Gallery

1950s Social Butterflies

In the ’50s pioneer surfers socialised at cabarets, keg parties, pub sessions and enjoyed weekends away at Rotto, Mandurah and down south.

They come from a regimented SLSC Club environment and were happy with their new found freedom.

This a collection of images showing WA surfers socialising in the 50s.

Photo: 1956 City Beach surfers hanging on the steps of City Beach tea rooms. Some of the boys are wearing their Bear suits aka WW2 flying suits. John Budge pic

Includes Ian Scott, Don Roper, Ray Geary and Ian Chapple.

Photo: 1956 Travelling WA boys wearing flying suits at Luna Park in Melbourne. The boys were in Melbourne for the Olympic Games and to watch the USA surf team give a surfing demonstration with Malibu surfboards. Jim Keenan pic.

L-R unknown, Dave Williams, K Jones, Jim Keenan, R Howe and Graham Killen.

Photo: 1958 City of Perth SLSC clubbies/City Beach board riders. John Budge pic

L-R Bernie Huddle, Tony Harbison, Artie Taylor, Dave Williams, Colin Taylor and Bruce ‘Moonshine” Hill.

Photo: 1950s SLSC surf boat race at Leighton. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1957 Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill with balsa Malibu at Miami Mandurah. John Budge pic

Photo: 1958 Day trip to Avalon Point at Mandurah by City Beach Board Club. Brian Cole pic.

Photo: 1958 Rotto trip by Auster monoplane. Brian Cole pic

L-R Don Roper and pilot Barry ‘Joe’ King next to monoplane.

Photo: 1958 Rotto trip – the boys playing on an old bomb at the salt works. Brian Cole pic

L-R Brian Cole and Owen Oates.

Photo: 1957-68 Kevin Merifield Subiaco Football Club. Weekend News image courtesy of Kevin Merifield.

Kevin played 213 SFC games & 4 State games and is still surfing Down South.

Photo: 1950s City Beach Board Club members celebrating their 1st Reunion at Pagoda Ballroom South Perth. John Budge pic.

L-R John Budge, Colin Taylor, Jo, Alma Greenwood, Artie Taylor, Mark Wakefield, unknown, Sandra, Barry ‘Stretch’ Gallon, unknown, Ray Geary and Helen.

Photo: 1958 the boys enjoying a cleansing ale in the beer garden at Caves House Yallingup. Brian Cole pic.

L-R Barry ‘Joe’ King, Artie Taylor, Don Bancroft, Dave Williams, Ian Scott, Tony Burgess, Ken Hamer others unidentified.

Photo: 1958 the boys having a ‘flako’ at Yallingup with portable record player and Brian Cole hollow ply Malibu surfboard. Brian Cole pic

L-R Colin Taylor, Dave Williams, Keith Kino and Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill.

Photo: 1950s Colin Taylor with a good catch of fish down south. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1950s Hammock with an ocean view on beach front at Yallingup. John Budge pic.

Coming soon 1960s Social Butterflies.

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Gallery

Hammond family farm (Yallingup Hill) early history

In 1933 Thomas Garfield Hammond purchased circa 100 acres of land at Yallingup in front of the historic Caves House Hotel site owned then by that state government.

Thomas built rental cottages and grew oats on the land. 66% of the Hammond land was developed and 34 % was left as undeveloped.

Thomas ‘Ting’ Hammond and his wife Silvia ‘Dorrie’ Doreen (nee Burkett) bought up their sons William ‘Garth’ and Graham ‘Jack’ on Yallingup hill.

Ting was a Dental Surgeon and practiced out of Claremont and a surgery at the top end of St Georges Terrace in Perth. He also had an effective medical suite with dental surgery and denture manufacturing workshop at the big house on Yallingup Hill.

Photo: 1940s Ting’s bronze Dental Surgeon professional plaque and a small selection of his dental equipment. Hammond family pic.

Thomas Hammond’s grandson Evan Hammond has kindly provided this history of his family’s early years on Yallingup Hill. Evan is a 3rd generation Hammond family member living on Yallingup Hill. Evan and his elder brother Dene are the sons of the late Garth Hammond and Patricia Hammond (now of Floreat).

Photos: 1933-36 Ting and his convertible at Yallingup campsites. Hammond family pics.

Left: Ting at Canal Rocks campsite.

Right: Ting at Yallingup hill campsite (near Steve Russo’s place on Valley Road).

