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1970s Margaret River People & Places images by Ric Chan

Photo-Journalist Ric Chan captured these Down South pics during the ‘70s. His images feature people & places from the Margaret River region.

Photo: 1973 unidentified gentleman having a cuppa at Margs. Ric Chan pic.

1973 MR Aust Titles img529

Photo: 1975 Locals attending Margaret River Rowing Regatta held on the banks of Margaret River near Wallcliffe House. Ric Chan pic.

1975 Marg River crew - Ric Chan img774

Photo: 1976 Syd Tate’s Farm House at Rosa Glen. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Syd Tate farm house - Ric Chan 001

Photo: 1975 social pics Syd Tate’s place at Rosa Glen. Ric Chan pic.

Top: (Left) Marina. (Right) Trinity Tate

Bottom: (Left) Ric Chan & camera equip. (Right) Syd Tate.

1975 Margs Syd Tate 3 collage_photocat

Photo: 1975 Beach people at Margs. Ric Chan pics.

(Left) Shaun Atkinson & girlfriend Judy Punko (Right) Ric Gath.

1975 Marg River Shaun Atkinson & Ric Gath collage_photocat

Photos: Marg River people pics by Ric Chan.

Left: 1975 unidentified & Tracy Ewen at the beach. Right: Trevor’s new board.

1970s Marg River 2 collage_photocat

Photos: 1975-76 old farm houses & sheds at Margs and Witchcliffe. Ric Chan pics.

1975-77 Old Farm houses 2 collage_photocat

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy & family at Margs. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Margs Tony Hardy 3 collage_photocat

Photo: 1973-76 Surf mobiles at Margs. Ric Chan pics.

(Left) 1973 Ric Chan’s gold coloured Kombi. (Right) 1976 Chris Reynolds’ chariot.

1973-76 Margs Ric Chan & Chris Reynolds surf mobiles collage_photocat

Photos: 1976-77 Marg River beach scenes. Ric Chan pics.

1976-77 Margs Beach pics 4 collage_photocat

Photos: 1979 Steve ‘Hog’ Hannett’s tent site at Prevelly Park. Ric Chan pics.

1979 Steve Hannett tent site Prevelly collage_photocat

Photo: 1982 Sharon Walters & Steve Koehne hunter gatherers at Rosa Glen. Ric Chan pic.

1982 Rosa Glen Sharon Walters & Steve Koehne - Ric Chan img904

Photos: Then & Now Marg River Settlers Tavern images by Ric Chan.

Top: 1977. Bottom: 2016.

1977-2016 Settlers Tavern Marg River then & now #2 collage_photocat

Photos: Then & Now Marg River main drag images by Ric Chan.

Top 1977. Bottom 2015.

1977-2015 Marg River main drag Ric Chan 2 collage_photocat

Coming soon 1970s Margaret River Surfing Images by Ric Chan.



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1969 Billeting arrangements Aust Surfing Titles

Western Australia hosted the Australian Surf Riding Championships for the first time in May 1969.

Major WA board clubs billeted many eastern states surfers here for the Australian titles. The billeting arrangements were coordinated by WASRA and President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor.

Image: 1969 WASRA billeting arrangements. Image credit Sunday Times.

1969 Aust Titles WA - billeting arrangements- Media image

Floreat youngsters Ross Utting & David ‘Bull’ Moss from the City Beach Club hosted South Australian surfers Alistair Boot & Graham Symonds.

Ross UttingBull & I took the boys down south for the contest. I remember Ali bagging gutless WA waves while we were surfing pre contest at Yallingup. He got his comeuppance a couple of days later when he was nearly decapitated by his board when mowed down by a big wave at Margaret. Ali spent the rest of the week walking around with a bleeding tea towel on his head.

In Bali some 40 years later South Australian surfer Clint Habib told me that Ali has been scarred for life by the experience of big Margs & still hears the roaring freight train sound in his nightmares.

Photo: L-R 1969 Floreat locals Ross Utting & Dave Moss with SA competitors Ali Boot & Graham Symonds. Photo credit Ross Utting.

