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1960s Phillip Island surf trips by Craig Brent-White and Peter Dyson

WA surfers started travelling to Phillip Island in Victoria in the mid 1960s. They were chasing the quality waves and casual lifestyle.

These are Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson and Craig Brent-White’s recollections of their Phillip Island adventures in the ’60s.

IN THE BEGINNING by Peter Dyson

In the mid to late 60s my surfing mates and I stayed in the top camping area at Yallingup, near Caves House and opposite Sue’s Tuck Shop – later to become known as Andy’s Store. We would leave our hammocks permanently strung between the pine trees and store our surf boards under the hammocks from weekend to weekend. We never locked our cars and 5-6 of us used to dob in five bob each for petrol money for weekend trips from Perth to Yalls.

During this time a group of Eastern States surfers came to the South West from Victoria. They worked in conjunction with Surfing World Magazine and came across to do stories on WA surfing spots. My mates and I met the Victorian surfers while we were camping at Yallingup.

The Vic guys told us stories of Phillip Island over drinks at Caves Pub. That’s what gave us the idea to go there!

FIRST SURF TRIP TO PHILLIP ISLAND by Craig Brent-White and Peter Dyson

In 1966 Cottesloe surfers Craig Brent-White, Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson and Scarborough surfer Peter Lumis travelled by train from WA to Phillip Island in Victoria. It was the first surf trip to Phillip Island by WA surfers.

DysoI met Scarborough surfer Peter Lumis at Hale School. Peter Lumis was a bloody good surfer and was related to first WASRA President Percy Trainer.

Craig – When the Peter’s and I arrived on the train at Kalgoorlie en route to Phillip Island, we were only aged 16, but started our adventure with a pub crawl and some hi-jinks in the mining town. 

Image: 1960s Greetings from Phillip Island postcard. Courtesy of Peter Dyson.

Dyso – We rented an old house on the Phillip Island for £10 per week. We had so much fun!

Craig – A Phillip Island surfer nicknamed ‘Dogs’, lent us a van and we travelled everywhere together.

Dyso – On one occasion we went to Koala Cafe and one of the boys acquired a large bottle of concentrated dark green cordial. At a subsequent BBQ party at the house, some rogue poured the contents of green cordial into our water tank. (I think I know who it was!). From then on we drank and showered in dark green water…phew it was sticky! We subsequently received a Summons for £37 and 10 shillings for costs to repair damage to the water tank and house furniture.

Craig – The guys at the BBQ party started a fire in our lounge room and burnt a lounge chair. 

Photo: 1966 Dyso day dreaming at Flynns Reef on Phillip Island. Peter Dyson pic.

Dyso – After surfing all day I was buggered and went to the Isle of White pub for a counter meal and a few beers. I walked outside for a piss and an old guy from the amusement park over the road must have thought I was going to rob the place and pointed a shotgun at me. I yelled out and the boys from the pub came and got me out of there.

At a later time, I became friendly with the old bugger who held me up and he recommended a place in Melbourne where I could buy a gold ring for my girlfriend Jan. It was a sleazy jewellery shop in Little Collins Street and there were t-chests full of watches for use in amusement parks. I bought a gold wedding ring for Jan Bevan who became my wife.

Craig – Sergeant Ernie used his six battery burglar torch to clear troublesome surfers out of the lsle of White pub.

Photo: 1966 Dyso dropping-in on an identified goofy footer at Flynns Reef. Peter Dyson pic.

Dyso – In 1966 I competed in a local Victorian surfing competition held at Cat Bay as a WA entrant. I came 3rd behind Wayne Lynch (Vic) 1st and Allan Atkins (Vic) 2nd in the Junior Event. 

Image: 1966 Vic newspaper article on combined board rally on Phillip Island. Image courtesy of Peter Dyson.

Dyso – Cottesloe Board Club President Victor Kailis sent me a telegram congratulating me on my success in the Vic contest….see telegram below.

