60s 70s photographs

1967 Big Eyes Bros.

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.

1967 Bill McVeigh 'Big Eyes' at Yalls - ex CBSR 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.

1967 Frank McVeigh 'Little Big Eyes' at City Beach - ex CBSR movie film

2 comments on “1967 Big Eyes Bros.

  1. Surfing Down South

    From Gooselegs at Noosa: Thanks for that Jim
    that was priceless.

    I knew Big Eyes well
    because for a couple of years myself,Terry Garrett, Bob Monkman and Ron Waddell
    all hung in the same crew driving around in Bills FJ.

    He would actually go
    round and pick us up one by one on a Friday night for the weekend surf trips
    either local.Mandurah or Yalls.

    If you remember we
    all wore 50’s three piece suits my grandmother Rose Ford altered to fit us and
    we would pull up at a location hats and all.

    Quite a generous soul
    and thankfully I have made contact over the years though I haven’t seen him for
    some time recently.

  2. Surfing Down Sout

    From Gooselegs at Noosa:

    Jim you jogged my memories about Eyes and this is a classic.

    It was late
    summer 1967 and we were roaring down the Rockingham Road heading to Surf Beach
    and the reason for our haste was to beat the dreaded see breeze or the
    Fremantle Doctor as it is affectionately known.

    On board the
    “FJ” was Big Eyes the driver myself,Terry Garrett, Bob Monkman and Ron

    We were
    heading around the long bend about to cross the Rockingham Railway Bridge
    overlooking the shunting yards when Big Eyes muttered that something wasn’t
    quite right with the “FJ”.

    Suddenly the
    “FJ” lurched violently to the left sort of sideways skidding toward
    the safety rail on the bridge,screeched to a grinding halt just as we all later
    discussed we all thought we were about to go over!

    In an instant
    I leapt out as no way was I going
    “over” the edge and was immediately flattened to the ground by the
    wheel that has detached itself from the rear of the “FJ”.

    Yep the wheel
    had come off the spindle and proceeded to follow the “FJ” and
    shirtfront me!

    The rest of
    the crew jumped out and when they realised what had happened to me, proceeded
    to cry with laughter with no sympathy for me what so ever.

    When the dust
    had settled the “FJ” was a sorry sight and we all thought that this
    time it had finally died as it had a torrid life with some of the places we had
    travelled to,down horrendous tracks, beaches you name it we did it.

    In the
    meantime a lot of bystanders had gathered and a generous crew offered to get us
    back to Scarborough but Big Eyes stayed with the “FJ”.

    We all thought
    that he was flogging a dead horse this time because he normally had that many
    spare parts in the boot he could fix it on the spot.

    Not this time,
    the damage looked terminal.

    That’s it we
    all thought unless the Eyes buys a new car we had no wheels for an indefinite

    When we got
    back to Scarborough I hitched home to Ninja Land (I lived south of the river
    and the beach crew named it that as they couldn’t get their heads around the
    fact that someone would live way out there.)

    Had dinner
    with Mum and Dad and crashed early as I was knackered after the days event.

    Slept like a
    log then I was sort of dreaming that I could hear the horn of Big Eyes J and
    him yelling “hurry up Gooselegs we can’t be late getting the rest of the

    Yep you got

    It wasn’t a
    dream Big Eyes had done it again,got the “FJ” repaired and we were
    back on the road in less than 24 hours.

    When we all
    asked where he got the parts on a weekend his reply was “don’t ask”!

    Eyes was older
    and bigger than us groms so we just nodded our heads and shut up because all
    that mattered was…………

    we had wheels
    and we were going for a surf”

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