THE Save Yourself Club caused quite a stir during the late 1930s and early 1940s when the group of Corrimal coal miners set-up camp at what was designated “Froth Blowers Retreat” at Towradgi Beach over the Christmas holidays, for days of beer drinking, sport and more beer drinking.
The clergy, particularly Sydney temperance leaders, surprisingly were not very supportive of the antics of the Save Yourself Club when approached by reporters for comment in 1940.
The 15 members of the social club attracted nation wide media coverage in 1940 when they reportedly broke an Australian record by drinking 600 gallons of beer in 15 days.
MINERS GROW FAT DRINKING BEER
Wollongong, January 9.
The 15 Corrimal miners, who aim to create a record, have drunk 530 gallons of beer in 14 days. They have all put on weight.
The men are camped on Towrodgi [sic] Beach, where they spend their holidays each year.
Hundreds of people have visited their camp, which is named “Froth blowers’ Retreat.”
The visitors have been surprised at the men’s gaiety and fitness.
“I did not expect to see them playing cricket,” said a woman.
The men will break camp next week-end with a final celebration.
– Northern Standard Friday 12 January 1940.
IN 12 days, 15 Corrimal miners have averaged 21 pints of beer, and one and a half bottles of soft drink per man per day.
They are members of the “Save Yourself Club,” and are camped on the beach near Wollongong. The beer marathon is an annual event, but this year’s consumption is more than double that of last summer.
Police say the camp is well conducted.
– News Tuesday 2 January 1940.
CLAIM RECORD FOR BEER DRINKING
15 MINERS CONSUME 600 GALLONS IN FORTNIGHT
FIFTEEN Corrimal miners in 15 days drank 600 gallons of beer and 660 bottles of lemonade and ginger ale.
This is the final achievement of members of the Save Yourself Club, who concluded their camping holiday on Towrodgi [sic] beach, Woolongong, last week-end.
All members put on weight. They claim they have set an Australian record for beer drinking.
Biggest daily consumption was on New Year’s Day – 60 gallons of beer and soft drink.
“We may not be as good as those 20 gallon-a-day, Germans, but we’ll hold our own, with any Australia,” said Pat Curran. “In any case we’ve set an Australian record.”
“Captain” Curran, as he is known to his club mates, believes the club is the ideal way for hard-working men to spend their annual holidays.
“Get away from the crowd, find a nice, quiet beach, have music and fun, and plenty of beer,” is his holiday advice.
– The Evening News Thursday 11 January 1940.