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Yallingup Feast images by Loz Smith

Another solid ground swell hit the South West’s west coast beaches on Thurs 8 June 2017. Conditions at Yallingup main break were great with winter sun and off-shore winds. It was a feast for local young guns Karl Leavy, Mick Watts and Peter Arnold and veterans Andy Jones and Rich Myers.

Rich MyersAndy & I were the oldest and coldest surfers out there. The real rippers were talented SW locals Karl Leavy, Mick Watts and Peter Arnold….they surfed the waves properly!

In my opinion, Karl Leavy is the best surfer at Yalls these days. Karl is WA’s Kai Lenny (Hawaii). He reads Yalls better than most. His different approach to riding big waves has made him stand out. He is a waterman to the max.

Karl has been collaborating with Chappy from Chapstar Surfboards to develop an innovative surfboard than will enable him to ride big waves at Yalls in a better way.

Quindalup craftsman Loz Smith captured these images of the action at Yalls. Unfortunately there are no images of Andy Jones and Karl Leavy in Loz’s photo-shoot.

Photo: Winter sun and waves at Yallingup. Loz pic.

Photo: Mick Watts taking the drop at Yalls. Loz pic.

Photo: Peter Arnold lining up the wall at Yalls. Loz pic.

Photo: Peter Arnold in full flight at Yalls. Loz pic.

Photo: The Shaana Café crew at Yalls. L-R Chiara, Fonzie and chef Mich. Loz pic.

Note: Shaana Café has closed for winter and will re-open in September.

Photo: Rich Myers doing what he does best at Yalls. Loz pic.

Photo: Rich Myers bottom turn. Loz pic.

Rich Myers – I think my mate Andy got cleaned-up by the following wave. It’s funny because he talked me into going out there! The previous Sunday, the waves were much bigger and I talked him into going out. Then it was my turn to be cleaned up. I took a huge set wave drop then straightened off and got cement trucked on the head. I was held down in Yalls black hole before being washed up on the beach in Grannies Pool. Karl Leavy and Damon Oats were the stand outs that big day.

Photo: a happy Richie with his 8’2” DMD big wave board post surf. Loz pic.

Photo: Rich Myers with his favourite girls Anne and Sinead on the deck at Yallingup. Loz pic.

Rich Myers – I was happy to get two good waves before having to get back to the Rest home before the nurses found out. Ha!

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Duke Nagtzaam born and bred in the South West

Duke Nagtzaam was born and bred in the South West. He is the son of Mark and Arlene Nagtzaam of Yallingup.

The whole family surfs and are known by locals colloquially as Team Nagtzaam. Duke’s mum Arlene is a former Australian Longboard champion and his dad Mark assists Duke with surf competition coaching. Duke’s sister Riley is also a talented surfer and has had competition success.

Duke started surfing at the age of six. He is a member of the Yallingup Board Riders Club and has been successful in state and national surf contests.

Duke’s dad Mark and Jim King (Dunsborough) captured these images of Duke surfing various breaks in the South West.

Image #1 Duke forehand carve. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #2 Duke nose pick air reverse. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #3 Duke air reverse. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #4 Duke in the barrel. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #5 Duke warm up pre surf. Mark Nagtzaam pic.

Image #6 Duke forehand snap. Jim King pic.

Image #7 Duke cutback. Jim King pic.

Image #8 Duke vertical re-entry. Jim King pic.

Image #9 Duke carve. Jim King pic.

Image #10 Duke layback. Jim King pic.

Duke is sponsored by Rip Curl Wetsuits, Clear Water Surfboards, Shapers fins, Dakine, Reef and Inlayz.

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Busso Night Life in the 60s, 70s and 80s

This is a collection of Busselton Night Life memories from some South West residents.

Night out on the town by Kevin Merifield

Kevin Merifield is a former Subiaco League Footballer and has been surfing down south since the 1955.

For the first couple of years the South West locals, primarily dairy farmers couldn’t work out who these weird bods were invading their territory, trespassing on their land and going out in what they considered wild seas and shark invested waters. Even back in those days we dressed, acted and spoke differently (surf speak had already began).