Dyso I stayed six weeks on Phillip Island with Craig and Peter Lumis then returned to WA because of work commitments in my family’s business. I left Craig and Peter on the Island.

 WA surfers John Balgarnie, Peter Horton and Mick Maddren visited the Island after I left.

Craig – Dyso and I have great memories of the ’66 trip…..he wouldn’t want me to tell you some of it, but over a beer it’s possible!

Photo: 1966 Craig Brent-White surfing Cat Bay. Photo by Ian Wilson Surfing World Magazine photographer.

SUBSEQUENT YEARS AT PHILLIP ISLAND by Craig Brent-White and Alex Chobanoff

Craig – In 1967 John Balgarnie and I started the first surfing school in Victoria at Phillip Island. We had a ball while our pupils sat on the beach at times while we surfed, all part of the process really.

I ended up abalone diving there for the next three years….perfect, you had to go surfing when the surf was up because it was unsuitable for diving.

It was a wonderful time in our surfing lives and an opportunity for surfers from various communities across borders to discover friendships that endure today for many of us.

Image: 1960s postcard showing bridge from mainland to Phillip Island. Courtesy of Peter Dyson.

To the best of our knowledge we were the first WA surfers to go there in 1966. I don’t remember any other WA surfers being there. Subsequent years there were a lot of us going back, to mention a few:

Bob Shenston – City Beach

Mick Maddren – Scarborough

Peter Reed – Scarborough                          

Hume Heatley – Cottesloe

Peter Bothwell – Cottesloe

John Balgarnie – Cottesloe

Jamie Doig – City Beach

Dig Digelli – Scarborough

Rod Slater- Trigg

In 1968 John Balgarnie (Cottesloe), Jamie Doig (City Beach) and I travelled overland to Phillip Island. It was another epic surf journey. John, Jamie and I didn’t have much money and we struggled to get across the Nullarbor to Melbourne.

My shining achievement was beating Wayne Lynch in the inaugural interstate surfing competition between SA, WA and Vic held on the island in 1968. Peter Bothwell told me recently he was pissed off I beat Wayne Lynch, because he was tipped out in one of the earlier rounds of the competition I won. John Balgarnie was there and recalls it well, as does Peter.  It was the real inaugural interstate surfing competition between Vic, SA & WA held on the Island.

Image: 1966 Postcard of Summerland Beach on Phillip Island. Courtesy of Peter Dyson.

In late 1968 I travelled over east with Alex Chobanoff in his VW fast back. On the way we called in at Penong and found 6-8ft waves at Caves, with no one out! There was a massive salt cloud and visibility was poor. The two of us were sitting out the back, when I saw shapes in the water. Alex caught a wave in on his belly and I was left there on my own pondering my future. I soon laid down and caught a wave in too. It was beautiful surf but sharky!

I went back to Phillip Island to go Abalone diving.

Alex Chobanoff – I spent time with Craig on Phillip Island in the late 60s. We had many fun times. One night we were driving back to our house in my VW fast back with the paisley design on bonnet, when we came across a penguin on the road. Craig picked it up in a towel and placed it on the back seat. We took off and the panicking penguin got loose and caused mayhem in the car while I was trying to drive. When we got back to the house, the crew was watching TV in the dark. Craig then released the stressed penguin into the group and cleared the room. It was hilarious Ha!

SOUTH AUSTRALIA CONNECTION by Craig Brent-White

Craig – There is a sequence that follows on from the ’68 interstate surf comp at Phillip Island that came back here to WA and turned into something very special. It is the beginning of a new chapter, a new story and will connect the dots about the brotherhood that developed between SA and WA surfers. It kept me away traveling and searching for waves further afield too.

Click on this link to view 1966-67 WA surfers in South Aust.

