On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little lifesaving station grew.
Some of the members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the building was so crude
and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first
refuge of those saved from the sea. They replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better
furniture in the enlarged building. Now, the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place
for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely, because they used
it as a sort of club. Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so
they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. The lifesaving motif still prevailed in this club's
decoration, and there was a symbolic lifeboat in the room where the club initiations were held.
About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads
of cold, wet and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick and some of them had black skin
and some had yellow skin. The beautiful new club was in chaos. So the property committee
immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be
cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to
stop the club's lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life
of the club. Some members insisted upon lifesaving as their primary purpose and pointed out
that they were still called a lifesaving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if
they wanted to save lives of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those
waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast. They did.
As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a club, and yet another lifesaving station was founded. History continued to repeat itself, and if you visit that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.