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The Australian Women's Weekly

FOUR GENERATIONS OF SURF AND SAND

Burleigh Heads nipper Cooper Bagley. Terry Imrie (below, centre), with Brent, Brooke and their children.

Longtime Burleigh SLSC member Terry Imrie, 70, is the bloke with all the good yarns. The unofficial club historian, it’s his own family story of four generations that embodies just what Surf Lifesaving is all about.

“My dad, Allan, born 1919, became a member of Burleigh in 1936,” he tells The Weekly. “Later, he enlisted as a soldier and in 1942 was a sergeant in the Australian Army up in New Guinea during WWII. He became a life member in 1956. Surf is ingrained in our DNA.

“I joined in 1961, and the same year I won a cadet state championship. Dad passed away in 2000, but not before we both were awarded OAMs for service to the community through Surf Lifesaving.”

Son Brent, 41, his wife, Brooke, and their four children – Diesel, 10, Max, eight, Jagger, seven, and youngest daughter Storm, five – are determined the Imrie family surf lifesaving tradition will continue.

“I was a nipper at seven, and started patrols at 13,” says Brent. “For 28 years I’ve been watching over this beach. Three of the four eldest kids do nippers, and Storm is itching to be an official nipper next season. I’m a ‘clubbie’ to the core – waking up on Sunday mornings as a family and hitting the beach – there’s nothing better.”

Brooke, also a volunteer, is convinced the surf lifesaving culture provides the best possible chance in life for young people.

“In an era where everything is about screen time, with our brood, there’s only scene time,” she says. “They know their forefathers walked on this very sand. Having the old boys around the club who remember Allan, our kids hear the stories about their family’s history. They aspire to be decent people with good values, just like those before them. I know Allan would be very proud of them all.”

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