In SA, the WA guys hung around with surfers from the Sand n Sea board club. Alan Boag from S-n-S discovered Cactus. While there, I mooted to Spook Bothwell and Hume Heatley the idea of starting an S-n-S club in WA. In 1968 I returned to WA and we recruited surfers and formed our own S-n-S club. I was the President of the Club. We had very good surfers including Terry Jacks, Dave Beamish, Spook Bothwell, Hume Heatley, Brian Boynes, Steve Cockburn and other top surfers. The other WA clubs didn’t want to compete against us. The club was a great idea, but everyone travelled and our surfers were always coming and going. The club never really folded, we just didn’t get back together. Ha!

In 1969 I travelled with Brian Boynes to South Africa.

Photo: 1967 South Australia’s Sand & Sea bus at Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln. Baz Young pic.

There were a lot of surfers who hooked up across from East to West, not just Phillip Island. There was a huge affiliation with SA and WA surfers for a long time, I still stay in contact with a lot of crew from SA mainly. Had two of them come and stay with me recently at different times. Those long standing friendships are the best, the most comfortable, as close too or closer than brothers.

John Balgarnie and I used to go to Geary’s shack all the time, very often with Terry Jacks who was a very close friend of mine, we had Scarborough one day 8 ft +, when we got there, Jenny Shackley took off on a monster wave going left, she was out there all by herself, bloody unreal! My most vivid memory of that day was Terry Jacks in a stand up barrel of perfection on his 10 ft 3 inch Gordon Woods three stringer board.

Photo: 2017 Jim King and Peter Dyson at Loz’s place in Quindalup going through Dyso’s scrap book looking for photos for this article. Loz Smith pic.

Many thanks to Craig and Dyso for sharing their Phillip Island stories.

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Gallery

1977 Hang Ten WASRA Schoolboys Surfing Champs at Trigg

Updated 11 December 2016 thanks to Stephen Koehne.

Colin Earle entered all 3 age divisions, Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19, winning U/15 and U/19 and placing 2nd in U/17. I think they changed the rules after that event.

The Nationals were held in Jan 1978 at Victor Harbour and Middleton Beach, South Australia. Colin was only able to surf in one division and picked U/15 as it was the division he was most likely to win. Steve and Ant Corrigan were power-houses from Bondi and Queenslander Joe Engel dominated and won the U/19 at the Nationals. Dave Mac was on that state team in U/15 too. Dave’s dad and Bill Girdwood were team chaperones.

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The 1977 Hang Ten WASRA Schoolboys Surfing Championships were held at Trigg Beach in average surf conditions. There was a large pod of WASRA officials & celebrity surfers in attendance to watch the junior talent.

Contest results are unknown, but it is understood Colin Earle won the under 17 age division.

Surf journo/photographer Ric Chan was there to capture the action in & out of the water (mainly the latter).

Photo: 1977 Contest official Ken Trainer on Trigg Beach. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 Contest spectators L-R Bill Oddy, John Shanahan & Greg Laurenson. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 unidentified competitor surfing Trigg Beach. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 Trigg Beach L-R unidentified, competitor Colin Earle and spectator Steve Hannett. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 contest judges & officials on Trigg Beach. Ric Chan pic

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Photo: 1977 Bill Oddy reflecting an image of photographer Ric Chan in his sunnies. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 Contest trophies U/15 & U/17 divisions. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 unidentified spectator Trigg car park. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 contest official Arty Sherburn on Trigg Beach. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 Colin Earle with contest trophies on Trigg Beach. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 WASRA official Bill Girdwood on Trigg Beach. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 WASRA officials Peter Dyson (vice President) and Tony Harbison (President) presenting trophy to Colin Earle and other winners on Trigg Beach.

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If you know the results of the ’77 Hang Ten WASRA Schoolboys Surfing Championships, let us know.

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Gallery

1960s Surfing in the South West – Peter Dyson

Young Dalkeith surfer Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson started surfing down south in the early 60’s. In 1966 he become a member of the Yallingup Surf Board Club and purchased a beach shack on the hill at Yallingup.

These are Peter’s 1960s Down South recollections and photos.