Ting built their first family cottage on the undeveloped side of the valley in Yallingup in the 40s. Today only the remnants of the white cap rock chimney and a fruiting fig tree remain.

His wife Dorrie used figs from the fig tree to make fig jam for tourists visiting Yallingup. Initially tourist buses visited the ‘big house’ for refreshments, then later the Hammond Tea Rooms (Surfside) were built on the beach front at Yallingup. The tea rooms served food, Devonshire teas and petrol.

Photo: Dorrie and the hand cast copper pot used to make fig jam. Hammond family pic.

Left: 1922 Dorrie Burkett age 19.

Right: 1940s Dorrie’s fig jam pot.

Photo: 1940s unsealed Valley Road Yallingup. Hammond family pic.

From 1943 to 1947 Ting built rental cottages on the hill. He built 5 rental cottages on the high side of Elsegood Avenue.  On the low side of Hammond Road he built the big house and two cottages (Laurie Schlueter’s cottage and the Savage Family’s “The Junction” cottage).

Ting’s private family house was called ‘the big house’. It was built on stumps and had an enclosed verandah covered in wooden slats.

The cottage on the corner of Hammond and Valley roads was called ‘The Junction’ because it was physically halfway between the pub and beach.

The Junction and its very old hedged tree fence can be found is at the end of the Ghost Track (also known affectionately as the Ghost Trail or Bridal Trail) when walking from the hotel to the beach.

Photos: 1940’s the Hammond’s ‘big house’ on Hammond Road Yallingup. Hammond family pics.

Left: Ting with his car meeting with guests and the cottage builders at the big house.

Right: rental guests at the big house.

Photos: 1940s rental cottages being built on Elsegood Avenue. Hammond family pics.

Left: Rental cottage with the big house and Tings car in the background.

Right: Rental cottage with Ting’s car out the front.

Photos: 1947 Hammond cottages on Yallingup hill. Hammond family pics.

Photo: 1947 Hammond cottages and the big house on the hill with a clearing and a windmill in the foreground. Hammond family pic.

Photo: 1947 Hammond rental cottages with guest vehicles out the front and the big house on the right. Hammond family pic.

Photo: 1947 panorama of Hammond land on Yallingup Hill. Hammond family pic.

L-R Hammond tea rooms, rental cottages, the big house and The Junction.

Photo: 1949 Ting watching Garth (age 7) climb a ladder to a water tank at the rental cottages on Yallingup hill. Hammond family pic.

Photo: 1946-47 Ting’s son Garth playing with a friend at Slippery Rocks Yallingup Beach. Hammond family pic.

Note beach erosion at Rabbit Hill in the background.

Ting’s boys Jack and Garth attended Yallingup Primary School on the corner of Caves Road and Wildwood Road (now Steiner School). Hammond family pic.

Photo: The Yallingup Primary School class of ’52 with Garth in front row 5th from right.

Records show that circa 1952 to 1966 there were just the lower roads on Yallingup Hill. Then the development of Wardanup Crescent was undertaken by Alan Bond from Bond Corp and sold in and around the 1967 to 1972 era. Interestingly Wardanup Crescent is named after the Wardanup Ridge which is visible behind the Yallingup Hill town site. It’s also finds its name from the Wardani people, of the Noongar tribe of indigenous Australians.

Photo: 1955 Hammond family on Valley Road Yallingup with Ting’s Chevrolet sedan. Photo courtesy of photographer John Budge and Surfing Down South book.

L-R. Ting’s sons Graham ‘Jack’ & William ‘Garth’, Mrs Silvia ‘Dorrie’ Hammond and Thomas ‘Ting’ Hammond.

Ting’s car in the photo is a 1954 Chevrolet BelAir 4 Door sedan. 235 cubic inch 6 cylinder with a three speed box. Evan recalls Garth saying there were some “adventurous” runs to Busselton when the old man was away. The car was very powerful for its day.

The number plate BSN 1991 on Ting’s Chev is still retained by the Hammond family and since Garth’s passing it is on Patricia’s car. Evan’s 1979 Range Rover has the number plate BSN 1881 and both these plates are the original family plates.

Ting acquired the ship’s bell off the 1897 MV Helena.

MV Helena was built in England, dismantled, shipped to Perth then rebuilt at Coffee Point (South of Perth Yacht Club’s site) for Ting’s father William John Hammond and his business partner Alex Matherson as they developed what was known as Melville Waters Park Estate which is now called Applecross.

