0 comment

WA Surfing Identities – Then & Now images #4

This is a collection of Old and New images of WA surfing identities from various photographers.

Series #4 contains images of the following surfers:-

  1. Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn
  2. Stewart Bettenay
  3. Katie Coryell
  4. Brian Bell
  5. Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald
  6. Michael ‘Spike’ Wynne
  7. Kevin Merifield
  8. George Simpson

Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn – Retiree Wembley

Left: 1970 Sheepdog with his panel van at Woolamai Beach on Phillip Island Vic. Sheepdog pic.

Right: 2010 the late Kevin O’Dwyer and Sheepdog at City Beach. Bruce King pic.

Stewart Bettenay – Real Estate Dunsborough

Left: 1973 Stewart receiving an award from WASRA President Doc Naylor at the State Titles held at Marg’s. Ric Chan pic.

Right: 2010 Stewart, Loz Smith and Baz Day at Yallingup. Bruce King pic.

Katie Coryell – Yoga Teacher Dunsborough

Left: 1980s Katie and her brother Tom’s sand mermaid in the USA. Katie Coryell pic.

Right: 2016 Jessica Emory and Katie in the South West. Katie Coryell pic.

Brian Bell – Plumber Dunsborough.

Left: 1980 Brian on Bali surf trip. Brian Bell pic.

Right: 2016 retirement seat at Yalls (Back) Lou Corkill, Ric Chan, Stewart Bettenay, Mark Johnson, (Front) Baz Day, Loz Smith, Brian Bell and Steve Carr. Bruce King pic

Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald – Retiree Yallingup

Left: 1976 party at Capel. L-R Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell, Peter Mac, George Simpson and Glen Lance. Steve Campbell Pic.

Right: 2017 Tim Calder and Peter Mac with rope mats at Exmouth. Tim Calder pic.

Michael ‘Spike’ Wynne – Plumber North Beach

Left: 1969 Mike holidaying at Denmark. Mike Wynne pic.

Right: 2017 George Micallef and Mike at Yanchep. Mike Wynne pic.

Kevin Merifield – Retiree Yallingup

Left: 1962 Yallingup Caves House. L-R Des Gaines, Alan Hamer, Dave Williams, Bob Keenan, Ray Evans, Kevin Merifield and Terry Williams. Brian Cole pic

Right: 2011 Yallingup. Vance Burrow and Kevin with Taj’s Gerry Lopez trophy board. Bruce King pic.

George Simpson – Fisherman Yallingup

Left: 1971 George with the late Rick Lobe at State Titles held at Margarets. Ric Chan pic.

Right: 2016 George with grandson Bam at Yallingup. Bruce King pic.

Some of the crew have worn well, others are a little weathered. They may not be as polished in the water these days, but most of them are still surfing & having fun!

Enquire on Surfing Down South web site to view previous Then & Now images.

Coming soon WA Surfing Identities – Then & Now images #5.


1 comment

Malcolm ‘Mick’ Henryon 1948-1967 **Updated 17 Nov 2017**

Update 17 November: 1967 Herbie Wiegele was awarded a Silver Medal for bravery by the Royal Humane Society of Australia – see media report below.

Note: The Royal Humane Society also awarded Certificates of Merit to six boys who rescued five people when two boats capsized at the Bunbury Cut on 4 June 1967. The rescuers included top Bunbury surfers Lex Cornelius and Peter Roberts.


Swanbourne surfer Malcolm ‘Mick’ Henryon age 18 drowned in big seas at Yallingup on 3 June 1967.

Mick and three mates Herbert ‘Herbie’ Wiegele (16) of Wilson and John ‘Paddy’ O’Donnell (19) and Gary Kontoolus (15) of Floreat arrived at Yallingup about noon on the Saturday. Mick, Herbie and Paddy went for a swim and quickly got into difficulties. O’Donnell swam back to shore but Mick was caught in a rip.

Mick’s mate Herbie Wiegele made two attempts to rescue him but was unable to get him back to shore in the rough conditions. A subsequent search by surf board riders was unsuccessful and Mick was lost at sea.

Image: 1967 Media coverage of the tragedy courtesy of WA Newspapers.