Beach Shack Yallingup

In the mid 60s I rented a beach shack on Elsegood Road Yallingup from the Bonser family. In Feb 1966 they sold me the property for $3,000. The shack was one of five beach shacks built on the hill in the early 50s by Yallingup pioneer Ting Hammond & family.

Photos: Late 1960s Yallingup Peter Dyson’s shack with his Holden HR panel van. (Bottom right) View from Peter’s shack across Valley Rd and Yallingup Caravan Park. Peter Dyson pics.

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My shack had power but no scheme water or sewerage. Lance Bevan (my first wife’s brother) and I dug trenches in the limestone cap rock (which is the prevalent rock in the area) for the sewerage system. We were assisted by Peter Bothwell who later bought the Ferguson shack a couple of blocks north of me.

Photos: Late 60s Peter Dyson and Lance Bevan digging sewerage trench at the beach shack. Peter Dyson pics.

1960s Yalls Peter Dyson & Lance Bevan sewerage trench trench collage_photocat

Photos: Late 60s socialising at Pete’s shack. Peter Dyson Pics.

Top: The Braesch family & kids holidaying at Peter’s place.

Bottom: (Left) Postcard image of Yallingup Beach. (Right) 1970s Unidentified, Ian ‘Prive’ Morris and Ross ‘Mahdu’ Anderson in the kitchen of Peter’s shack. Andy Jones pic.

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Photos: Late 60s beach girls at Pete’s shack Yalls. Peter Dyson pics.

Left: Robin Jebb (later married Spook Bothwell). Right: L-R Niobie Pericles, Jan Bevan, Robin Jebb & Mari Paterson.

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Photos: Late 60s beach boys at Pete’s shack Yalls. Peter Dyson pics.

Left: Ken Dyson (Peter’s dad) at the shack. Right: Peter enjoying a ‘King Brown’ beer in stubby holder with surfer Alex Chobanoff.

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Photos: 1960-70s SW images courtesy of Peter Dyson.

Left: 1960s Peter at Rocky Point with pintail surfboard. Right: 1970s Tony Harbison and Peter with big kingfish caught at Big Rock. Pic taken at Harbo’s house at Hideaway Homes Yalls.

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Surfing in the SW

The inaugural State Surfing Championships were held at Yallingup in 1964. Contest officials erected a judge’s stand on the reef to give the judges an uninterrupted view of the action. It was a good idea, but the scaffolding stand was washed away by waves before completion of the competition.

Image: 1964 Peter Dyson winning 4th heat in the Junior division of the first State Surfing Championships held at Yalls. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1964 Yalls State Titles Peter Dyson - PD pic IMG_0057

Photo: Mid 60s Dyso’s Kombi at Rocky Point. Photo courtesy of Peter Dyson

L-R John ‘Blue’ Burridge, Peter Dyson (on step ladder), Kevin Ager, Mick Maddren, John Balgarnie & Charlie Roper. John ‘Ned’ Franetovich is sitting on the roof.

mid 60s Rocky Pt John Burridge, Peter Dyson, Kevin Ager, Mick Maddren, John Balgarnie. Roo Dog, Ned F on roof. PD pic IMG_23

Photos: Late 1960s Pete surfing in the SW. Peter Dyson pics.

Top: Peter surfing the Farm at Bunker Bay.

Bottom: Peter surfing main break Yallingup.

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Photos: Late 1960s Pete’s surfing mates. Peter Dyson pics.

Left: Albany Surfing Comp officials include Dave Condon, Rod Slater & Colin Cordingley. Right: John Staley celebrating his 21st birthday in Bunbury.

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Photo: 1970 Yalls State Titles. Ric Chan pic

L-R Greg Laurenson, Peter Holzman, Ron Waddell, Bruce King, Robin Sutherland, Peter Dyson, Rod Slater, Giles Geiger, Steve Cockburn & John Balgarnie.