She would steam paddle back and forth from William Street Jetty Perth with supplies and materials for the company’s subdivision and development site.

An Exert from WA maritime registers has the following information on her;

No.12, 1898, HELENA, O/No.102216, 27.5 tons.

Paddle Steamship.

Dimensions, 65 x 12 x 5.25 feet.

Built by A.H.Grey at Coffee Point, during 1897.

Owner: Melville Waters Park Estates Ltd. of Perth.

This vessel was abandoned at Coffee Point, Swan River in 1905 and eventually sank at her moorings.

The ship’s bell subsequently found a home at Yallingup and is well known to a lot of kids on Yallingup hill.

From 1982-83 until recently, Garth Hammond would do up the ute, dress in a Father Christmas outfit along with some years Jack or Mick Mickle and ring the Helena bell to signify Santa was coming. His sons Dene & Evan and any other festive local ready to give a hand would throw out wrapped toffees to celebrate Xmas with the Yallingup Hill community. Very kindly these would be provided by Allens Sweets and organised by Peter Dyson as a gift to his Yallingup hill family.

Graham John Hammond (Uncle Jack) is of the belief that Ting hand built the wooden frame to house the bell he inherited from his father.

Photo: 1897 MV Helena ship bell at Yallingup. Hammond family pic

Garth and Patricia Hammond’s sons Dene and Evan still live in Yallingup.

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Gallery

1950s Toothpicks, Okanuis and Malibus

In the early 50s WA surfers used hollow plywood 16ft Toothpick and 10ft Okanui surfboards to surf metro waves.

Surfboard designs changed in 1956, when a visiting American surf team put on a surfing display in conjunction with the Olympic Games held in Melbourne. The American boys (including famous big wave surfer Greg Noll) impressed Aussie on-lookers at Vic and NSW beaches on their light weight balsa Malibu boards.

WA surfers then started importing balsa boards from NSW manufacturers while others made balsa boards in their backyards.

In the late 50s surfboard innovators Brian Cole and Barry ‘Joe’ King made themselves 9ft triple stringer surfboards out of coolite foam glassed with epoxy resin.

This is a collection of 1950s surfboard images with comments from SW surf pioneers Terry Williams and Brian Cole.

Terry ‘Horse’ Williams:From 1958 Yallingup was visited on a fairly regular basis, I must have still had the Hillman Minx. I continued surfing on various types of belly board. The most popular type of stand up board after the 16 ft toothpick was a ply Okanui board about ten feet long. Also around at that time, there were ply double (Jim Keenan & Cocko Killen) and single skis. They were all hand-made and were beyond my very limited wood working skills. Occasionally someone would arrive with one of the old canvas covered stand up skis. They didn’t last long in the Yallingup surf. The people who paddle today’s stand up boards (SUPs) think they have something new, but they were around back then”.

PLYWOOD TOOTHPICK SURFBOARDS

Photos: 1950s Ron Drage & Dave Williams with Toothpick surfboards at City Beach. John Budge pics.

Photo: 1954 Ray Geary with his Jasper design surfboard at City Beach. Ray Geary pic.

Photos: 1955 Ray Geary & Rob Wakefield with Toothpick surfboards. Ray Geary pics

Left: Rob Wakefield & Ray Geary with Rob’s new 16’6” board.

Right: Rob with old 13’ and new 16’6” board.

Photo: Mid 1950s City of Perth clubbies Ron Drage, Dave Williams, Cocko Killen and E Mickle with plywood Toothpick paddle board at City Beach. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1956 Tony Harbison with broken toothpick board at Yallingup. Brian Cole pic

Note: old Yallingup timber change rooms in the background.

Photo: 1956 Ray Geary’s homemade four man surf ski at City Beach. Ray Geary pic.

L-R Ray Geary (19), Neil Chapple (17), Rob Wakefield (18) & Colin Taylor (17).

Photo: 1958 Dave Williams with toothpick surfboards at Miami Beach near Mandurah. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1958 Peter Docherty (age 13) with his 12ft plywood surf board at City Beach. Peter Docherty pic.

PLYWOOD OKANUI SURFBOARDS

The following material on Okanui surfboards was sourced from History of Okanui Surfboards in Australia by Bill Wallace published in Pacific Long Boarder Magazine 3 April 2012.

