Our club was inaugurated on the 12th of February 1960.
The first foundation hole was dug in 1961 by Alan Alsop, Len Wilson and Rex Baldry. Someone had the foresight to take a photo of this and it hangs proudly on the wall of our clubhouse today.
Over the years all of them were recognised for their contributions to the club by being presented with life memberships.
Initially the club was small in size and had a winch house in front. This was essential for launching and retrieving boats in the early days using our ramp.
The winch was also important to the Couta industry and over the years was used several times to rescue Couta boats and visitors boats from dangerously rough seas.
With the lack of use , rising maintenance costs and the disappearance of the Couta industry, the winch was removed and at the time the old concrete block from the winch was dumped on the beach behind the old Fishing CoOp and disappeared under metres of sand. We dug it up recently, moved it and attached a chain to it so it can now be used as an anchor point for winching out vehicles who become bogged when launching boats.
The ramp can no longer be used for launching boats as it’s deemed too dangerous. It’s only function these days is the start of the Pier to Pub Swim.
On the site where the old winch house was located we now have a sign post showing distances to towns and cities with a whale weathervane on the top.
It is one of the most photographed displays on the Great Ocean Road.
The original clubhouse was an old cafe which was part of the Gracedale Guesthouse and was relocated from the site where Lorne Community Connect is today.
That is the western half of our clubhouse where the bar and entrances are located.
No one is quite sure exactly how old it is so we will put it in the Bloody Old category.
Each year usually in spring we have working bees to do maintenance on our old weather-beaten building. It’s been painted so many times the paint is the main thing holding it up.
For many years the club was only open on weekends and special occasions and the bar was operated by volunteers.
The Fisherman’s Bar at the Pacific hotel was for many years the watering hole where the locals used to socialise but in the late 90’s the owners decided to close it down and change it into an upmarket bar.
Instantly our club became the social hub for the locals and remains that way today.
We are now open 7 days a week over the warmer months and 6 days over winter. We employ a full time manager and lots of casual bar staff.
In 1998 the clubhouse was extended which doubled its size and the tractor shed and fish cleaning room was added.
As we no longer have a tractor the shed is now used as a store room but we still call it the tractor shed.
In 1999 we built the barbecue which is named after Bill Castle , a life member who for many years presided over countless barbecues, feeding our hungry anglers,members and visitors. Today it is the most popular and well used barque in Lorne.
It enhances our beer garden which has become a hugely popular spot for all types of functions.
Our popularity has increased dramatically over the last few years and we now have well over 1,000 members.
February 2010 was our 50th year which was celebrated by a Ball at the Pacific Hotel.
2020 was our 60th year and we had plans for a celebration but unfortunately COVID-19 put a stop to that.
Primarily we are an Angling Club and probably the most active one in Victoria.
We have 10 fishing competitions each year, 6 Major comps which are held on long weekends and 4 Winter Cup comps that are held on the quieter weekends which are held mainly for the members who have to work on the long weekends.
Our scoring system has a unique but practical method that allows only one fish to be weighed in and the Angler has to decide which fish they want to weigh.
It’s a very environmentally friendly way of doing it.
Non boat anglers receive more points than boat anglers.
We cook roast lunches for the Major Comps and Mixed grills for the Winter Comps which are free for all competitors and members.
Prizes are awarded to the top three adults and the top two juniors just before lunch is served.
After the AGM each year we present trophies to the yearly winners.
Other than Fishing Competitions we run lots of other fun events including:
- Hawaiian Shirt Wednesdays all of January
- Great Ocean Road Garlic Growing Championships in late summer
- Pub to Pier and Anglers Beer Swim in late January
- Great Ocean Road Tomato Growing Championships in early autumn
- AFL footy tipping competition with a free party for all tippers on the last game of the year
- World Sausage Roll Championship in June
- AFL Grand Final Day Party
- Melbourne Cup Extravaganza with fashions on the field
- Countless free nibbles, sausage sizzles, sausage rolls, party pies etc and happy hours