1970 Yalls State Titles G Laurenson, P Holzman, R Waddell, B King, R Sutherland, P Dyson, R Slater, G Geiger, S Cockburn & J Balgarnie - R Chan img428

Yallingup Surf Board Club

Photo: 1965 Yallingup Surf Board Club members at Yallingup (pre Dyso). L-R Mark Waddell, Fred Lochowitch, Bill Oddy, John Pozzi, Peter Bothwell, Terry James, Craig Brent-White, Kim Woods, Geoff  Berry, Trevor Baskerville. Photo courtesy of Sonny James.

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In 1966 I was invited to join the prestigious Yallingup Surf Board Club. My YBC membership was probationary for 12 months and subject to review for any serious misconduct during that period. I was required to resign from my former board club Cottesloe Board Club and register with WASRA.

Images: 1966 Yallingup Surf Board Club memorabilia courtesy of Peter Dyson.

Left: YBC invitation letter to Peter signed by Club Secretary Bill Oddy. Right: Peter’s YBC membership card.

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This photo shows my Kombi loaded with surfboards parked outside the ‘No Parking’ sign in front of the Yallingup Surf Board Shack at Caves House Yallingup.

Photo: 1960s Yallingup L-R Peter Dyson, Kim ‘Dish’ Standish, Kevin Ager, Guy Laylor, Michael Bibby and 2 unidentified lads. Peter Dyson pic.

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BONUS PIC

In the 1990s Peter Clauson, Don Hancey & I were partners in the Surfside tenancy at Yallingup. I wore snake skin boots and added a karaoke machine to Surfside’s amenities. Turn-over picked-up and Surfside became a strong music scene with local musicians Vance Burrows, Gina Pannone, Leon Thomasian & others playing at the venue. It was a vibrant night spot and rivalled Caves House in entertainment.

I then sold my share in Surfside to Neil Anderson.

Photo: 1990s the five Peter’s at Surfside Yalls L-R Peter Clauson, Peter Kidd, Peter Shearer, Peter Dyson & Peter Davies. Neil Anderson pic.

1990s Yalls Surfside L-R Peter Clauson, Peter Kidd, Peter Shearer, Peter Dyson & Peter Davies - Neil Anderson pic IMG_03

I still enjoy surfing, singing & sex…..those activities get my endorphins pumping!

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2016 Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson at Yal Mal

Veteran WA surfing & music legend Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson is back in the South West to catch up with friends and enjoy the annual Yallingup Malibu Classic at Yallingup. The former Yallingup resident now lives in Bali.

Photos: 2016 Dyso at Yal Mal. (Left) Dyso). (Right) Loz & Dyso, Dyso & Bruce King and Louie Longboard & Dyso.  Bruce King pics.

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Dyso’s 1960s South West surfing memoirs will be published Wed 7 Dec 2016 on SDS.

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1960s Surfing in the City – Peter Dyson

In the 1960’s Dalkeith surfer Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson spent his youth surfing & socialising in the city.

In the early 60s Peter was a junior member of the Cottesloe Surf Board Club and a student at Hale School.

Later in the 60s he became a member of the Yallingup Surfboard Club and the lead singer in the popular Perth band The Banned – these matters are covered in other SDS Blogs.

These are Dyso’s memories and images of metro surfing & social activities in the ’60s.

1. Surfing (Metro)

In the early ‘60s I purchased my first polyurethane & fibreglass surfboard from former wooden boat builders Colin & Rex Cordingley in Stirling Highway, Mosman Park. The board cost 39 pounds & 10 pence and was expensive due to the cost of imported Bennett blanks. The board was a white colour with a red & black stripe. It weighed approx. 30lbs and had a bullet proof fibreglass & resin job. I used to drag it down to Slimys at North Cottesloe for a surf. Cordingley’s purchased adhesives and paint brushes from Dysons, my family’s business in Perth.

Photo: 1960s Jack Dyson (Pete’s granddad) building in Bedford Place in Perth. Peter Dyson pic.

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In ‘65 I won the individual award at the State School Boys competition held at Scarborough and was runner–up in ‘66.

Photos: 1960s Peter surfing the Cove at Cottesloe on his surfboard with wooden nose block. Peter Dyson Pics.

