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“What a small world we share” by Trevor Grant

This is a story about an East Coast surf traveller who met NZ surf photographer Ric Chan in Margaret River in 1977. Forty years later, he met Ric’s son Tao in Mauritius.

Ric Chan (Auckland NZ) – “Wooohooooo!! Here’s a mind blowing situation. A Chinaman from NZ takes off to OZ to shoot and surf, travelling across OZ to WA, and eventually made it to Syd Tate’s farm house at Witchcliffe in the South West.

There, in 1977 he meets an interesting dood Trevor Grant from the East Coast and takes a pic of him holding a balsa board.

Then 40 years later, 10,649 km away, my son born in Brisbane, me in NZ, Trev and Tao meet in Mauritius on the same beach at the same time…………HOWZAT!!!!!

I’ve got this grin on my face. It’s sooo damned freaky, what a GREAT story!”

Photo: 1975 Ric Chan and Syd Tate at Syd’s farm house in Witchcliffe. Ric Chan Pic.

Trevor’s message to Ric Chan

Trevor Grant (Mauritius) – “Howzit Ric, I met your son Tao in Mauritius, cool kid. Haven’t seen you since that time with the Balsa Board at Syd Tate’s farm at Witchcliffe in 1977. It was by accident that I met Tao in Tamarin Bay and the rest is history. Tao will explain to you our meeting and conversation in Tamarin Bay Mauritius”.

Photo: 1976 Syd Tate’s farmhouse at Witchcliffe. Ric Chan Pic.

Tao’s message to his dad

Tao Ah Chee (Mauritius) – “Hey dad, I just met a Trever Grant who owned a balsa board back in the 70s.

You took a photo of him and his balsa board a long time ago in Western Aust. We were just all talking and I told him “I’m Chinese from NZ” and he asked if I knew a Ric Chan.

I said “yeah he’s my dad”, and he flipped and started talking about your gold van and all the photos.

I’m sure he knows about the Surfing Down South book, because he said all the photos are from you. lol

He was nice to me, one of your old photo models. Lol”.

Photo: 2014 Ric Chan’s son Tao with his dog Fella, in their unit in NZ. Ric Chan pic.

This is Trevor Grant’s story.

Hi Ric,

Great to have your news and to connect with you after 40 years, that is amazing bro. Last time I saw you was at Syd Tate’s farmhouse at Witchcliffe in 1977 when you took that photo of me holding my Balsa Board and I was leaving for Mauritius at the same time. I also haven’t seen Syd since that time nor heard of his whereabouts. (Editor’s note: It is understood Syd Tate now resides in NZ.)

Photo: 1977 Trevor Grant with his new balsa board at Syd Tate’s farmhouse in Witchcliffe. Ric Chan pic. 

I did a lot of surf travelling during the 70’s mostly Mauritius, Reunion Island, South Africa, and East Africa. In the early 80’s I started working on the Docks in Sydney where I worked for almost 33 years until last year when I retired from my job. During my working years I could manage to get away each year for 6 weeks going to Samoa on many occasions Fiji and Tonga and Mauritius and Reunion Island. I bought some Land on the South Coast of NSW just south of Ulladulla near Bawley Point at Merry Beach where I have now retired to. I have been married twice both to Mauritian ladies and divorced to both of them with no children involved, I don’t have kids. So now being retired, I decided why spend winter on the south coast so I bailed out early June and headed back to Mauritius. While here I decided to take a look at Madagascar where I spent 2 months on the south west coast of Mada, what an unreal amazing place. After Mada I returned back to Mauritius where I’m currently staying till the end of October then returning back to Oz for Summer and Xmas at my south coast home.

How I met your youngest son Tao in Mauritius, I couldn’t believe it blew me away!

Each afternoon as a ritual I take a couple of beers and sit on the beach at Tamarin Bay to catch up with local creole friends and watch the Sunset each day. Tao was there this particular afternoon and I heard him talking to people I know. I picked up on his accent and asked if he was from Oz. He said “No I’m from NZ”. I then said are your parents Maoris? Tao said “No, I’m Chinese Kiwi” in saying that the penny dropped and I could see a resemblance of a face that had crossed my path in my early surfing days, there was just something with his eyes and facial features of a person I met years ago. So my next question to Tao was would you know an older Surf Photographer by the name of Ric Chan. Well Tao looked at me in amazement and nearly choked and said “That’s my Dad”. I said you’re kidding me, Tao said “Yes, that’s my Father”. I went Far Out you’re kidding me, Tao said “No that’s my Dad”. Then I went on to tell Tao that I met you in ‘77 down south at Margaret River. I even told him about your gold Kombi wagon. Tao was blown away, I was blown away and the rest is History. What a small world we share!

