Leederville brothers Bill & Frank McVeigh surfed the South West in the late 60s to mid-70s. The boys had large eyes and the older brother Bill was nick-named ‘Big Eyes’ and young Frank was known as ‘Little Big Eyes’. Their father owned a holiday shack in the Miami area (now Falconer) near Mandurah.
Older brother Bill fancied himself as a world class rally driver in his FJ Holden and used to entertain the punters with burn-outs in the old gravel car park at Yallingup.
City Beach surfer Ross Utting was age 17 when Bill assisted him & his surfing mates Gerard Waddell & Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson on two trips down south in ’69, putting himself at some inconvenience.
Ross Utting: “First time Gerard Waddell’s FX Holden panel van broke down in Australind late on a Friday night. Big Eyes stopped, diagnosed the problem & got us going within an hour. We were only 17 and had no idea. Then about 2 weeks later we hit a tree head-on near Guthrie’s farm on Caves Road. Wrecked our car & needed hospitalisation. Bill was first on the scene heading to Moses Rock for a surf. He towelled up our wounds, took us to Margaret River Hospital & stayed with us til we were discharged. Bill then found us all a place to stay at Eagle Bay Cottages & then drove us back to Perth the next day after he had a surf at Yallingup. What a guy“.
Images: 1967 Big Eyes (Bill) doing a wedgie at Yallingup. Images ex CBSR Super 8 Movie film.
Young Frank started surfing on a coolite at City Beach before progressing to a surfboard. He surfed well down south, but with red hair, fair skin with freckles and sun damaged eyes it was difficult to spend a lot of time in the sun. When he surfed on hot days, he would wear a large hat pulled down over his face with two eye holes cut out so he could see. He loved his surfing and lived in cave south of Left Handers for a whole summer.
Frank suffered from kleptomania and would take anything he could, but he was a good guy and popular with other surfers. He rode a big old motor scooter around Dunsborough/Yallingup and on the dirt track to Rocky Point with his surfboard.
Little Big Eyes lived a tragic life and his life ended prematurely in India in the mid 70s.
Images: 1967 Little Big Eyes (Frank) with his coolite at City Beach. Images ex CBSR Super 8 movie film.