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The 1966 State Winter Surfboard Championships were held at Scarborough. Michael Bibby won & I was runner-up in the Junior division. We were both members of the Yallingup Surfboard Club.

Image: 1966 Media coverage of the event courtesy of WA Newspapers.

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The following image appeared on Surfing WA’s 50th Year Anniversary t-shirt and on Invitations to their Celebrations held at Surfers Point Margaret River in 2014.

Photo: 1966 Finalists in State Winter Surfboard Championships at Scarborough. Trevor Burslem pic. L-R Maureen Farrell (2nd Women), John Pozzi (3rd Senior), Michael Bibby (1st Junior), John Balgarnie (1st Senior), Peter Dyson (2nd Junior), Terry Jacks (2nd Senior), Eleanor proud (1st Women).

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In 1966 I was invited to become a ‘Team Rider’ for Cordingley Surfboards in Subiaco.

Image: 1966 Peter Dyson’s Cordingley competition team card courtesy of Peter Dyson.

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Images: 1966 Cordingley Surf Shop letters to Peter courtesy of Peter Dyson.

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Photo: 1960s Jan Bevan (my first wife) modelling on Trigg Beach with a Nipper Williams Surfboard. Photo courtesy of Peter Dyson.

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In the 70s Tony Harbison was President of WASRA and I served as Vice President during his term. If you know the attractive girl on my right in the following photo, please let us know her name.

Photo: 1970s Scarborough Beach. WASRA Vice President Peter Dyson presenting surfing awards to unidentified and Maureen Farrell. Photo courtesy of Peter Dyson.

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2. Social (Metro)

Photo: 1960s Ball held Palace Hotel in Perth. L-R Blue Burridge, Peter Dyson, John ‘Ned’ Franetovich & Richard Burridge (ladies unidentified). Peter Dyson pic.

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Photo: 1960s Party. L-R Richard Barik, Peter Dyson, Terry Jacks & Dick Lenard. Peter Dyson pic.

1960s Party Richard Barik, Terry Jacks, Peter Dyson & Dick Lenard - PD pic IMG_0042

Photo: 1960s Claremont Football Club function. L-R Peter Dyson, John Balgarnie & Lance Bevan. Peter Dyson pic.

1960s Claremont Footy Club Peter Dyson, John Balgarnie & Lance Bevan - PD pic IMG_20160509_0002

Photo: 1960s Fancy Dress Embassy Ball Room. L-R Jeff Hanson, Don McDonald, Peter Dyson, Hume Heatley & Dave Condon. Peter Dyson pic.

1960s Fancy Dress Embassy Ball Room Jeff Hanson, Don McDonald, Peter Dyson, Hume Heatley & Dave Condon - PD pic IMG_0030

Photo: 1960s River Cruise. L-R Peter Dyson, Jan Bevan, Niobie Pericles & Mike Byrom. Peter Dyson pic.

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Photo: 1960s River Cruise. L-R Peter Dyson, Mike Byrom (Young Blaydes band) & Mike ‘Gruff’ Reynolds (roadie for Young Blaydes band). Peter Dyson pic.

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Photo: 1960s Party. Peter Dyson & John Balgarnie – Peter Dyson pic.

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Craig Brent-White and I go right back to baby bassinets.

In 1964 Craig Brent-White, Peter Lummis (from Scarborough) & I were the first WA surfers to travel to Phillip Island in Vic. My dad Ken Dyson booked us into Koala Estate on Phillip Island. We were age 16 and travelled over on the train, stopping at Kalgoorlie on route to enjoy the attractions. We met & made friends with local surfers and started an exodus of WA surfers to Phillip Island (eg Peter Bothwell, Hume Heatley, John Balgarnie etc).

Photo: 1960s two unidentified maidens & Craig Brent-White (Sand n Sea Board Riders) dining at unidentified Perth restaurant, Peter Dyson pic.

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I still enjoy life and a good party!

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