Photos: 2017 Trevor meeting Tao in Mauritius. Trevor Grant pics.

So just the other day, I saw Tao on the beach at sunset and asked him to give me your Email address, so now here we are talking to each other after 40 years of lost contact, Fucking Amazing hey! As for Tao I haven’t seen him surf or we haven’t been in the water together here. He did tell me that he has only been surfing for a few years and still learning his way on the ocean. But there is one thing Tao has impressed me as a person, he has a good mellow nature, shows great respect to others and older people like me. You should be very proud to have a son of his nature and style. I’m not saying he is a total angel, as we were all crazy larrikins in our early days and done some wild radical things, as you can recall the crazy 60’s early 70’s we were all very out there in many ways.

Tao told me he is leaving Mauritius next week heading for the Seychelles and then onto Sri Lanka. I said I will catch up with him at sunset before he bails out. So there you go Ric, amazing story how I met your son Tao in Mauritius and how I have been able to connect with you here. Lots of waves and stories have passed since I last saw you 40 years ago in ‘77 at Syd Tate’s Farmhouse at Witchcliffe holding that Balsa Board.

Regards Always

Trevor Grant. 🏄🌴🌺💃😆

Footnote:

Trevor Grant –What a small World we share sounds a part of your history of surfing in South West Oz and a little bit of history I’ve thrown your way. Its one true story how I met Ric Chan’s son Tao in Mauritius and what unfolded in that conversation with Tao. Then to connect with Ric after 40 years is absolutely amazing. As I said to Ric, lots of waves and stories have gone down over those 40 years on both sides.

 Keep up the good work on the history of surfing in South West Oz. I enjoy reading all those SDS blogs. Only by chance an old West Oz connection I met in Mauritius in the early 70’s, started forwarding me those blogs on the surfing history in South West Oz, I think about 12 months ago. I enjoy reading them and many names and characters give me great flash backs on part of that era and time I spent down south. Good stuff, keep it going”.

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Gallery

1987 Lombok Gili Nanggu images by Ric Chan

Surf photographer Ric Chan moved from WA to Bali in the 80’s. He set up and ran Cheaters Nightclub in Kuta, worked as a photo journalist for Bali News in Denpasar and undertook other entrepreneurial tasks.

Photo: 1985 Ric in the Bali News office in Denpasar. Ric Chan pic.

In 1987 Ric led a couple of Perth businessmen to Gili Nanggu island on Lombok.

Ric Chan:  The Island was owned by Mr Gede Badjra who was the owner of a large furniture store in Mataram. He passed away a few years ago and the island was sold (I gather, by his family) for around 250,000U$, and has been developed further.

 There are three islands in the small group and is not too far from Lembar, the port on Lombok.

 A couple of architects from Perth came to the island to survey it for a possible investment, but the potential investor went broke not long after the guys returned to WA…. once again, I missed out on getting rich!

 Not far to the west are several larger islands, one of which is called Gili Gede (gede means large). In these waters are several pearl oyster farms.

Photo: 1987 Sami and Taron Chan on the ferry to Lombok. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 Taron Chan being nursed on Lombok ferry. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 Taron Chan in the wheelhouse of Lombok ferry. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 Gili Nanggu island on west coast of Lombok. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 Perth businessmen travelling to Gili Nanggu to explore the possibilities of developing the island. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 cottages on Gili Nanggu. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 cottages on Gili Nanggu. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 business lunch on Gili Nanguu. Ric Chan pic.

In 1985 Ric met and married former Queensland model Sami in Bali. They had two sons Taron in 1986 and Tao in 1989.

Sadly Sami passed away in July 1991 and Ric returned to his homeland NZ with the two boys.

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Gallery

1973 Australian Surf Titles #1 Contest images by Ric Chan

West Australia hosted its first Australian Surf Titles in 1969. Contest rounds were held at Scarborough, Margaret River and Yallingup.

