60s 70s photographs

Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson

Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson was a member of the City Beach Surf Riders Club (CBSR) in the mid 60s to early 1970’s.

Norm got his nickname when the bottom of his surfboard got speared and CBSR member Brian Cleaver repaired it by covering the ding with a large coloured circle (dot). He was immediately christened ‘Dot’ by Michael ‘JJ’ Martino and the name has stuck to this day.

Norm embraced the nickname and even went as far as wearing polka dot board shorts.

Dot regularly travelled down south with his club mates, was a proficient surfer in big waves and particularly liked the power of Main Break Margaret. He has an enduring memory of surfing big Mainbreak with the great Ted Spencer before the crowds.

Dot travelled extensively in the 70’s and shared a house at Jeffrey’s Bay with Jeff ‘RE’ Marshall before going bush in South Africa and later travelling to central Asia where he further developed his interest in mysticism.

Norm was/is a deep thinker.

In 2012 he wrote this poem about a surf session at Margaret River in 1972.

MARGARET RIVER ’72

An 8-10 day
Light nor’easter
Perfect
Shifting peaks
Vertical take-off
Feet coming off the board
Stomach in my chest
Adrenalin rushing
Lean down, late bottom turn
Roar of the surf around me
I am alone
Up to the to the lip
Cut back
And cut back again
Wave collapses
Roll over and come in

Like the first sea creatures coming to land
I bask in the Sun
Yes! Surfing is Primal
My whole body, mind and Psyche
Are at Peace

Copyright (c) Norman Kitson 2012

Photo: 1962 Norm with his Peter Docherty 9 ft 10″ balsa board at his parents place in Floreat. Norm Kitson pic.

Photo: 1965 Norm and his CBSR club mate Rob Farris in the State under 16 Rugby Union team photo.

Norm Kitson front row (far left) and Rob Farris 2nd row (3rd from right).

Photo: 1966 Norm eating tinned sardines before hitting the waves at Mandurah. Norm Kitson pic.

Photo: 1968 Norm and Glen ‘Roy’ Carroll with David ‘Bull’’ Moss’s Morrie at Mandurah. Colin Moss pic.

Photo: 1971 Norm with his blue VW wagon at Floreat. Norm Kitson pic.

Photo: 1975 Norm living at Millstream near Karratha in North West WA.

In about 1972 Dot developed a penchant for travelling down south on his own and to keep him company he got a dog which he called George.  George went everywhere with Dot.

Before travelling to South Africa in 1973 he placed an ad in the newspaper saying “free dog”.

A few of Dot’s mates were at his house when this Pakistani rocked up to collect George.

After they had gone, Dot was saying how happy he was that George had gone to a good home.

He was less confident when one of the boys suggested that the Pakistani didn’t want a pet, but a bit of hotdog for Sunday dinner!

This cruel quip obviously played on Dot’s mind because on his return from years of overseas travel he managed to track George down in Gosnells. George was still owned by the Pakistani, was in good health, was known by all the local kids and was still barking mad.

About 40 years later Dot wrote a poem about George the dog.

Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson: “While the poem appears neurotic I believe human nature is neurotic, if there is a belief we are separated by nature. Anyway, here we go”

SUGARLOAF ROCK WINTER ’73

Another Nor wester Storm
George my Dog and I
Head straight for Sugarloaf Rock
Once there I Feel
The Raw Power of Nature
In all its Glory
Like the Wildness of the Sky Above
And the Sea below
My long blonde hair
Wraps Crazily around my Shoulders
Like a wild Mountain Goat
I Clamber back to the car

George has shat all over the car
I Berate him
“You don’t have consciousness

I DO!”

Back to Perth George
saturates himself
In the Cool Breeze.

Yes, George has consciousness!

Three years later
In Sydney
I am a Radical, Socialist
Environmentalist
Caring for All
Living Things.

Copyright (c) Norman Kitson 2013

Dot is alive and kicking in Innaloo and is still in contact with a couple of his close former CBSR mates.

Photo: 2011 Norm and former CBSR club mate Ross Utting at Norm’s place in Innaloo. Jim King pic.

Dot is still exploring his artistic side and has long contemplated writing a play about the goings on during the 1960’s at the old CBSR headquarters, the City Beach Tearooms.

Photo: 1964 City Beach Tearooms. Robyn Brockman (nee McDonald).

Thanks to Norm for the poems & photos and Ross Utting for helping compile this story.

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2 comments on “Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson

  1. Thanks for feedback ‘Re’.

  2. Jeff Re Marshall

    I new Norm the early City Beach days, I bumped into him in South Africa, we celebrated my 21 st Birthday in a little town called George . Went to a Steak House with Norm and local guy and his girlfriend. Surfed a place nearby called Victoria Bay , right hander around the back of a point . Norm put me onto a flat he was sharing down at Cape Town , with an Aussie couple. I ended staying there for 9 months . I heard not long after he was involved in a car accident, breaking a leg and was flown back to Perth.

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