley, dated Decembr 21, 1969. Janine Hill

The 1969 medallion was for A. D.R. Stanley and is dated December 21.

Another early medallion is inscribed R. J. Staines and dated January 13, 1973, while there are other far more recent medallions in the collection.

"It would be great to be able to reunite some of hese people, or their relatives, with their bronze medallions because it's something you should keep all your life,” Mr Robinson said.

"Not everyone has the ability to get one of these.”

If you or someone hou know might have a bronze medallion to pick up, contact the club.