In the early 1950s world renowned surfing industry legend Bill Wallace was making four Toothpicks a week as well as wooden skis for clubbies throughout Sydney. During this period Bill and his mates where known to surf 20-foot waves off Bronte, Bondi and fairy bower on 16′ to 20′ toothpicks. The toothpicks weighed around 30KG – this would be thought of as ludicrous to the big wave surfers of today as the toothpicks had no fins!

In 1956 Greg Noll and other surfers from the USA brought the Balsa Malibu to Australia, when Bill and others saw the board in the water they couldn’t believe how a board could ride across the wave and turn so easily. Bill set out to replicate that board, but at that time you could not buy Balsa wood in Australia. So he made it like the toothpicks from the ’40s – hollow in the middle and chambered with Marine Ply. These boards would be known as the “Okanui.”

Bill Wallace:Most people think the Okanui was a Hawaiian word, but I think Bluey Mayes came up with it. ‘Oka’ Meaning Aussie and ‘Nui’ meaning new, the new Aussie surfboard!”

Photo: 2012 NSW Bill Wallace with a 1957-58 Wallace 9’6” Okanui surfboard. This hollow board is made out of Marine ply and has Hope Pine and Surian Cedar rails. It is the last Okanui made by Bill Wallace.

Jim ‘Lik’ MacKenzie: I bought my first Malibu style board from an older Scarborough Surf Club member at age 13. Due to the lack of Balsa wood from WW11, the board was made of marine ply and was hollow inside with ribs like a boat. It also had a bunghole in the nose to drain any water out. It was the Australian marine ply version of the USA balsa Malibu surfboard and was called an Okanui.

My son Sol collects vintage surfboards. He located and purchased my original Okanui surfboard for his collection…see pics below.

Photos: 1958 Jim ‘Lik’ MacKenzie’s original 10ft marine plywood Okanui surfboard. Jim MacKenzie pics.

BALSA MALIBU SURFBOARDS

Terry ‘Horse’ Williams: “The board that really shook up the surfing scene then was when Laurie Burke arrived back in Perth with a nine or ten foot balsa Malibu board. That had everyone amazed. My first board was a balsa board made by Danny Keogh in Sydney. I can’t remember the price of the board but I remember the cost of air freight was pretty steep. I know my board arrived pre-dinged. The airlines had no idea how to carry them, there was no bubble wrap then. I must have used that board for a year or two. The trouble was that when they got dinged they soaked up water like blotting paper and became very heavy”.

Photos: 1957 Bernie Huddle with his homemade balsa board at Yallingup. John Budge pic.

Brian Cole:Light weight Balsa surfboards were introduced to WA in the late 50s to replace the heavy plywood toothpicks surfboards. The boards were light weight but the balsa sucked water in if the fibreglass coating was damaged.

Most of the balsa boards were imported from eastern states surfboard manufacturers Gordon Woods, Bill Wallace & Bill Clymer. Pioneer NSW surfboard manufacturer Joe Larkin did his apprenticeship with boat builder Bill Clymer. Bill Clymer had a one man surf boat at Manly. He would row out into the waves and use the sweep oar to steer back to the beach.

Some of the balsa boards were homemade in back yards from balsa blanks purchased from Boans Department store in Perth city.

The balsa was purchased in lengths 9ft x 4” square. Then they were glued & clamped together prior to shaping with electric & hand planners. A spoke shave was used to take shave off rough edges of the timber. Resin & fibreglass cloth was purchased from Monsanto in Subiaco. The shaped balsa was glassed with a single coat of 10 ounce glass…it was difficult to wrap the glass around rails! A filler coat was added, but no gloss coat. Fins were made out of plywood & glassed with a bead on the edge. The fin was glassed onto the board.”

Photo: 1957 Dave Williams with his monogrammed balsa board at Yallingup. John Budge pic.

Photo: 1958 Bob Keenan (on pogo stick) shaping a balsa board in his backyard surfboard studio at Subiaco. The balsa blank was purchased from Boans Department store. Photo credit Bob Keenan.

Photo: 1958 homemade balsa surfboards at Yallingup. John Budge pics

L-R John Budge & Don Bancroft.

Photos: 1950s Balsa surfboards.

Left: 1957 Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill with balsa board at Miami Beach near Mandurah. John Budge pic.

Right: 1959 Brian Cole with balsa pig board at Coolangatta in Qld. Brian Cole pic.

