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1964 East Coast surf trip by Ernie Potter

In 1964 a large contingent of WA surfers headed to the East Coast of OZ to watch the first World Surfboard Championship and surf it’s fabled right hand point waves.

It worked out well, Australia’s Midget Farrelly won the inaugural World Surfboard Championship held at Manly and the WA representatives Alex Kochanowitsch and Barry King got as far as semis in the Australian Surfboard Championships.

Image: 1964 Surfboard Title to Farrelly article with results. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

City Beach surfers Ernie Potter, Charlie Roper and Peter Davis drove over the Nullarbor to NSW after the surfboard championships.

They joined up with Terry Jacks, Peter Docherty, Brian Cole, Jim Keenan, Cliff Hills, Keith Campbell, Dave Aylett and a pod of other WA surfers who had made the trip.

The WA boys had a great time socialising and surfing east coast waves from NSW to Queensland.

These are Ernie Potter’s holiday photos from the ’64 East Coast surf trip.

Ernie- Murray Gill, the guy sitting to my left in the following photo went on to become a very well-known and successful WA artist. A few years, ago after a long battle with the city council, he opened “Juanita’s Bar” one of Perth’s first “small” bars on Rokeby Road in Subiaco. It’s been a runaway success. Could go on a lot more about this. Google him. He’s a very interesting guy.

Photo: 1964 Sydney pub. Ernie Potter pic.

L-R Ernie Potter, Murray Gill, Percy Davis, Rob McFeat, John Moore and Sue Marriot.

Photo: 1964 L-R front row Percy Davis, Charlie Roper, Sue Shinkle, unknown, Ernie Potter and unknown at Chatswood Hotel in NSW. Ernie Potter pic.

Peter (Percy) DavisGreat memories of City Beach days and living in Tasman Street, Dee Why with Ernie, Charlie, Keith Campbell and a heap of guys from NSW. Thanks for the ride.

Photo: 1964 Percy Davis on Halvorson Boat Hawkesbury River NSW. Ernie Potter pic.

Photo: 1964 Dee Why Point NSW. Ernie Potter pic.

Photo: 1964 Terry Jacks, Ernie Potter and Peter Docherty with Terry’s Holden panel van at Byron Bay NSW. Ernie Potter pic.

Photos: 1964 Clark’s beach at Byron Bay NSW. Ernie Potter pics.

Left: The boy’s shack on beach.

Right: view of headland at Byron Bay.

Photo: 1964 Peter Docherty playing his guitar at Byron Bay NSW. Ernie Potter.

Photos: 1964 beaches at Byron Bay. Ernie Potter pics.

Left: Terry Jacks with his Malibu board.

Right: unidentified surfer at ‘The Pass’ surf break.

Ernie – The photo on the right shows Terry Jacks with a young lady, who is in fact his sister Jan. Jan and a friend (Dorothy Tolson) were both members of the City of Perth surf lifesaving club along with a lot of guys who made up a large percentage of WA’s early surfers. Jan and Dorothy went on a working holiday to, I think, Dunk Island. We caught up with them while at Byron Bay. A couple of months later we caught up again and the four of us made the drive back to Perth.

Photo: 1964 Cape Byron NSW. Ernie Potter pics.

Left: Terry Jacks with resident goat.

Right: Terry Jacks with his sister Jan.

Ernie – Keith Paul was a very good surfer from Queensland and went on to become Australian Open Mens Surf Champion in 1968. If you look at the dark fin on the board above Terry’s head in the following photo, there is a decal that was given to all who attended the meeting in 1964 at the old Ozone Hotel on Adelaide Terrace where the WA Surf riders association was formed. The decal was for use on boards, car windows etc. I still had mine unused in pristine condition which I gave to Mark Lane at Surfing WA in 2004 for their archives. (It may wind up in a surfing museum someday). How do you manage to keep stuff like that for so long???

Photos: 1964 Northern NSW. Ernie Potter pics.

Left: Terry Jacks, Peter Docherty and Keith Paul (QLD) with Terry’s panel van at Brunswick NSW.

