SURFS UP: Surf World volunteer Lawrie Pinniger and chairman Mal Sutherland present the history and highlights of surfing in a pop-up exhibition.
SURFS UP: Surf World volunteer Lawrie Pinniger and chairman Mal Sutherland present the history and highlights of surfing in a pop-up exhibition. Yvonne Gardiner

Surfing culture pops up on the 'Hill'

REGULAR "pop-up" exhibitions and school talks on the Gold Coast spread the word about the enduring importance of surfing to the region's popularity and growth.

Surf World museum chairman Mal Sutherland and Kirra Hill Heritage curator Sue Burnett have joined forces to stage a "pop-up" exhibition at Kirra Hill Community Centre this month (June).

Visitors are invited to enjoy a day on the picturesque "Hill" surrounded by surfing history and culture, food and music.

Surf World's extensive collection of memorabilia includes surf boards and photographs.

Onsite will be a distinctive promotional kombi and other surf-inspired vehicles.

Mal views the "pop-up" displays as part of the museum's contribution to the community.

"The Gold Coast beach culture goes way back to the early 1900s," he said.

"If it wasn't for surfing, the place wouldn't have grown.

"People were coming down by train in the early 1900s from Brisbane and Ipswich to come surfing.

"When they opened the train line up, the train stopped right in the main street of Coolangatta. 

"At that point, there were three towns - Coolangatta, Burleigh and Southport.

"There weren't many people on the Gold Coast then, but the town grew through the people that came here to surf." 

The Surf World Pop-up Display Board Collectors Swap Meet - Surfing through the 1950s and 1960s - will be open on June 18, from 10am to 4pm, at the Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre, 1 Garrick St, Coolangatta. Entry is free.

Enjoy the sounds of roving ukulele players and support the fundraising sausage sizzle.

Email Sue Burnett at dsburn99@bigpond.com for further details.

More on surfing - the Surf World museum on the first floor, 35 Tomewin St, Currumbin, showcases Australia's largest collection of surfboards.

It presents permanent and temporary exhibitions of surfboards, photographs, oral histories and memorabilia that explore the culture and character of the Gold Coast and Australia's surf heritage. Open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Admission prices $10 adults, $5 child/concession and $20 family.

Volunteers are needed - call (07) 55256380 to find out more.


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