Herbie WiegeleThis is my recollection of the incident involving Mick Henryon. We were teenagers and bulletproof in those days, the loss of a friend in such circumstances was a shocking experience.  Mick was a kind and gentle soul who did not deserve to go early in such a tragic event.  

After arriving at Yallingup, we sat and watched the large storm swell rolling through the Yallingup main break totally unrideable as it was breaking into the bay away from the reef.  Keen for a surf, we noticed a 1-2 metre clean wave breaking on the inside section of the main break and Paddy, Mick and I decided to give it a go.  We paddled out with our flippers and bodyboards and were immediately swept into the bay, not aware of the strong side rip coming off the reef. 

We had surfed Yallingup and other local breaks in the past and had never experienced Yallingup under those conditions. We all decided that we needed to catch a wave to shore and headed in towards the huge shore break. Paddy and I caught a wave and made it to the beach. We could see Mick behind the shore break and decided to try and swim a lifebelt out, but the strong side current and weed made that impossible. I was able to get out with my board and met Mick behind the break. At this time we were down towards Rabbits. Mick no longer had his board and was tiring. I gave him my board as we swam towards the shore break and our plan was to catch the same wave to shore. When a breaking wave came we went for it. I remember being thrown across a section of reef and made it to shore. I was surprised Mick was not there on the same wave.  Shortly after that we could no longer see Mick in the water and someone made it out on a surfboard shortly after and could find no sign of anyone in the water. 

Herb Wiegele 7/11/2017.

Mick’s homemade bodyboard was washed up in the surf at Yallingup beach.

Mick’s bodyboard will be on display at the WA Surf Gallery – Exhibition #1 which will be open to the public from 3 December 2017 at Aravina Estate Yallingup.

Photos: 1967 Mick’s home-made 40” x 19” wooden bodyboard with full length wooden keel. Photos courtesy of Shirley Swayn (nee Henryon).

Top: waxed deck with hand grip.

Bottom: full length wooden keel

Mick was a member of the Bombora Surfriders. Club members wore black parkas and boardies with white horizontal stripes and mainly rode bodyboards and kneeboards.

Bombora Surfriders Association and friends erected a plaque in Memory of Mick Henryon on a white post on the beach front at Yallingup.

Photo: 1960s plaque in memory of Mick Henryon erected by Bombora Surfriders Association and friends on a white post. Photo courtesy of Shirley Swayn (nee Henryon).

The original plaque on the post is now missing and another plaque has been erected on a limestone base at the bottom of the steps to the beach.

Let us know if you know the whereabouts of the original plaque!

Photo: 2017 plaque in memory of Mick Henryon erected by Bombora Surfriders Association on limestone base. Jim King pic.

Photo: Mid 1960s Bombora Surfriders on the vintage timber train at Margaret River.

Standing: Gary Kontoolus (Dec’d), Nick Thomas (Dec’d), Harley Scott, 3 children unidentified, Roger Sheridon, unidentified and Herbie Wiegele.

Sitting: Malcolm ‘Mick’ Henryon and Graham Nunn.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders on vintage timber train at Margs.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders posing on vintage timber wagon at Margs.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders on Three Bears dirt track at Yallingup.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders in club outfits camping in the South West.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders warming up around campfire in the South West.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders Club meeting at Cottesloe.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders human pyramid at Cottesloe.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders wave search at Cottesloe.

Photo: Mid 60s Bombora Surfriders team photo at Cottesloe.

Photo: 2017 Mick’s sister Shirley Swayn (nee Henryon) with Mick’s homemade bodyboard at Dunsborough. Jim King pic.

Many thanks to Mick’s sister Shirley and Herbie Wiegele for sharing their memories of Mick and the tragedy.


0 comment

Vale Dave Beamish

Former Nedlands surfer Dave Beamish passed away Thursday 26 October 2017 from cancer on the East Coast.

Tony Beamish (Dave’s brother)What can you say about your big brother who you loved and looked up to so much?

Although he described each surfing manoeuvre to the smallest detail I was always an attentive listener and picked up some great tips.

We use to surf together a lot in the 60’s and 70’s and I would have to be the spotter, as I could see, he couldn’t see more than about 10 meters, the call would come “ out the back” and he would scramble towards me, he was always sitting inside the break, so he could see the waves breaking.