Right: Peter Docherty humping into northern NSW town all set to hitchhike back to Dee Why.

Ernie – In late 1963 or early 1964, I bought a .22 rifle off Brian Cole. When Charlie Roper, Peter Davis and myself took off for the East I took it along. (Charlie also had his .22). Getting a gun back then was like buying an ice cream over the counter. Anyway, when Terry Jacks and I were up in Queensland, some rotten bludger broke into Terry’s panel van and amongst other things stole my wallet leaving me in dire financial straits. They didn’t find the rifle and I sold it to Keith Paul (I think for 5 quid) to relieve the pressure a bit. Shortly after we left Queensland and returned to WA.

Photo: 1964 Hire surf cats at Kirra Qsld. Ernie Potter pic.

Ernie – Looking back they were great times and a lot of humour.

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Origin of skateboarding in WA by John Harbison & Charlie Roper

Skateboarding was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s, when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. No one knows who made the first board; it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. Source: Wikipedia.

Photo: Early homemade skateboards courtesy of Skateboard Hall of Fame USA.

1960s-Collection-5-homemade-early-Skateboards-made-from-old-roller-skates.

WA surfing pioneers Terry ’Horse’ Williams and Brian ‘Blackballs’ Cole introduced the concept to WA on their return from California in the early 60s. They had seen skateboards in action while touring the west coast of USA.

Former City Beach surfer and City of Perth Beach Inspector John ‘Roo Dog’ Harbison witnessed the first skateboard in WA. He documented the moment for a Board Club reunion held at City Beach in 2011.

John is the brother of surfing legend Tony ‘Harbo’ Harbison and Peter Harbison.

Sadly John passed away in May 2014 at Dunsborough.

Photos: 1958-74 City Beach pics. Photos courtesy of Harbison family.

Top: (Left) 1958 City Beach shop L-R Garry Stewart, John Harbison, Charlie Roper & Terry Jacks (Right) 1959 John Harbison surfing City Beach on plywood toothpick surfboard.

Bottom: (Left) 1967 John Harbison sweep on City of Perth surf boat. (Right) 1973-74 Beach Inspector John Harbison herding topless girl off City Beach.

1958-67 John Harbison City Beach.collage_photocat

First WA skateboard by John Harbison.

Back in the early 60’s, I think 1963/64, Terry Jacks, Charlie Roper, Ernie Potter & Brian Cole produced what would have to have been the 1st skateboard to appear in WA.

Skateboards were unheard of in WA at the time and I don’t know where they got the idea from, but they turned up at City Beach one weekend with this piece of equipment they’d made out of the side slat of a wooden fruit case with half a roller skate at the front, the other half at the back

We all spent the afternoon having turns riding it down the road in front of the shop. That night everyone else was digging out old roller skates and getting slats of wood to make their own. Next day they took it up to Scarborough for the Scarborough crew to try out and the following week down to Cottesloe. Before long you had all these homemade skateboards appearing about the place.

A year or so after that skate boards were being produced commercially by Midget Farrelly.

City Beach surfer Paul Meink who was good on them & won a big radio station sponsored skateboard competition held at the Floreat Forum southern car park. Place getters at that competition were Floreat boys Ross Sarson, Mike Schafer and John ‘Viz’ Fletcher.

John Harbison

Photo: 2011 City Beach Surf Riders Club 50 Year reunion. L-R Brian Cole, Keith Campbell, Zac Kochanowitsch & John Harbison. Bruce King pic.

2011 Brian Cole, Keith Campbell, Zac Kochanowitsch & John HarbisonCity Beach CBSR 191 - Bruce King

Wembley lads Charlie Roper & Brian Cole made the first skateboard in WA.

Photos: 1963 Scarborough Beach. Ernie Potter pics.

(Left) Charlie Roper & Ernie Potter. (Right) John Harbison & Charlie Roper surfing.

1963 Charlie Roper Scarborough Ernie Potter pics collage_photocat

First WA skateboard by Charlie Roper.

