Where it all started…
The Club was first established by group of local life savers who were keen to keep up their fitness during the Winter months. They drew up a Constitution and elected office bearers. The Bondi Icebergs were born.
The Icebergs winning relay team for the “Kelso Cup” against Bronte in 1931.
In the 1930’s, the first "Chicken Swim" was introduced during the Depression and to this day remains an annual event. Swimmers would win a coveted chook to take home for Christmas dinner. This annual event still takes place in December each year.
Icebergs in 1932, complete with ice and a dog.
One of the first Icebergs’ picnics held at Hollywood Picnic Grounds.
Rules of the Bondi Icebergs, 1944
In the 1940’s, the historic “15B rule” was introduced and still applies to this day. All swimmers must swim at least 3 Sundays out of 4 for a period of 5 years before they are officially deemed an Iceberg. If a swimming member fails to swim on at least 3 Sundays they must provide a written letter of explanation before the end of the relevant month. This is known as the Historic 15B Rule.
Opening Day in 1946.
Bondi Diggers Swimming Club - Photo by Jim Porter
The 25th anniversary of the Club.
The Club’s building before 1958.
In the 1960’s, the Club became licensed and moved from a tin shed to a comfortable premises with a bar & poker machines.
New Year’s celebrations at the Bondi Icebergs Club.
Membership Record, Bondi Icebergs Club.
Swimming Records at the Icebergs.
The start of Rossfields all Surf Club relay in 1976.
Kevin King Point Score, 1978.
Open Day 1979.
Swimming in the pool with a block of ice is a tradition that still remains today.
Bondi Ice Cubes
The “Bondi Icecubes” were formed and have now become the largest junior winter swimming club in Australia.
Southern Metropolitan Winter Swimming Championship Program, 1989
Save the Iceberg Rally
The clubhouse faced potential demolition by Waverley Council who had discovered concrete cancer in the building and later voted to relinquish control of the site back to the State Government. A consortium led by John Singleton accepted a plea for financial assistance, and in October 1998 a $10 million D.A. was lodged with the Council.
The Icebergs old building.
First women signing up to become members.
For the first time, membership was open to everyone. “When the swimmer in Lane One hit the ice-chilled water about 10:30am yesterday, her splash signalled an end of 66 years of all-male tradition at one of the world’s most famous winter swimming clubs” – Sydney Morning Herald reporter Daniel Lewis May 7, 1995.
Bondi Icebergs at night.
The brand-new Club premises were opened. Surf Life Saving Australia moved in to the new premises on the first floor, and the top floor was taken by Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. The “Clubhouse” took up residence on Level 2 where to this day it boasts Function, Bistro and Bar facilities, and everyone is welcome.
Open Day 2014
Extensive storm damages including slices of the walking track sliding into the ocean.
Huge storms ravaged Sydney’s east coast and forced the closure of the pool for several weeks during the swimming season. To avoid 15B enforcement, all swimming members were still required to head to the pool to gain a credit for each week!
Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club celebrates 90 years. Sunday Winter swims continue, and the Clubhouse still operates on Level 2; a place where everyone is welcome. We pay homage to our past and welcome the future as we look beyond the horizon and swim steadily towards our 100th year to be marked in 2029.