1969 Floreat R Utting, D Moss & A Boot, G Simmons (SA) - billets-Aust Titles R Utting pic

Subiaco brothers Jim & Bruce King from the City Beach Club billeted World champion Nat Young & NSW champion Ted Spencer.

Bruce KingI drove to Perth airport to pick up our eastern states billets late at night. When I got there WASRA President Doc Naylor allocated Nat & Ted to our family. I was stoked to have them staying at our parent’s place.

Jim KingI didn’t go to the airport and had no idea who had been allocated to our parent’s place in Subi, so I was really surprised when I called in next morning and found mum serving a cooked brekkie to Nat & Ted. NSW surfboard manufacturer Shane Stedman (Shane Surfboards) used to come around & pick up the lads for surf commitments and chase mum around the Hills Hoist clothesline.

Photos: 1969 Nat & Ted at King residence in Subiaco. Photos courtesy of King family.

Top: (Left) Ted & Nat. (Right) Ted, Mrs King & Nat. Bottom: (Left) Ted, Jim & Nat. (Right) Nat & Jim.

1969 Aust Titles Nat & Ted Subiaco collage_photocat

Contest rounds which were held at Scarborough & Margaret River with finals completed at Yallingup.

Misfortune struck some of the visitors at the Australian Surfing Titles down south. Nat Young (NSW) broke his favourite surfboard in the big swell at Margaret River. Alistair Boot (SA) was hit by a flying board at Margaret River and needed 19 stitches in his head. Ali went home with a sore head.

Images: L-R 1969 mixed fortunes Nat Young (NSW) broken board & Alistair Boot (SA) head injury. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1969 Aust Titles WA - Nat Young (NSW) & Ali Boot (SA) injuries - WA News (1)

Jim KingContest head honcho Doc Naylor recruited me as a contest official for the rounds held at Margaret River. I got the job of chaperoning the girls out in big waves at Main Break. The girls weren’t happy being sent out there & neither was I. Every time we spotted a big dark swell line on the horizon, we would paddle towards the middle bay to avoid getting cleaned up. It was great seeing Oz’s best surfers up close, but my wife Kath wasn’t too impressed, as we were on our honey moon at the time (-:

Photo: 1969 unidentified competitor surfing a solid left at Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic.


On completion of the successfully run contest, an Award Night function was held at Caves House Yallingup. It was attended by surfers, officials and friends. Peter Drouyn & other talented surfers entertained the troops. The next day the wind was on-shore and the visitors started heading home to their respective States.

Contest results and photos will be included in surf journo/photographer Ric Chan’s coverage of the ’69 Oz Surfing Titles. Ric’s SDS article is coming soon.



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Vintage South West surfing images.

This a collection of late 50s & early 60 South West surfing images from various photographers in the Surfing Down South archives. It features a pod of WA surfing pioneer legends.

Photo: 1957 Bernie Huddle & Keith Kino riding plywood toothpick boards at Yallingup. Water photography by John Budge.

1957 Yalls Bernie Huddle & Keith Kino surfing wooden toothpick surfboards - JB pic img568

Photo: 1958 Yallingup Main Break surfer John Budge on home-made balsa board. Water photo courtesy of John Budge.

1958 Yalls John Budge - John Budge pic IMG_0005

Photo: 1962 Gallows outside break Jim Keenan & Puppydog (NSW) riding Barry Bennett boards from NSW. Jim Keenan pic.

1962 Gallows outside break J Keenan & Puppydog on NSW Barry Bennet boards - J Keenan pic

Photo: 1960-61 South Point Cowaramup Bay unidentified surfer. Steve Mailey pic

1960s South Point Cowaramup - Steve Mailey img343

Photo: 1962 Yallingup Main Break surfer Murray Smith. Photo courtesy of Glen Campbell (Dolphins Board Club).

1962 Yalls surfing Murray Smith - Glen Campbell Dolphins Board Club pic IMG_6348

Photos: 1962 Surfing legends at Gallows. Time ravage images courtesy of Brian Cole.

Top: (Left) Bob Keenan. (Right) Brian Cole.

Bottom: Dave Williams both images.