Photo: 1959 surf pioneers with balsa surfboards at Mettams near Trigg Beach. John Budge pic

L-R Colin Taylor, Dave Williams, Cocko Killen, Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill & Artie Taylor.

EPOXY SURFBOARDS

In the late 1950s WA surf pioneers Barry ‘Joe’ King and Brian Cole rode homemade 9ft triple stringer polystyrene (Coolite) surfboards glassed with epoxy resin.

Photo: 1958 Barry ‘Joe’ King with his homemade three stringer epoxy surfboard at Yallingup. John Budge.

Brian Cole’s homemade 9ft three stringer epoxy board can be seen in the following photo. (Brian is second from left).

Photo: 1959 a quiver of epoxy, Okanui, and Malibu surfboards at Yallingup. Brian Cole pic.

L-R Ray Nelmes, Brian Cole, Jim Keenan, Des Gaines, Laurie Burke, John Budge & Artie Taylor.

Coming soon 1960s Surfboard Designs

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Gallery

1959 my first job, surfboard & car by Dave Aylett

Dave ‘Davo’ Aylett was a Cottesloe surfer in the late 50s and early 60s. He was also a talented vocalist and song writer in the popular Perth band, the ‘Young Blaydes’.

Image: 1963 Davo singing with Perth Band ‘The Times’ in a demo music video. Snapshot image from music video.

My first job

On Saturday mornings aged about ten I would go with Dad to Pope and Aylett, or W. Pope and Co on Murray Street in Perth. It was always a very early start because Dad would have to be the first there to open. The butcher staff needed time to get the window of meat display in before 7 am. The butchers who served the first customers would put on clean aprons and bibs and have breakfast first before opening time. I was made the tea boy for the first shift, then I put on my white dust coat and headed for the wrapping counter. I joined old Billy Lindoor and he took me under his wing. We would wrap meat parcels for the customers after they had paid at the cashier box. We had up to three cashiers to take the cash. Xmas, Easter and long weekends were flat out. Pounds, shillings, sixpence, three pence, pence and half pence was the currency. At 12 noon the shop doors would close till Monday and my job became washing the meat trays used for window meat display in hot soapy water then hosing the suds off before drip drying. I would then climb into Dads FX Holden Ute saturated from the tray washing and sweat. While I was tray washing Dad would be winding up the takings from the morning trade.”

“Dad and I would go home to The Boulevard in Floreat Park and then later to the block of apartments Dad built in Marine Parade Cottesloe.”

Photo: 2016 Davo’s Dad built Belvedere Apartments in Cottesloe. Peter Dunn’s ‘Funs Back Surf Shop’ is now out the front. Dave Aylett pic.

“After lunch Dad would go off to sleep and I was then allowed to wash the ute. To do that I would have to shift it and I would drive it up and down the drive way and around the back for the rest of the day, or until the petrol gauge showed just over empty. That’s how I learnt to drive aged about at age 13 or 14. In the mornings, I would get the ute out of its garage and drive it to the house front door. One day I was sliding across to the passenger side when Dad said “Get back behind the wheel. You’re driving now.” Wow look at me now. Finally I felt like a MAN!”

My first Surfboard

“We then moved to Cottesloe and I was bitten by the SURF BUG. With the money I had earned from my Saturday morning work I bought a hollow wooden Malibu type surfboard from Boans department store over the road from Dad’s W. Pope and Co. butchers.”

Photo: 1958 Brian Cole’s two homemade hollow plywood surfboards. The board on the left (with BC initials) is a short 12ft Toothpick, The board on the right is a 10ft Malibu. Brian made the surfboards in his backyard at Wembley. Brian Cole pic.

“It was Christmas 1959. I know that because Dad had just taken delivery of a brand new Chevy Belair from Young’s Autos. You see I seem to remember stuff by what sort of car Dad or I had at the time. I think I was born a petrol head!

My first taste of surfing was in front of where I lived, Peters Pool. I was about 15. I soon started to move up to where all the big guys were surfing; the Slimy and the Pilon. One day it was breaking out past the Pilon and the beach had eroded away and the broken wave was crashing over bare rock and against the retaining walls of Cottesloe. It was big. I managed to get one wave and escape being wiped out, then the second wave was a disaster. No leg ropes in those days and my surfboard and all my hard work became match sticks no thanks to the retaining wall.