He became very keen on golf while still surfing over the last 20 years, same dedication of how the game is to be played, more in depth analysis. More tips for me as I play to about an 18 handicap and needed the tips. His love for surfing, golf, car racing were intensive but nothing matched the love he had for his wife Mary. She was his soul mate and they were the happiest couple ever. He deserved that after some years that were emotionally tough for him.

I’m going to miss him greatly, rest in peace my big brother it’s a better place for him now than where he was.

Photo: 1960s young Dave Beamish at a Ball. Photo courtesy of Tony Beamish.

Geoff Berry NSWDave was an original member of the City Beach Surf Riders club and was a regular “down south surfer” in the 60’s 70’s. I understand his surfing mate Keith Campbell invented the “winged keel” in the 1960’s before Ben Lexcen!

Keith CampbellDave was my surfing buddy. I have great memories of his company at the best surfing spots.

The winged keel in the following photo was mass produced in plastic and was based on Ben Lexcen’ s America’s Cup keel used by Cheyne Horan in about 1983-4.

I did a version of this with fibreglass aerofoil wings slightly tilted down to the front of the board about 40mm outstand and 150mm long, each side of a normal fin back in 1966-7 when I did some designs for Peter Hawke at Hawke Surfboards, Osborne Park.

Photo: 1980 Dave Beamish with his “winged keel” surfboard at Cottesloe. Photo courtesy of Geoff Berry.

Peter ‘Spook’ BothwellSorry to hear about Dave, he lived with us in Subiaco before his marriage to Janet Waddell, Mark’s sister.

Dave was an impressive surfer who did everything with style. Along with the best other home grown surfers from City Beach Terry Jacks and Keith Campbell they could surf as good anyone anywhere – mentors too many.

I have an instant memory of Dave standing upright in the tube at Cottesloe whilst I was paddling out, can remember thinking “how did he do that”.

Recently I went paddle boarding with Bazz Day at Halls head. The last time I went there was with Dave Beamish (he was of work and I waged school) in 1963 or 64. I remember him saying it reminded him of Byron Bay. I checked it over the years when passing on a big swell and have never seen it like that again.

When I won the ‘68 open men’s, Dave knew I was interested in board design and introduced me to Bob Gardiner (West-Coast) and the three of us designed a board which Bob made and I took to the ‘68 Australians. My recollections are he made one for Dave as well.

He was also in ‘69 a part of Craig Brent-Whites Sand n Sea team.

Dave was a terrific person, a meteorologist and a race car driver.

Image: 1966 Dave Beamish competing in State Spring/Winter Titles held at Scarborough. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

Ron MossThis is very sad. Dave was an original City Beach surfer. His brother Tony was also a member of the City Beach board club.

He lived in Nedlands……the same street as Eleanor Proud. Dave lived behind me in Nedlands and we had some great talks over the back fence.

Dave was very interested in cars and used to race them.

Image: 1983 Dave Beamish competing Claremont Speedway. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

Tom BlaxellVery sad news. What a top bloke. I always remember he had very poor eyesight but it didn’t stop him being a great surfer. I seem to remember a pic of him on the front page of the West, in the early days at Yalls doing a big sweeping bottom turn, feeling his way around with his hand on the water. Something I like to do now, when I can… 

Image: 1967 Dave Beamish competing in State Titles Yalls. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

Mauro RonzanSo many memories of surfing and partying at Dave’s place, especially at one rather dangerous cocktail party.

I will post a tribute photo in Surfin Perth on FB if anyone has any details that would be most appreciated.

The following photo of the group was taken for the Sunday Times in the early 80’s.

Sadly missed.

Photo: 1980 Group photo of Dave and his Cottesloe surfing mates courtesy of Geoff Berry.

L-R Dave Beamish, Keith Campbell, Paul ‘The Bear’ Brampton, Evan Ramsden, Mauro Ronzan and Bill Lockhart.

John Stevens – Shocked to read death notice for Dave “Beams” Beamish in the paper, it was put in by veteran surfer Keith Campbell.

Dave and I and David Allen were very close and used to go surfing together regularly during the week. He used to work at Perth airport and his Dad was a pilot with MMA airlines. I was told a few years ago that Dave was now living in Byron.