1962 Gallows surfing Brian Cole pics collage_photocat

Photo: 1963 North Point Cowaramup Bay unidentified surfers. Tom Collins pic.

1963 Cowaramup Bay North Point unknowns - Tom Collins pic img235

Photo: 1963 Bunker Bay ‘The Quarries’ unknown surfer. Tom Collins pic.

1963 Bunker Bay The Quarries unknown - Tom Collins pic img219

Photo:1963 Terry ‘Rat’ James doing a ‘quasimoto’ at Gallows. Photo courtesy of Sonny James.

1963 Gallows Terry James - unknown photograher_0001

Photo: 1963 former City Beach surfer Mick Lindsay surfing Gallows. Mick now resides in NSW. Photo courtesy of Geoff Berry.

1963 Mick Lindsay Gallows SW3

Photo: 1964 Margaret River Main Break surfers L-R Murray Smith & Jim Keenan. Photo courtesy of Jim Keenan.

1964 Marg River Murray Smith & Jim Keenan surfing - J Keenan pic1

Photo: 1964 WA’s first State Mens Champion Alex ‘Zac’ Kochanowitsch surfing Margaret River Main Break on his ‘Rising Sun’ surfboard. Ernie Potter pic.

1964 Zac Kochanowitsch Marg River - Ernie Potter pic

Bonus Images.

These 1950s images were sourced from pioneer WA surfer/photographer John Budg’s vintage photo collection. The actual photographers are unknown.

Image: 1950s unidentified pin-up girl.

1950s unknown pinup girl - John Budge pic img367

Image: 1950s unidentified Eastern States surfers riding plywood Toothpick surfboards at an unknown location. .

1950s Aust Surfing toothpicks unknown - John Budge pic img357.jpg A

Thanks to the various photographers for providing the vintage pics.



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1960s Southern Surf Riders shack story by Dave Simmons

In the 1960-70s Dave Simmons was a talented Cottesloe surfer and a member of the Southern Surf Riders Club.

Dave’s comments & story follows:-

Hi to Sue-Lyn, Pete Bothwell, Barry Day, Barry Young, Artie Sherbs & Boz. I was kindly invited to the last Southern Surf Riders Reunion, but you know me, I kind put my foot in it – typical of me. Tell Artie I ended up getting very disillusioned with the surf scene as it is this days and not long after that reunion I gave it away – never thought I would! That’s up until now. I really must, for my health’s sake get right back into it. Just made myself a 5’10 Ted Spencer ‘spoon’ just like the old days. All this shark business frightens the hell out of me. I’ll have to save up for a Katana Surf Safe shark deterrent.

Photo: 1978 Margaret River Rowing Regatta. Dave Simmons is on the right in printed shirt. Ric Chan pic.

1978 Marg River Regatta Dave Simmons cropped1 - Ric Chan 065

My old buddie Giles Gieger I miss. Giles quite often came around to where Mum, me and Liz were living in Walter St. Claremont for a ride down to the Isolated in my old FJ. I was always practicing Classical Guitar out on the back lawn and Giles would turn up for a cuppa and a chat before we headed off.

I heard a story he’s married a Balinese orchestral violinist or something and that he was an Opal Merchant or something.

Photo: 1970 State Titles at Yallingup L-R unknown, Skullcap, Giles, Rod Slater & Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn. Ric Chan pic.

1970 Yalls State Titles Skullcap, Giles, Slater & Sheepdog - R Chan img400

Here’s a story you might like……..

Southern Surf Riders shack

The old Southern Surf Riders Club had a shack at Prevelly in the late 60s. I was staying there with Giles Gieger, Ian ‘Cairnsy’ Cairns, Arty Sherburn and the crew.

Photo: 1966 Southern Surfriders at Halls Head Mandurah. Back: I Cairns, J Collis, P Stephens, D Ellis, J Rousell. Front: G Smith, M Jones, A Cook, J Jones, A Sherburn, E Warner, J Law, M Layzell – Mick Layzell pic

My beautiful picture

Cairnsy and a few of us got a really bad case of Gastro. I think all he was eating was Corn Flakes with no milk for weeks. We all ran out of the cash that our Mum’s gave us. Cairnsy ended up in the Margaret River Hospital, if my memory serves me correctly.