Sometimes on a Saturday we would head into Busselton for a night out on the town.

It usually took about a half an hour at the Vasse or Commercial hotels before it would be on. The locals would have a go at us and it would be good old fashion one on one fisticuffs for about 5 minutes until you were both buggered then up to the bar to share a beer together. After a while the locals got to know us better and we became good mates with some and were eventually accepted into the community.

Photos: Busselton Hotels courtesy City of Busselton Municipal Heritage Inventory (2013)

Left: Vasse Hotel since 1906.

Right: Commercial Hotel built circa 1890

Kevin is retired and lives at Yallingup with his wife Margaret.

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Busso Picture Theatre by Ian Wiese

Ian Wiese grew up in Busselton in the 50s & 60s.

Back then Busselton had a population of about 6,500 ie smaller than Dunsborough is today! It had 2 seasons – summer and winter.

Photo: 1951 Mrs Wiese with her twin sons Stan and Ian on Busselton Beach. Ian Wiese pic.

In the winter we were at school, played sport (in my case hockey), and for entertainment we went to the picture theatre in Busselton or when we were older the drive-in. 

At the picture theatre anyone caught cuddling up to their girlfriend were moved by the owner’s wife who used to patrol the theatre with a torch watching out for any signs of misbehaviour. (Just as well she didn’t get out to the drive-in where all the action was).

After the pictures there was House’s milk bar just around the corner in Queen Street, or the Jolly Roger cafe down the other end near the Vasse hotel. Not a lot else went on in Busselton apart from the pubs. We often used to hold parties at our place after hockey.  

Photo: 1966 Some of Ian’s hockey team at his family home in Morrison St in Busselton. Ian Wiese pic.

The people in the photo (left to right) are Rob Ainsworth, Stan Wiese (in the car), Jim Watts, Ian Wiese, and Fred Ball. The lads are leaning on a 1955 Morris Oxford, jointly owned by Ian and his twin brother.

“Hooning” was a popular past time – the timber yards between the tennis club and the railway jetty were a good place as there was a lot of gravel. Talking to some at a recent reunion I learnt how fast you could go through the S bend over the old bridge at the entrance to Dunsborough, and other hair raising tales. I recall stories about some prominent citizens of the town setting records in their Jaguars for the Bunbury-Busselton trip (which didn’t involve slowing down for the bridge at Capel). With the drinking age at 21, it was common for bored youths to get a keg and take it somewhere into the bush on a Saturday night. There were some terrible accidents as they drove home. In those days Western Australia had a population of 500,000 and a road toll of 350. We tell ourselves we were safe but actually we were the survivors – poor car design, unsafe roads, and alcohol took a terrible toll. 

In summer there was a lot more going-on. People came down for holidays, surfers came down. There were stomps at Churchill Park (until the council banned the Stomp), the Tennis club, Yallingup Hall, Cowaramup Hall, Witchcliffe Hall and the rowing club in Bunbury. Winter relationships broke up as the girls chased the visiting surfers and the boys chased the farmer’s daughters on holiday. At a recent reunion a member of a 60’s band that played at these venues recalled that they used to come home high after playing at the Yallingup Hall!

I left Busselton for Perth early in 1967 when I was only just 17, so I missed the Busselton pub scene apart from one brief summer.

Ian is a keen photographer and now lives in Dunsborough with his wife Glenys.

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Jetty drinks with George Simpson

George Simpson formerly of Cottesloe has lived and surfed in the South West since the late 60s.

We’d come down on weekends and we’d want to go find girls. We’d find the girls at the fish and chip shop next to Busselton Jetty. We’d also go to the youth hostel, but there were too many cops around there. So we’d go and get the oldest one of us to get a couple of bottles of beer and we’d sit on the end of the jetty. We got to know the local girls and they would come hang out there too.

Image: 1960s Busselton jetty with Queens Street in the background. Image courtesy of vintage Tourist post card.