He was one of the best surfers of the time and a legend then, at least I thought so!

He surfed with me and Dave Allen and never had any problems with our limited ability.

Dave AylettSad to hear Dave’s no longer with us. I remember him to be an intelligent true gentle man and always with a smile.

Stewart Bettenay – I remember Dave in the late 60s surfing Trigg Point. It’s a sad reminder that we all don’t go on forever and to make the most of every day!

Jim King – Dave was a talented surfer and a good waterman. In the mid 60s he told me Yalls was a right hander back when everyone went left at Yalls. He used to talk about his poor eye sight in the line-up, but still caught the best set waves. Dave also raced cars and did very well for a bloke with poor eye sight!

Brian Cleaver – That is very sad news as I knew Dave reasonably well in my very early days of surfing at City Beach.

Errol Considine – I remember when I first started surfing and ventured to Cottesloe, Dave was the King of the Cove ….he used to take off way deeper than anybody else on the right and I can remember his cool and stylish nose riding …. he was one of the guns in Cottesloe waves.…his younger brother Tony was a good surfer too.

Dave was friendly and helpful to us Scabs groms, even though he was a ‘gun’ in those very early days at Cove.

From memory, Dave was a forecaster at the Weather Bureau and worked a lot of night shifts so he could surf during the day.

Photo: 1980s Dave Beamish in his 40s relaxing at home. Photo courtesy of Tony Beamish.

Many thanks to Tony Beamish WA and Geoff Berry NSW for sharing their photos of Dave.


0 comment

1960s Social Butterflies

During the 60’s a lot of surfers social activity was club based. Board Clubs ran intra and inter club surf competitions and organised fund raising cabarets for club members and the public.

Other activities included inter club footy matches, beach rugby, prawning nights on the Swan River, watching Miss West Coast beach beauty contests and attending surf movies at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco.

They also enjoyed weekends away at Rotto, Mandurah and down south.

Promoters ran stomps for the masses. Perth band Johnny Young and The Strangers used to play to packed houses at the Broadway Stomp in Nedlands. Popular surfer based bands The Banned and The Young Blaydes attracted big surfing audiences.

This a collection of images showing WA surfers socialising in the 60s


Photo: 1961 travelling WA boys enjoying Xmas Day keg with NSW crew at Queenscliff NSW. Brian Cole pic.

Revellers include surfing legends Bernie Huddle (dec’d), Bob Pike (dec’d), Joe Larkins (dec’d) and others.

Photo: 1962 surfers on Rottnest Island for the Australia Day weekend. Photo credit Len Dibben.

L-R. Brian Webster, Len Dibben, Graeme Booth, Rick Skelton, Jeff Dalziel, Ron Allen, Bob Birch, Harold Gregory in front sitting Girl unknown & Dave Aylett.

Photo: 1964 City Beach crew at a Cabaret/Stomp (location unknown). Photo courtesy of Ron Moss.

L-R Graeme Ward, Sandra Keen & Sue Killen.

1964 Graeme Ward Sandra Keen Sue Killen @ stomp R Moss pic

Photo: 1965 popular Perth band Peter Dyson and ‘The Banned’. Peter Dyson pic.

Lead singer Dyso on microphone second from the right.


Photos: 1966 Surfers Inc Cabaret. Photos courtesy of Gayle Franks.

Revellers include Gayle Franks, Val Williams and Charley, others unidentified.

1966 Surfers Inc cabaret collage_photocat

Photo: 1966 girls camping weekend at Mandurah. Robyn Mac pic

In the centre is Robyn Mac (Peter Mac’s sister) with her arm in the air.

Photo: 1967 Cabaret at Hackett Hall, Floreat. Photo courtesy Kevin O’Dwyer.

L-R Peter Collett, Kevin O’Dwyer (dec’d), Cathy James and Ian Craigie (dec’d).

1967 Cabaret at Hackett Hall.Peter Collett,Kev O'Dwyer, Cathy James, Ian Craigie


Photos: Other social activities.

Left: 1967 Gayle Franks and Timon ‘Tiny’ Mc Kay doing the ‘Tiny two step’ at City Beach board club prawning night on the Swan River. Gayle Franks pic.

