A sledgehammer was wielded to mark the end of an era and the start of an exciting new future for the Mount Lifeguard Service.

Life member and patrol captain Kent Jarman smashed holes in the side of the clubhouse in a ceremony today attended by many of the club's old identities.

It was a significant occasion in the 89-year history of the club - the day before it handed the site over to builders to begin construction of a new $3 million multi-purpose clubhouse.

The ceremony also coincided with the last day of voluntary patrols for the season by members of the surf life-saving club.


Club chairman Paul Manning said it was a historic day that was both the end and start of an era.

The grand opening of the new building to future proof the club was due to take place in December.

''It will be a state-of-the-art facility that will do us very proud indeed.''

The remaining challenge was to raise the $700,000 needed to complete the building.

Manning was optimistic the club would find the money. ''We are realistic in our expectations.''

Jarman said various add-ons to the original building had been a series of compromises to the point where the building leaked and was no longer fit-for-purpose.

It was fitting that Jarman, a builder, should land the first blow on the old building, having spent the past 30 years of a 53-year lifeguarding career helping to maintain the clubhouse.