Sally Gunter, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, came around the bend with Chrissy Brennon on skateboards while I was driving up the Cape one day. I introduced a couple of the lads to their future wives. They were cool chicks. They were the sort of girls who were more inclined to like surfers than bogs. (Extract from Surfing Down South book).

George works in the Prawn Fishing industry and lives at Yallingup.

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Busso Stomps by Sally Gunter

Sally Gunter is the daughter of a former Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse keeper and is a real South West local.

My five girlfriends and I used to attend Stomps held in a hall near the Busselton jetty on a Friday night. At about 10pm surfers from the city would turn up at the Stomp….much to the displeasure of local lads. I remember meeting Gary Greirson and other city surfers there.

My Busso friend Pat Milner met & married Ian Cairns in Busselton. That changed her life forever!

Images: 1975 Ian Cairns and Pat Cairns (nee Milner). Images courtesy of WA Newspapers and Ric Chan.

Left: Ian Cairns with his big wave board made for the World Surfing Championships held in Hawaii in 76. Ian designed and shaped the 3.1m board at Gary Greirson’s Surfboard factory in Osborne Park.

Right: Oceans Surf Comp at Trigg Point. L-R Pat Cairns, Barry Day, Ian Cairns, Russell Catto & unidentified.

At the time I was going out with Rick Lobe. I worked in the Dunsborough Bakery and Rick worked with my father at the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse.

I remember we made a trip up to the city with Gary Greirson in his Kombi. Gary was going through a religious phase and went on non-stop about religion the whole trip.

Photo: 1975 Sally Gunter & Rick Lobe at Dunsborough with Gremmo’s dog ‘Horse’. Peter Mac pic.

Sally is married to SW surfing legend Andy Jones and lives at Yallingup.

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Busso Dances by Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell

On weekends my mates and I used to go to dances held at the Busselton Tennis Club. That’s where we met Sally Gunter and the other Busso girls. Trevor ‘TA’ Anderson met his future wife Linda Dodd at those dances. Linda’s parents ran the beach shop near the jetty.

Back then the Busso Bogs thought we were trying to steal their girls and there were confrontations. Now I’m friends with some of those Bogs and they are really nice guys…..they could tell you some stories!

Horny has sold his Electrical Business and lives at Yallingup.

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Vasse-A-Go-Go by Bruce King

Bruce King formerly of Subiaco spent a large part of his youth surfing and socialising down south in the late 60s to early 70s.

We used to drive down south on a Friday night and meet up with Busso girls Linda Dodd, Wendy, Gail Colombera and maybe Shaz Day at the Jetty Tea Rooms. Linda Dodd’s parents owned the Tea Rooms which sold fish & chips and meals.

At other times we went to stomps at the Vasse Hall. We called it Vasse-a-Go-Go. One night the old bloke that run the show stopped the music because someone had broken the toilet seat and he wouldn’t continue until someone owned up…can’t remember anyone owning up! The Busso bogs also visited Vasse-a-Go-Go and one big bog turned his glass upside down on our table, which meant he wanted to fight one or all of us….without George Simpson being there, we declined his offer!

Photo: Vasse Hall built circa 1898. Courtesy City of Busselton Municipal Heritage Inventory (2013)

We also frequented the Ship Hotel. Norm Bateman used to do a comedy routine there. One night instead of kicking us out, the management locked us in and called the cops.

Photo: The Ship Hotel built circa 1898. Courtesy City of Busselton Municipal Heritage Inventory (2013)

One New Year Eve’s we broke into the Community Hall in Busso for a quiet drink and we were busted by the cops. We got off because one of the Bussell girls was there with us.

Bruce is retired and lives in Dunsborough with his wife Anne.

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In the early 80s big name OZ bands played with late licences at the Commercial Hotel in Busso. This entertainment was popular with SW surfers.

Loz Smith (Quindalup) – I remember listening to Western Flyer with Matt Taylor, Stevie Wright and Brian Cadd at the Commercial in Busso.  