Right: 1960s Cottesloe surfers Sue Ellen, Jeanne Abbott, Stephanie Myer and Tina Daly at the Endless Summer surf movie at Regal Theatre in Subiaco. Media pic.

Jim King (City Beach Surf Riders Club) – In the late 60s the City Beach Surfriders Club ran successful surf cabarets to boost the Club’s coffers. Club President and media personality Trevor Burslem promoted the shows on radio station 6PR and former State boxer Ron Hutton of Cottesloe provided security on the door. I remember a big show at the Cottesloe Surf Club with popular Perth band Ross & the Little Wheels playing to a packed house.

In the end, increasing costs of bands, venue and security put an end to this caper. It got to a point where we needed 300 people to break even…game over!

Gas Works Surf Shop in Subiaco was run by the late Trevor Burslem. Bruce King was a retail manager at the shop. Gasworks business cards were used as pass outs at Spectrum Nightclub in Perth.

Image: 1968 Cabaret pass out at Spectrum Nightclub in Perth. Image courtesy of Bruce King.

Photo: Late 1960s Fancy dress cabaret at Embassy ball Room. Peter Dyson pic.

L-R Cottesloe surfers Jeff Hanson, Don McDonald, Peter Dyson, Hume Heatley and Dave Condon.


Errol Considine (North Coast Board Club) – In 1969 my brother Jeff had the brain wave of a ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ stomp/dance (the movie was huge then with title song big on the hit parade world-wide) ….he designed and made the posters and we plastered Perth beaches with them….hired an old hall under the Perry Lakes stadium & got a liquor licence….HUGE mob dressed up and turned up, it was great fun and the Club made THOU$AND$. Greg Wynne’s band “The Young Blaydes’ played at the Bonnie & Clyde stomp/dance.

Image: 1960s the Young Blaydes band at the Top of the Town night club in Perth. Music magazine image courtesy of vocalist Dave Aylett.

L-R Michael Byrom, Dave Aylett, Greg Wynne & Terry Malone

Photo: 1969 surf cabaret at Scarborough. Ian ‘Prive’ Morris pic.

L-R. Unidentified girl, Bobby Burns, Darryl Henry, unidentified girl, John Henry and Prive with Pam Bedford on far right.

Photo: 1969 surfing/social weekend at Rotto. Robyn Mac pic.

Bruce King doing a wheel stand on push bike with Peter Mac enjoying a jug of beer on the lawn at the Quokka Arms pub.

In the late 60s WA surfers Peter’ Spook’ Bothwell and Hume Heatley (and others) travelled to South Australia to hone their surfing & social skills.

Photo: Late 1960s Spook and Hume (on left) with South Australian Baz Young (centre) enjoying cigars at a Roaders Board Club Cabaret held at Arkaba Hotel, Fullarton South Australia. Baz Young pic.

Coming soon 1970s Social Butterflies.



Calendar pin-up boys

South West surf identities Gary Greirson and Jimy the dolphin will feature as pin-up boys in the 2018 This South West Life calendar.

Dunsborough surfer/photographer Bruce King won this years This South West Life photography competition.

Bruce’s eye catching photo of Gary and Jimy surfing at Yallingup was selected from over 900 quality photos entered in the contest to feature in the 2018 calendar.


Image #1. Prize winning image of Gary and Jimy surfing at Yallingup by Bruce King

GaryI waived my normal photo modelling photo fee and Jimy the dolphin has settled for a herring.

Image #2. Congratulations letter from South West Development Commission.

Image #3. Bruce’s photo competition prizes.

Bruce – My prizes included a new camera, Christian Fletcher photography book, DVD movie
and small bit of glory.

Image #4. Prize winning photographer Bruce King and model Gary ‘Gaz’ Greirson with framed ‘Sea of Joy’ photo at Yallingup. Jim King pic.

Images #5. Tour de car park. Jim King pics.

Top: (Left) Bruce and Gaz on retirement seat. (Right) Bruce and Gaz with framed ‘Sea of Joy’ photo.

Bottom: (Left) Gaz and Bruce in front of freshly painted Yallingup bus stop – artwork by Nathan Moody. (Right) Peter McDonald, Gaz and Bruce on tour de car park.

The calendars will be made available free in the near future by the South West Development Commission for the purpose of promoting our wonderful South West.