Photo: 1968 Cottesloe Beach L-R John ‘Jacko’ Jackovich, Ian Cairns & Arty Sherburn. Rod Taylor pic.

1968 Cottesloe Beach Jacko Surf Team. Jacko, Ian Cairns & Arty Sherburn - Rod Taylor pic.IMG_001

Anyway one morning, we were laying there moaning out loud like sick dogs. A newly in love couple intending to get married, they must have been friends one of the members or something, decided to make themselves a lover’s breakfast in the midst of the typically disorganised messy squaller inside the shack. Back then, that was par for the course if you were down there to SURF. And to surf … WE WERE.  As the couple began preparing their breakfast, I think it might have been Giles let forth with a huge groan bellowing his detest for the lousy way he felt that morning, as did all of us.

“Arrgggghhhh  F_ _ k !”  Giles groaned.

The young lady turned to Giles and growled very angrily.  “I BEG YOUR PARDON!!!”

Cairnsy replied. “You heard ‘im…., he said   F_ _k.”

Everybody cracked up. Even though about the only laughs we guys were having right about then – were at the ground.

Dave Simmonds.

PS There is another Dave & Giles surf trip story in the pipeline


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1978 Margaret River Rowing Regatta

In the 70s the Margaret River Rowing Club held Rowing Regattas on the Margaret River near Wallcliffe House.

Margaret River locals and visiting SW surfers met on the bank of the river to compete in the Regatta’s rowing boat and surfboard paddle races and enjoy a drink or two.

Margaret surfer Adrian Wilson attended the regattas in the 70s. These are his comments.

Early MR Rowing Regattas

 Adrian Wilson – In the early Regattas big John Hohnen used to cruise around with a shotgun under his arm as a deterrent to bikies who used to turn up….there used to be a massive tug of war with a heavy duty rope…I can’t remember who was against who…was it held on Australia Day?

Back then one could drive down to the un-renovated Wallcliffe House…unfortunately the historic house built in 1865 is no longer with us after the Marg River bush fire in 2011.

It was a classic day….. the paddle race was so popular the organisers were forced to impose board design rules to prevent unfair advantage. The first couple of regattas in 76/77 Billy Gibson won the surfboard race with me second…Sam Sadleir’s run came a bit later. I have memories of trying to catch Billy Gibson…but just couldn’t bridge the gap. I saw Billy out at Huzzas today…his high speed paddle style hasn’t changed!

Billy was part of a hard core Scarborough surf crew…all great surfers…who used to frequent down south in the 70s…the Waller brothers (Mark and Paul), Shaun Atkinson, Kim Hewton just to mention a few.

Paul Waller was a handsome young chap…one particular night at the Margaret River tavern he was drinking a flaming shot….a bump on his shoulder resulted in a minor burn on his cheek….Paul was very worried about a scar. That night the car he was a passenger in hit a cow on Wallcliffe Road….next time I saw Paul he had plaster on one arm and various bandages…I said that on the bright side, you couldn’t see the burn on his cheek.

Life at Margs in the 70s had much more of a pioneering carefree atmosphere. Life was much simpler then….only one food shop…Wesfarmers…and the tuckshop for apricot pies with cream….no mobile phones, internet or 24 hour news cycle.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta

Adrian Wilson – Classic photos of the ‘78 event with many familiar faces… I reckon this was towards the end of the regattas at Wallcliffe House (don’t think the shotgun patrols were still going)…..

PD is sitting next to the beautiful Irena….

Typical in the background of Hog Hannett is a beautiful woman.

Great photo of Ric Chan in full flight……I don’t remember Tony Harbo doing the loudspeaker thing….don’t think he featured in the early ones…but I could be wrong.

Sam Sadlier was a grom when I surfed at Cottesloe…but it was obvious he had amazing talent and general athletic ability…..he went on to be a great surfer……I saw him a few years ago, now living in Bunbury I think.