In 1973, WA hosted its second Australian Surf Titles. Contest rounds were held in the South West at Left Handers, Redgate and Margaret River Main Break.

Queensland sent a strong team which included reigning Aust champion Michael ‘MP’ Peterson and Peter ‘PT’ Townend, Richard Harvey and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew in the Mens divison and Kim McKenzie in the Womens divison.

NSW had Terry Fitzgerald and Col Smith in the Mens division and Mark Richards in the Juniors. They were very good surfers.

WA was well represented. The WA team included Ian Cairns and Tony Hardy in the Mens division, brother’s Craig and Stewart Bettenay in the Junior Mens and Kevin Merifield and Tony Harbison in the Senior Mens.

Stewart Bettenay (WA Junior) – Round one heats started at Margs, but when the swell dropped, the remaining heats and finals were held at Left Handers. In the Juniors, my brother Craig came 3rd behind Mark Richards NSW 1st and Bruce Hocking WA 2nd.

Round two heats were held in good waves at Redgate, but I don’t remember the results.

The Finals were held in very good waves at Margaret River main break. In the Mens division Tony Hardy surfed well and placed 4th overall. In the Juniors Craig came 3rd behind Mark Richards NSW 1st and Peter McCabe NSW 2nd. However, when results from the second round were taken into account, Craig was relegated to 4th place in the final results.

Overall Contest Results

Mens: 1. Richard Harvey Qld, 2. Peter Townend Qld, 3. Michael Peterson Qld, 4. Tony Hardy WA.

Junior Mens: 1. Mark Richards NSW, 2. Peter McCabe NSW, 3. Dave McDonald Qld, 4. Craig Bettenay WA.

Womens: 1. Kim McKenzie Qld, 2. Gail Couper Vic, 3 Mary Flynn Vic,

Senior Mens: 1. Brian Austin QLD, 2. Ted Harvey NSW, Doug Warbrick Vic.

Surf photographer Ric Chan was there to capture the action for the Independent Newspaper.

Round 1. Left Handers surf break

***Update 29 June 2017 *** Tom Blaxell recognises his F100 4wd and has dated the following Left Handers pic as 1978 and not 1973 as posted. Thanks Tom.

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles contest competitors in the old dirt car park behind surf break at Left Handers. Ric Chan pic.

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles competitors surfing at Left Handers. Ric Chan pics.

Top: (Left) Chris Fullston (WA). (Right) Tony Hardy (WA).

Bottom: (Left) Terry Richardson (NSW). (Right) Col Smith (NSW).

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles unidentified competitors surfing at Left Handers. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles unidentified competitor getting a cover-up at Left Handers. Ric Chan pics.

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles – Film West camera crew at Left Handers. Ric Chan pic.

Finals – Surfers Point at Margaret River

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles contest meeting in Marg’s car park. Ric Chan pic.

L-R competitor Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic), competitor Richard Harvey (NSW), Channel 7 News cameraman Bryan Dunne, 7 News reporter Errol Considine, media Ric Chan (NZ) and unidentified.…you can see the Channel 7 Holden news van in the background …

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles contest officials at Marg’s. Ric Chan pics.

Top: (Left) unidentified) (Right) contest director Trevor Burslem (WA).

Bottom: (left) unidentified), (Right) competitors, contest judges and officials including John Balgarnie (WA) and Richard Harvey (NSW) ….

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles competitors surfing Margaret River main break. Ric Chan pic.

Top: (Left) unidentified surfer. (Right) Craig Bettenay cover-up.

Bottom: (Left) Michael Peterson. (Right) unidentified surfer.

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles personalities in Marg’s car park. Ric Chan pics.

Left: Qld competitor Peter ‘PT’ Townend. PT went onto to become the first IPS/ASP World Surfing Champion in 1976.

Right: spectator Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn and surf photographer Ric Chan.

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles celebrities at Marg’s. Ric Chan pic.

This photo features legendary Australian surfer Michael ‘MP’ Peterson (Qsld), Rip Curl surf co-founder Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic) and a host of WA surfing heavy weights.