From then I had a procession of foam boards, starting with a Barry Bennett and moving to a Cordingley. My old Barry Bennett board became so damaged on the nose, I cut it off and relocated the fin to what was the front of the board. The back of the board became the front of the board. It worked well. You could almost take a tea break on the nose. I left it down at Yallingup shack when I went to Sydney with Rex Cordingley and Peter Utting. On my return, it was gone. Water under the bridge.”

My first car

“I went straight from school into butchering. I bought my first car, a Morris Minor, when I was 16. I got my driver’s licence a day before I turned 17.”

Photo: A 1958 two door Morris Minor sedan similar to Davo’s. Image courtesy of Dave Aylett.

“I drove my car for the driver’s test to the Police Station. After telling the constabulary what I was there for the policeman asked what car was I doing the driving test in. I said “MINE.” He said, “How did you get it here?” I said, “I drove it.” He said, “So you drove it here without a licence?” I said “Yes”. He looked puzzled. He said “Wait here!” and he went through a door behind the counter. I think he went to tell his boss, the Sergeant.

Just a short delay and he returned, picked up his hat and said, “Well come on then.” I followed him out to my car and got behind the wheel. He said, “Get out on Stirling Hwy and turn left.” We proceeded with a number of lefts and rights and then he said, “Drive in there and park outside that bakery.” I did and without a word to me he got out and went inside the bakery shop. Returning to the car with a paper bag, the Policeman said, “Right, see if you can find your way back to the station.”

Parking out the front of the Police Station I just sat there, thinking I was in some kind of trouble. He said, “Well aren’t you getting out? What are you waiting for?” I followed him into the station and stood to attention at the counter while he went behind the counter and once again through the door out the back. He returned to the counter without the paper bag and drew out his pen. “What’s your name?” he said. I told him. “Any relation to Ernie Aylett?” he said. “Yes” I said, “He’s my father’s identical twin brother, my uncle.”  “Good!”  He said. “I’ll write my name on this piece of paper and when you see him next tell him to do something special to my motor bike for next time we go to training at Caversham.” My uncle Ernie tuned the police bikes and fitted them out for police work. The constable then proceeded to fill out the paper work for my driver’s licence. The date that my driver’s licence was issued was one day before I turned seventeen.

It became my mission to over rev and destroy good machinery after that. But since I’ve had cruise control, which I use everywhere, I now never get caught for speeding.”

Cheers

Davo Aylett

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Gallery

1954 Rotto crossing history by Jim Keenan

In 1954 a West Australian newspaper article referred to two unidentified men who made a daring three hour trip from Cottesloe to Rottnest Island.

Image: 1954 unidentified young men Paddle Surf skis to Rottnest. Article courtesy of West Australian Newspapers.

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WA surfing pioneer Jim Keenan was a member of City of Perth SLSC at the time and believes he knows who the lads were. This is his recollection of the incident.

IF MY MEMORY IS CORRECT I SUSPECT THE GUYS INVOLVED WERE ARTIE SHAW (A MATE OF MARK PATERSON) AND GEORGE BEVAN. THEY LEFT FROM COTTESLOE AND I THINK THEY PADDLED THE OLD 16 FT TOOTHPICKS AND NOT SURF SKIS AS REPORTED.

Photo: 1958 Artie Shaw & Bruce ‘Moonshine’ Hill wave sharing at Yallingup. John Budge pic.

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WE USED TO LEAVE FROM CITY BEACH. GRAHAM ‘COCKO’ KILLEN & I PADDLED OUR DOUBLE SURF SKI AND TONY HARBISON WOULD COME ACROSS ON HIS SINGLE SKI.

WE HAD CROSSED TO ROTTO ON DATES EARLIER THAN THE BOYS FROM COTT.

IN FACT WE WERE OVER AT ROTTO WHEN ARTIE AND GEORGE ARRIVED.

THE MEDIA BLEW THEIR CROSSING UP (AS THEY DO) AND THE BOYS ADDED TO THE BULLSHIT BY SUGGESTING SHARKS FOLLOWED THEM AND POSED A THREAT.

THE MEDIA HYPE ENDED UP WITH HARBOUR AND LIGHTS IMPOSING IN CONJUNCTION WITH SLSA, A BAN ON CROSSINGS.

Photo: 1956 City Beach north side. Dave Williams riding Toothpick and Jim Keenan & Cocko Killen on double surf ski. Ray Geary pic.