Jo Felton (Dunsborough)After the Dunsy pub closed lots of us used go to the Commercial in Busso, when it stayed open late at one stage. I remember seeing some bands there, but don’t remember names now. Most of the Dunsy and Yalls crew did the same drive when the night club thing was happening in Busso….it was a bit of a novelty back in the days when the pubs shut at 10 pm hahahaha.

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Refer to Surfing Down South book published 2014 for more ‘Hanging with the Locals’ stories.

 

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Rich pickings at Yallingup

After a week of cold fronts the weather gods blessed the South West’s west coast with off-shore winds and a solid swell for the last weekend in autumn.

Photo: Autumn line-up at Yallingup Main Break. Loz Smith pic.

Yallingup carpenter and cowboy movie buff Rich Myer picked off prime set waves at Yalls Main Break on his favourite long board.

Rich – I had my long board hand made by Bill Foote in Hawaii 14 years ago. It is made of polystyrene foam and epoxy resin. I only use the board at Yallingup. It has snapped twice and been repaired. On a trip to Hawaii, I took the two pieces of broken board with me for repairs (there was no-one here to fix EPS boards back then) and the guy at Hawaii airport charged me for two boards. I argued that it was one broken board, but he was a big ‘Brudda’ and I had to pay double!

Photo: 2013 Rich with his favourite long board on the steps at Yallingup. Bruce King pic.

Quindalup surfer/ photographer Loz Smith captured these images of Rich surfing Yallingup.

Highlights from Saturday 27 May 2017 by Loz Smith

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #1.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #2.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #3.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #4.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #5.

 

Highlights from Sunday 28 May 2017 by Loz Smith

While the water temperature was warm on the Sunday, there was a cool breeze blowing down Yallingup valley and out to sea.

To keep warm between surfs, Richie wandered around the carpark wearing his full wettie with a hoody and ugg boots. He also spent time warming up in his work Ute with the heater on.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #1.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #2.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #3.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #4.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #5.

Photo: Ric Myers surfing sequence #6.

Photo: the ‘Peanut Gallery’ spectating on the retirement seat at Yallingup. Loz Smith pic.

L-R Rich Myers, Barry Day, Craig Hitchens and Jim King.

Rich I’m not materialistic, but I was born with the name Rich and I will die Rich. Ha!

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1965 My First Trip Down South by Errol Considine

My First Trip Down South – over 50 years ago!

By Errol Considine

December 1965 saw my first trip Down South – I was 14. The memories of that first taste of the magic of the Capes region remain vivid today.

My brother Jeff and I had been bitten with the surfing bug a few summers earlier and ridden our first boards on our home beach at Scarborough, and been part of the local ‘crew’. Eventually, both becoming members of Scarborough Board Club.

We were in awe of the stories we kept hearing from the older guys – especially Murray Smith and the North End Board Club crew, who were also Scarborough-based – about the monster waves on the Yallingup-Margaret River coast. We were busting to get down there.

By ’65, Jeff and his mates in their last year at Scarborough High School had started getting driver’s licences and some were picking up an assortment of old cars and fitting them with roof racks.

So when Jeff finished his Leaving Exams in early December, we loaded up his new 9’6” Dibben-Cole single stringer onto high schoolmate Fred Bosich’s Austin Lancer, along with his board too, on a Monday morning. Jeff and I packed our boardies (ours were custom made by Jenny Cordingley – Fred wore black footy shorts to surf!), wax and sleeping bags and headed for Mandurah, cutting across to Pinjarra, and then on the narrow and winding South West Highway on the s-l-o-w trip South.

We headed to Margaret River and the Prevelly caravan park, which had old buses fitted with bunks and a gas stove, and I think a single light bulb! Camping down south also meant taking along a stash of tinned taste delights like braised steak and onions or baked beans, as the staple diet ….I reckon global warming was given a kick along by a spike in methane gas emissions rising into the atmosphere from the Capes Coast of SW WA during that era!

The following year, we camped at Prevelly. Brother Jeff had started as a Cadet Architectural Draftsman at the Public Works Department in early 1966 and saved enough to buy his first car, the Mini, which carried us for many surfing weekend Down South.

