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The Life-Saving Station

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was a once a crude little life-saving 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.  With no thought for themselves, they were prepared to go out, day or night, tirelessly searching for the lost.

Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station.  In time, it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding areas, wanted to become associated with the station.  They gave of their time and money to support its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little life-saving station grew.

Some of the new members of the life-saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They thought a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.

So, they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering-place for its members.  They redecorated it beautifully and furnished it as a sort of club.

Fewer of the members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life-boat crews to do this work.

The mission of life-saving was still given lip-service, but most members were too busy or lacked the necessary commitment to personally join in the life-saving activities.

About this time, a large ship was wrecked off the coast.  The hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet, half-drowned people.

These people were dirty and sick.  They were a mix of races, and many spoke strange languages.  The property committee took one look at these new arrivals, and immediately had a shower-house built outside the club, so shipwreck victims 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 life-saving activities, because they seemed unpleasant and a hindrance to their social calendar.

A few members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose.  They pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. Even so, these people were voted down.  The others suggested that, if they wanted to save the lives of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. They did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. They evolved into a club.  Yet another life-saving station was founded.

If you visit the seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters.  Now, most of the victims drown.