In the early 60s WA surf pioneer/Subiaco footballer Terry ‘Horse’ Williams bought the idea back from California where he had been travelling. He described what was happening with skateboards and what the kids were doing with them.

I thought I could make one of them. So in 1962, Brian Cole and I got an old piece of pine timber and attached wheels from my sister’s roller skates (unbeknown to her). We made the first WA skate board at Coley’s King & Cole Surfboard factory in Roydhouse Road Wembley.

I kept the old skateboard in my garage and my sons Jamie & Brett learnt to skateboard on that piece of equipment.

Photos: Charlie Roper & Brian Cole’s original skate board. The photos were taken in 2016 outside Charlie’s parents place in Wembley. Photos courtesy of Roper family.

1960s WA 1st skateboard Roper family pic collage_photocat

Photo: 2009 City Beach Surf Riders Club reunion. L-R Keith Campbell, Charlie Roper & Zac Kochanowitsch. Bruce King pic.

2009 CBSR Reunion Keith Campbell, Charlie Roper & Zac. Bruce King pic IMG_8461

Other 1960s WA skateboard recollections.

Craig Henfry I remember Paul Meink pulling off a jump trick on his skateboard in the car park at Floreat Forum, a trick I practiced until I got it too, once or twice. The last time I got on a skateboard I lasted about 2 secs and nearly cracked my skull, oh to be 16 again.

I had a Midget Farrelly skateboard up until a few years ago when I gave it to a mate’s son who then proceeded to trash it. I saw similar ones on some collectors show on TV and immediately regretted my generosity. A quick search on google turned up one that looks exactly like the one I had, I was also staggered to see what sort of money people pay for stuff like that.

Photo: Mid 1960s Midget Farrelly 26” timber deck skateboard sold Sept 2008 for $1200. Source: Von Weirdos

1960s Midget farrelly skateboard dscf4988

Bruce KingI remember the skateboard exhibitions at Floreat Forum car park, we were part of the Midget Farrelly competition team. There was a slalom course, high jumping and walking up and down stairs.

“Ollies” (today’s jumps) weren’t thought of then, we used to go barefooted and wrap your toes around each end to make the board jump. Paul Meink, Dave Condon were the jets, they even had Farrelly team t-shirts and parkas, I unfortunately came in to the team at the back end and missed out on getting my “Team Farrelly” gear.

Another time I went skate boarding down Mount Street in Perth, it was about the steepest street and I thought would be a good challenge.  This was before the freeway was there & the street went straight through and joined up with St Georges Tce. Anyway about half way down I got the wheel wobbles up and couldn’t bail out, I ended up in the Terrace dodging buses and cars.

Ross UttingAfter a while of skateboarding on the gently sloping carpark at Floreat Forum Shopping Centre some of us were looking for more of a challenge than just doing tricks. Ok, so we just couldn’t compete with the likes of Paul Meink, Ross Sarson etc in the tricks department! Then we found “Brookdale Entrance”. Brookdale Entrance was the eastern entrance to Perry Lakes Stadium & was short but seriously steep. It was the big wave equivalent of skateboarding. You had to do 2 or 3 big turns to keep your speed down before sweeping down to a final turn at the bottom. If you made a mistake you were dead meat.

One time we were at The Entrance when Glen “Roy” Carroll’s older brother Lindsay turned up big noting himself. Lindsay was a seriously fit guy & at the time was playing full forward for Claremont in the WAFL. He grabbed a board & took off but couldn’t turn & hit the bottom absolutely flying.

He smashed the security grills around the turnstiles off their hinges. We were too scared to laugh in case he came after us, but the episode added to the Brookdale Entrance legend.

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1960s City Beach memorabilia

Students Peter Docherty and Viv Kitson started the City Beach Surf Riders Club (CBSR) in 1962. The Club is still running today.

Photo: 1963 Charlie Roper & Ernie Potter at CBSR Intra Club competition at Scarborough. Photo credit Ernie Potter.

1963 CBSR Charlie Roper & Ernie Potter Scarboro

Image: 1963 Terry Jacks (age 18) CBSR’s ‘favourite son’ surfing City Beach. Image courtesy of the Daily News.