“Funny but early in our Down South days we seemed to always stay at Prevelly. One weekend, we were even being drafted in by the Scarborough Board Club boys to help on the wheelbarrows and shovels to lay the cement slab for their corrugate iron clubhouse which was erected there. North End Board Club built another one nearby. But after the first few summers we all gravitated to staying at the top of the Capes Coast Yallingup, and sleeping on the grass in front of the dunnies.

Geoff Moran, another of Jeff’s mates who also lived near us in Doubleview and went to Scarborough High, joined us on later trips Down South. He had a good camera and snapped the black & white pics which appear with this little vignette memoir….buying and processing colour film was expensive!

Geoff later got called up for Nasho’s and went to Vietnam and I sort of lost contact with him after that….”

Photo: 1966 Jeff’s Mini Minor laden with surfboards in the camping area at Prevelly Caravan Park. Geoff Moran pic.

Photo: 1966 Jeff sitting on Malibu boards on top of his new mini. Geoff Moran pic.

“The top board strapped on the Mini is Geoff Moran’s McDonagh – I recognise the ‘competition stripe’ (it was light blue)…So the bottom board would have been Jeff’s Dibben-Cole 9′ 6”, single stringer, laminated wooden tail block, yellow D-fin, no colouring’.

Photo: 1966 Geoff Moran’s McDonagh surfboard (ex NSW) at the back of the Moran’s house near us in Doubleview – his sister Pam in the shot. Geoff Moran pic

Photo: 1966 Geoff Moran’s EK Holden sedan at Doubleview. Geoff Moran pic.

“Geoff’s Holden took us on other surf adventures – I remember going to Avalon for the first time one summer’s Saturday morning in this car, driving over an open paddock to a wire fence and having to clamber over it to get to the top of a sand hill to check out the waves – it was small and as we got there the sea breeze came in and turned it to junk! Didn’t get wet that day..”

…but I digress – back to the tale of my first ever trip Down South…

The surf spots we knew about in late ‘65 and could locate between referring to our Shell road map, plus by drawing on the knowledge we’d picked up from other guys who’d already been regularly making the trek south, were: Yallingup, Smiths Beach, Indjidup Carpark, Cowaramup Bay (Huzza’s and South Point), Gallows, and Margaret’s Mainbreak and River mouth.

In his autobiography, “Nat’s Nat and that’s that”, Nat Young wrote about his first trip West. He and Rodney ‘Gopher’ Sumpter were recruited by Paul Witzig to shoot an Australian sequence for filmmaker Bruce Brown for his movie “Endless Summer” – including a segment on a surfari to WA. The ground breaking movie was first released in 1964, with worldwide release in 1966. So their trip must have pre ’64.

Nat wrote: “In Perth…the waves were a bit of a disappointment (not surprising!) …and we headed south towards the Yallingup-Margaret River area … we drove to Yallingup and booked into the Caves House hotel… The next day, we tried to get out through the big, nasty waves at Margaret River, but found ourselves washed back up on to the beach after only half an hour – we couldn’t even get out the back…we felt like complete failures and had to admit the waves were too big for mere kids.”

If up and coming, and soon to be world-ranked surfers like Nat and Gopher who we’d seen in the surf magazines couldn’t ride the big stuff Down South, what chance did we have?!

When we first laid eyes on Yalls and Margaret’s Main Break … well, it looked like Hawaii in the surf magazines and we just crapped ourselves, and decided not to sacrifice our young lives to the surf gods and venture way out there!

And, in those pre-leg rope days, South Point had a fearsome reputation for snapping boards lost in the take-off zone – and so that was also a no-go zone!

But we still had a week of what we thought were epic waves.

We all rode some neat little runner rights breaking back towards the south corner of Smith’s, on a bank formed near the out flowing creek; had a few great sessions at Huzzawooie; and then two or three consecutive mornings of what in my mind’s eye now, over half a century later, were sensational small rights at Margaret River mouth – consistent and clean, and within our capabilities back then.