One surprising omission from these early photos are images of the Hocking brothers…Bruce and Ian and Col Ladhams. They were regulars at Margarets……Bruce the master of getting barrelled at the Margaret River mouth. Bruce Hocking was an amazing surfer…his backhand surfing at lefties was even by today’s standards outstanding. These guys used to stay with Rod White in his converted bus next to the speedway track in Margaret River.

Col Ladhams used to shape at Len Dibben’s in North Freo until Greirson Surfboards started…….

Many thanks to photojournalist Ric Chan for the social photos and Adrian for his recollections.

1. 1978 Rowing Regatta Races

Yallingup surfing legend Tony Harbison was MC and called the rowing & paddle races.

Race Photos #1: Rowing races.
Top: Spectators watching rowing race from river bank.
Bottom: (Left) Race caller Tony Harbison with loud hailer. (Right) Spectators.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta Race1 Rowing collage_photocat

In the 70s Cottesloe surfer Sam Sadleir won the paddle board race two years running. Marg River’s Bill Gibson & Gary Greirson also competed in the paddle races.

Race Photos #2: Paddle Board Races.
(Left) Sam Sadleir preparing for paddle board race. (Right) Paddle Board race & support crew.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta race2 paddle Sam Sadleir collage_photocat

Race Photos #3: Paddle board races.
(Left) Gary Greirson preparing for paddle board race. (Right) Gaz competing in paddle race.

Gaz Greirson – “That’s me coming last in next pic.”

1978 MR Rowing Regatta race3 Paddle Gary Greirson collage_photocat

Race Photos #4: Competitors
Top: (Left) Margaret River Rowing Club officials L-R Kim Davis, Don Drabble & Stewie Thomas. (Right) unidentified female competitor.
Bottom: Competitors rehydrating under trees between events. Mitch with Greg Russell in the middle and Dave Simmons (Cottesloe) in Hawaiian shirt on the right.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta Race4 competitors collage_photocat

2. 1978 Rowing Regatta Social

There was a strong social aspect to the Rowing Regatta with families & friends participating.

Attendees competed and enjoyed a cold beer or sipped wine under the trees in the afternoon and then stayed on for Graham Noakes’ ‘Windspan Band’ which played at the Regatta Dance held afterwards in the Club House on the river Bank.

Peter ‘Reffo’ Felton (Yalls) recalls – “one year bikies tried to join the party but they were quickly dispersed by locals and visiting surfers.”

A fun time was had by all.

Social Photos #1:
Top: (Left) unidentified girl with beer keg in background. (Right) social gathering
Bottom: (Left) social gathering (Right) unidentified persons.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social1 collage_photocat

Social Photos #2:
Top: (Left) Girls & hounds. Deb from Byron Bay on the right. Deb married & moved to Kalbarri. (Right) young girl getting a tan.
Bottom: (Left) Mother & baby (Right) unidentified.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social2 collage_photocat

Social Photos #3:
Top: (Left) Ric Gath’s brother. (Right) Dennis Lindsay & unidentified. Dennis’s brother Eion ran the Berry Farm for years
Bottom: (Left) Chris Reynolds. (Right) Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston (Mandurah, Kalbarri & SW).

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social3 collage_photocat

Social Photos #4:
Top: (Left) Ric Chan. (Right) Marina with baby.
Bottom: (Left) Trinity Tate (Right) Syd Tate.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social4 collage_photocat

Social Photos #5:
Top: (Left) Rankin Wise. Rankin & his brother Sandy were from a local family. Mum Wise could not control her wayward sons. (Right) George Tocas (Yalls).
Bottom: (Left) unidentified (Right) unidentified.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social5 collage_photocat

Social Photos #6:
Top: (Left) social gathering under the trees. (Right) unidentified couple
Bottom: (Left) Peter Davison (Trigg) & girlfriend. (Right) Steve ‘Hog’ Hannett (Trigg).

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social6 collage_photocat

Social Photos #7:
Top: (Left) drinks tent. (Right) Ric Chan, Gary Greirson, Trinity Tate & Marina under the trees.
Bottom: (Left) Feeding time. (Right) unidentified.

1978 MR Rowing Regatta social7 collage_photocat (2)