1963 City Beach Terry Jacks surfing ex newspaper

Photo: 1963 CBSR young guns hanging out at Trigg Beach. L-R John Harbison, Lennie Kochanowitsch, Wayne Lynch & John Hanley. Photo courtesy of John Harbison.

1963 John Harbison, Lennie Kochanowitsch, Wayne Lynch and I think John Hanley at Trigg

Photo: 1964 City Beach Tea Rooms. CBSR’s unofficial head quarters. Photo courtesy of Robyn McDonald.

1964 City Beach Tea Rooms - Robyn Mac IMG_0003a

Photo: 1965 Ron Moss doing a head stand at City Beach. Ron is a Life Member of CBSR and it’s longest serving member. Photo credit Trevor Burslem.

1965 Ron Moss head stand City Beach T Burslem pic

 

 

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1958-2011 Peter Docherty’s Autoboardography

Peter ‘Doc’ Docherty (age 13) started riding plywood ‘Toothpick’ surfboards at City Beach in 1958. Doc surfed metro, Lancelin & South West beaches and shaped balsa surf boards at his parents place in Floreat (and nearly sent his folks crazy). Brian Cole employed Doc as a sander at King & Cole Surfboards in Wembley. Brian recalls Doc used to sit in a corner & play his guitar. Doc co-founded the City Beach Surf Riders (CBSR) Club with Viv Kitson in 1962. Late 1963 Doc toured eastern states surf beaches with Terry Jacks, Ernie Potter & other WA boys. He returned to WA to attend Uni in 1965, then moved back & settled on the East Coast.

Doc is a talented artist & musician. He now lives with his wife Annie on the NSW Central Coast near his home beach of Avoca Beach.

This montage is Peter’s autoboardography showing all his surfboards from his 12ft plywood board in 1958 to his 11ft Surftech surfboard in 2011. The orange pig board (2nd from left) was Murray Smith’s first surfboard. The green board in the middle is a 10ft Reynolds Yater (USA). Doc had the board recoloured Maroon by the guys at Scotty Dillion’s surf shop (NSW) and sold it to Cordingleys (WA) in 66. Doc says  “If you come across a 10ft maroon board, grab it, sand through the maroon resin and you may discover evidence of a valuable antique.” Missing from the montage is Doc’s current board a Tom Wegner Alaia shape (finless) board. Image credit Peter Docherty.

1958-2011 P Docherty's Autoboardography from 12ft plywood to 11ft surftech surfboards

1962 This is a fuzzy shot of Peter Docherty’s bedroom / surfboard shaping room at his parent’s place in Floreat. The CBSR Club’s inaugural meeting was held in this room. Photo credit Peter Docherty.

1962 Peter Docherty's bedroom-boardroom. Site of inaugural CBSR meeting Floreat

In the early 60s Doc shaped balsa surfboards for City Beach hot rats Barry Day & Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson. This 1965 photo shows Norm Kitson of Floreat holding a 9’10” balsa board shaped by Peter Docherty. Photo courtesy of Norm Kitson.

1965 Norm Kitson with Peter Docherty 9 ft 10 balsa board - N Kitson pic

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1964 WA surfing legend Terry Jacks

In 1964 Terry Jacks and some of his City Beach surfing mates headed to the east coast seeking better waves. In this photo taken at Byron Bay, Terry is standing on the left with Ernie Potter & Peter ‘Doc” Docherty. Terry returned to WA and established a reputation as the state’s most talented ‘free surfer’. In one of his rare contest appearances, he nearly beat former World Champion Midget Farrelly in an Invitational Event held at Yallingup in 1968. Terry moved down south and surfed Boranup for years. In 1990 he died of blood poisoning contracted while surfing in Indonesia. Photo courtesy Ernie Potter.

1964 Byron Bay Terry Jacks, Ernie Potter & Peter Docherty - E potter pic

Below: Terry Jacks ‘free surfing’ at Trigg Beach in 1970. Photographer unknown.

1970 Triggs Terry Jacks - S Bettenay was there - unknown pic img286