With only two boards on the car, as the younger hanger-on grom I had to wait for one of the older guys to come in and borrow one of their Mals. But I got my share of waves and was stoked.

“It would not be until 1968 – my last year at high school – that I could afford to buy my first new board! I was a serial pest, driving everybody nuts borrowing their boards….during school holidays, I used my brother’s board midweek while he was at work!”

“We obviously liked the small rights at Margaret River mouth – these pics were taken in ’66 and we were back there for more”.

Photos: 1966 Surfing Margaret River mouth.  Geoff Moran pics

Top: Jeff paddling out & Errol surfing the wave.

Bottom: (Left) Jeff performing a Quasimodo head dip (Right) Errol performing a Cheater Five.

One day during that very first trip in December 1965, there were perfect right-hand sets peeling off the sand point out from the River mouth towards what we now know as ‘The Box’ ….they were too far out for us to work-up the courage to tackle them but we thought they looked like the peeling walls of California’s Rincon that we’d seen in “Surfer” magazine. I’ve never seen it break like that again, in my many trips south over the past 50+ years…

I think my brother and Fred Boshart also had a session at Inji Carpark, but I was not up for that yet and watched from the shore!

In those first trips we often headed down random tracks of Caves Road hoping to find other waves.

Photo: 1966 Jeff & Errol ‘on surfari’ at the back of Cowaramup. Geoff Moran pic.

Photo: 1966 Jeff & Errol goofing around for the camera at the back of Cowaramup. Geoff Moran pic.

I think, looking for waves also meant goofing around for the camera! I think we were inspired by the antics which always featured in the USA surf movies by Bruce Brown and Bud Brown – that this is what surfers did when ‘on surfari’!”

Photo: 1966 Jeff & Errol kissing the ground after digging the mini out of a dirt track. Geoff Moran pic.

“After digging the Mini out of a dirt track (maybe the notoriously boggy Gallows), we were happy to be back on the bitumen of Caves Road”.

Crowds were certainly not a problem in that first week Down South. We saw just two other surfers! On the whole coast!! They were staying in one of a small group of cabins at Prevelly. We said hullo and chatted at the caravan park but only crossed paths with them in the surf once, during one of our long afternoon sessions at Huzza’s … as I recall.

Photos: 1966 South West coastline. (Left) unidentified surf coast. (Right) Cape Naturaliste. Geoff Moran pics.

Photos: 1966 Jeff exploring Canal Rocks. Geoff Moran pics.

The surfing horizon opened up for us in December 1965 – and nothing would ever be the same again. Our eyes had been opened to somewhere unique on the planet. It would keep drawing us back on countless weekends and holidays… seeking out the many Down South adventures and life experiences which eventually came to pass over the following decades.

In “Offshore and Pumping”, the booklet released by Surfing WA to mark its 40th anniversary, Down South legend Bob Monkman wrote:  “…we were different. We had long sun-bleached hair, wore different clothes and were always happy from the buzz of surfing all day…”

“We were a relatively small group, everyone one knew each other and crowds weren’t a problem. In fact, we would often wish for a few more people to be out on the line-up because it was always good to have someone to fetch your board if you had to swim or tell you which way your board went.”

There’s much truth in Bob’s words. Being part of that small crew regularly travelling Down South – after that first expedition at the end of 1965 – did make us feel special –and different. We were in the right place at the right time, and on the right side of our surfing history, in terms of crowds and surfing new waves.

And, over half a century since that very first trip “Down South”, I still get a huge buzz every time I come over the crest of the hill and Yalls and see the whitewater, and that stunning coastline and cliffs stretching away north towards Three Bears and Sugarloaf Rock. The magic remains …undimmed by the years. What an amazing adventure it all was…

Footnote:  If you think about it, our generation of salt water addicts have left more than footprints in the sand…like, social impacts. The term “Down South”, for example, was originally a bit of a secret verbal code we all shared back in those early days – initially our parents and other “oldies” did not have a clue what we were talking about most of the time… Now, of course, ‘Down South’ is a universally recognised and used term by just about everybody in Perth.

Errol Considine