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WE CONTINUED OUR CROSSINGS AND IT ULTIMATELY RESULTED IN OUR EXPULSION FROM THE CITY OF PERTH CLUB. THIS WAS GREAT AS IT MEAN’T NO MORE TIED UP WEEKENDS AND MORE SURF TRIPS DOWN SOUTH.

Photo: 1957 Jim Keenan & Cocko Killen surfing Yallingup on their double ski. John Budge pic.

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I THINK DAVO WILLIAMS JOINED IN ON A TRIP OR TWO. I DO REMEMBER COLIN ‘MOOSE’ WHITE “BORROWING” A SURF SKI AND ACCOMPANING US TO THE ISLAND.

ON THE RETURN JOURNEY WE WERE “WELCOMED”BY SOME OVER EAGER SLSA MEMBERS AND THE LOCAL COPS FROM WEMBLEY POLICE STATION. THE POLICE ARRESTED MOOSE AND TOOK HIM OFF IN A SIDECAR TO WEMBLEY COP SHOP TO UNDERGO A VERBAL LASHING.

THE CLUB MEMBERS CONFISCATED OUR SKI’S (TEMPORARILY) AND THAT POSSIBLY WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END TO OUR MEMBERSHIPS, A BLESSING IN DISGUISE.

MOOSE JOURNEYED TO SYDNEY LATE 1959 ALONG WITH MYSELF IAN TODMAN AND LAURIE BOURKE. MOOSE IS STILL IN SYDNEY AND A LONG SERVING MEMBER OF QUEENSCLIFF SLSA.  A TRUE BLUE CLUBBY!

Photo: 1960 Manly NSW L-R Joe Larkin (surfboard & film maker), Chris ‘Batman’ Steinburg, Colin ‘Moose’ White, Brian Cole & Jim Keenan. Photo Jim Keenan.

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THE SLSA WERE NOT VERY ADVENTURE MINDED AND DID NOT APPRECIATE OUR ACTIONS.

THERE WERE AT TIMES EVENTS THAT COULD HAVE LED TO A MAJOR MISHAP, BUT IN GENERAL ROTTO CROSSINGS WERE RELATIVELY SAFE (OR SO WE THOUGHT).

PASSING SHIPS IN THE FOG WERE A THREAT ALONG WITH EARLY SEA BREEZES WHICH TAXED OUR STAMINA.

TONY ON ONE OF THOSE FOG RIDDEN MORNINGS WAS ALMOST TAKEN OUT BY AN INCOMING PASSENGER LINER (ARCADES, I THINK). IT WAS HEARD BUT NOT SEEN IN THE THICK FOG AND TONY BEING ON A SINGLE SKI DID NOT HAVE THE SPEED FOR A QUICK EVASION. HOWEVER LUCK WAS WITH US AND HE ESCAPED A WIPE OUT.

THE RETURN JOURNEY WAS USUALLY A LOT EASIER WITH STRONG SEA BREEZES UP OUR BUTT. LONG SKATES ON THE SWELLS MADE FOR A LOT OF FUN AND SPEED.

Photo: 1960s Metro Training for State Surf Championships Dave Williams on toothpick paddle board (2nd from left) & Tony Harbison on plywood single ski (3rd from left). Steve Mailey pic.

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I REMEMBER ONE RETURN WITH OUT A SEA BREEZE. IT WAS HOT AND DEAD CALM AND WE WERE SUFFERING FROM HANGOVERS. ABOUT HALF WAY WE SPOTTED THE WANDOO (A WOODEN FERRY) AND TO RELIEVE OUR THIRST PADDLED OVER TO IT AND CLAMOURED ON BOARD VIA THE WINDWARD SIDE. WE SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF THE FISHING FOLK WHO WERE TOO BUSY FISHING ON THE LEEWARD SIDE. WE JUST APPEARED OUT OF THE BLUE AND SURPRISED THE LOT OF THEM.

Photo: 1958 Wandoo ferry arriving at Rotto. Don Roper is 3rd from front. Brian Cole pic.

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OF COURSE BEING SMART ARSES, WE DEVOURED A FEW STUBBIES PROVIDED BY THE FISHERMEN AND THEN TOOK OFF FOR CITY BEACH. WE WERE DE-HYDRATED UPON HITTING THE BEACH, NOT A GOOD IDEA.

REGARDS JIM

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