MP (in wetsuit) is making his way through contest spectators to enter the water for his heat. Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic) is on the far right in the hat. Amongst the spectators at the back of the pic are WA boys Len Laskewicz, John Balgarnie, Trevor Burslem, Tom Blaxell and Errol Considine. On the right are Fred Annesley and Colin Ladhams. Dave Ellis is at the front in the cap with his back to camera.

Len DibbenI was one of the contest organizers ie comp Marshall at the 1973 Aussie Titles in the South West. I was WASRA Vice President to President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor at that time. I also had the task of transporting the media reporters around the venues ie Trevor Burslem & Doug White, as well as anyone else that needed transport. In 1974 I took the state team to QLD for the AUSSIE titles.

In the following photo I am wearing a Baron Wear striped T shirt, (very popular at that time), Levi Jeans & John Arnold Hararchi Leather Sandals from then Adelaide.

Photo: 1973 Aust Surf Titles. Contest official Len Dibben with official car (Kombi) in Yallingup car park. Len is with his daughter Kim and son Troy. Photo courtesy of Wendy Dibben.

Mark Hills – I was living Down South when the ‘73 Aust Titles were on. Lots of people came down to watch the event. Back then Bill Oddy was running Cordingley’s and the Titles were a big deal in WA. I acquired my first surf board after the Titles. It was a West Coast single fin left under Hideaway Homes at Yallingup by a contest competitor or spectator.

Coming soon 1973 Australian Surf Titles #2 Media coverage by Errol Considine.

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Gallery

1973 The Rolling Stones – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973 was a concert tour of countries bordering the Pacific Ocean in January and February 1973 by the Rolling Stones. Music fans in Australia and New Zealand had not seen the Stones since February and March 1966.

The Stones started the tour with the three shows over 21 January and 22 January in Hawaii. The second leg of the tour started on 11 February with a single show at Auckland in New Zealand. 14 February saw the first show in Australia, with Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney being visited in turn. The last show being 27 February in Sydney.

The Stone’s Perth concert was held on 24 February 1973 at the Western Australia Cricket ground (WACA).

The Stone’s line-up in Perth was:-

Mick Jagger – lead vocals, harmonica

Keith Richards – guitar, backing vocals

Mick Taylor – guitar

Bill Wyman – bass guitar

Photo journalist Ric Chan covered the Stone’s Perth concert for the Independent Newspaper.

Photo: 1976 Photo journo Ric Chan. Image: Ric Chan.

This is a collection of Ric’s photos of The Stone’s Perth concert.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger’s shiny backside. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Keith Richards, Mick Jagger & Bill Wyman. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Concert audience at the WACA. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Keith Richards and Bill Wyman. Ric Chan pic.

Click on this link to view Elton John’s 1971 Australian Tour – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

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Gallery

1980s Bali Photo Gallery by Ric Chan #6

Perth based photo-journalist Ric Chan started going on surf trips to Bali in the early 80s. In 1985 he was lured to Bali to help set up and run Cheaters Night Club in Kuta’s entertainment strip, near the famous Peanuts Club.

Ric lived in Bali until ’91 and then returned to his native NZ after his wife Sami passed away. Ric and his sons Taron & Tao settled in NZ’s North Island.

This is a glimpse of Ric’s 80s Bali photo gallery and a taste of quieter times in Bali.

Photo: 1980s Uluwatu pathway to the waves pre development. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s Uluwatu hire surfboards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s low tide Sanur with Mount Agung in the background. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s net fisherman at Medewi. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s Balinese surfer ‘Little Froggy’ surfing Legian. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1987 Bali international airport with Jimbaran Bay in the background. Ric Chan pic.

Ric Chan: Jimbaran Bay in the background is full of hotels now, nothing like back then. It’s a pity, but I can say, it was better BACK IN THE day.

Photo: 1980s Jimbaran Bay fishing village. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s Jimbaran Bay fish markets. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s aerial pic of volcano craters in Java. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s Lake Bratan in the volcano crater at Bedugul. Ric Chan pic.

Ric:Now there is a famous golf course that overlooks the lake”.

Photo: 1980s Balinese surfer ‘Little Froggy’ surfing Legian. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s Sami Chan with Balinese family in Legian warung. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1980s Dugung sailing just off Kuta. Ric Chan pic.

You can inquire on the SDS Web site to view Ric’s previous Bali photo galleries.

Coming soon 1987 Lombok Gili Nanggu island images by Ric Chan

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