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Rod Slater living down south in 1967 – Updated 29 April 2017.

Correction 29 April 2017: Rod Slater was born and bred at Triggs and went to Scarborough High because that was the closest high school.

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Scarborough surfer Rod Slater and his surfing mates Buttsy and Choko shifted down south in 1967.

These are Rod’s SW memories and photos.

I finished 5th Year at Scarborough Senior High School in 1966 and in the autumn of 1967 shifted down south with David ‘Buttsy’ Purcell from Watermans and ‘Choko’ (not sure of his real name) from either City Beach or Cottesloe (I think).

We rented a few rooms at the back of an old house in Busselton. The only work we could get was picking up sticks and cleaning paddocks.

We had some good uncrowded waves with the likes of John Balgarnie, Terry James and Alan McGilvray.

When we couldn’t afford to live in the South West any longer, we went back to Perth in early 1968. Back in the big smoke I laboured to raise funds to go surfing over East.

I have included a few photos from our brief attempt to live down south.

Rod Slater

Photo: 1967 David ‘Buttsy’ Purcell at the back of the rental house in Busselton. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 the boys on Yallingup Beach with surf boards #1. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 the boys on Yallingup Beach with surf boards #2. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 Buttsy with Choko and his Vee-Dub sedan in Yallingup Beach car park. Surfside Store holiday accommodation units are in the background. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 Buttsy and John Balgarnie in Yallingup Beach car park. The historic Hammond cottages are in the background. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 Buttsy and SW surfing pioneer Terry ‘Rat’ James in Yallingup Beach car park. An undeveloped Valley Road is in the background. Rod Slater pic.

In mid-1968 Rod got on a train in Perth and headed over to the East Coast chasing waves.

Coming soon Rod Slater’s memories of surf trips to Phillip Island in Vic.

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Greg Woodward surf photographer

In the 50-60s WA’s pioneer surf photographers were John Budge, Brian Cole and Jim Breadsell. The next wave of surf photographers in the 60-70s were Tom Collins, Dave Condon, Rod Taylor (West Australian Newspapers), Trevor Burslem, Greg Woodward and Ric Chan.

Greg Woodward is holding an exhibition of his 60-70s surfers and beaches photos. The exhibition titled ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ will be held at Nyisztor Studios, 391 Canning Highway Melville/Palmyra from 6-21 May 2017. Gallery open Wed. – Sat. 11am -5pm, Sunday 2 – 5pm.

There are approximately 80 images in the exhibition, about a third of which are guys surfing. The rest are beaches, waves, bikinis, sunbathers and a few portraits.

It features the following surf riders: –

  • Murray Smith
  • Greg Laurenson
  • Peter Bothwell
  • Peter Dyson
  • Ian Cairns
  • Ron Waddell
  • Howard Taylor
  • Brian Hood
  • Ian Taylor
  • Norm Bateman
  • Jim King
  • Steve Cockburn
  • John Pawson and Charlie Bartlett in Victoria….and some unknowns.

There are one or two pics of the guys listed.

Greg’s reason for calling his photo exhibition “The Dazzling Young Riders” follows:-

“When I first saw surfers riding waves as a young guy at High School I was bedazzled by this new ‘sport’. These tanned and handsome young men and women were literally walking on water –dancing across the waves. It was a new sporting activity so different to football and cricket.

 Now; surfing viewed from my landlocked armchair seems more frenetic and hysterical than dazzling”.

Images: 2017 The Dazzling Young Riders exhibition invitation by Greg Woodward.

Profile on surf photographer Greg Woodward.

Greg Woodward was a West Australian surf photographer and writer from 1966 to 1974.

He photographed in Perth, Mandurah and Cape Naturaliste sending photos and articles to the then brand new OZ surf magazine called ‘Surf International’.

Image: ‘A Place of Surf’ article by Greg Woodward appeared in Surf International Magazine in 1968.

Photos: 1966-67 WA surfers riding metro waves. Greg Woodward pics.

Left: (Top) 1967 Ian ‘Spydor’ Taylor surfing Trigg Island. (Bottom) 1966 Brian Hood surfing Scarborough Beach.

Right: 1967 Jim King surfing south side City Beach groyne.

In 1968 Greg was called up to do two years of National Service in the Army. On his Army leave he visited Bells Beach and met the Torquay surfing crew. He also checked out Coolangatta and Noosa Heads and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the great point and beach breaks in Queensland.

Photo: 1968 Greg’s first leave from Puckapunyal Military Camp Vic. Greg Woodward pic.

In 1970, out of the Army, he returned to Melbourne to study photography. He hitchhiked to Torquay on the weekends for a surf and to spend time with the Torquay crew.

Photos: East Coast travel snaps. Greg Woodward pics.

(Left) 1969 unidentified surfer Noosa Headland Qld (Right) 1970 Greg at Bells Beach Vic.

1971 saw him back in Perth photographing around Perth beaches, doing more documentary pics and newspaper work rather than surfing photos. He worked with Ric Chan at the Independent Newspaper for six months. Doing roving jobs and on Saturdays taking pics. Greg remember Ric coming across very stylish and confident but never realised he was an avid Surf photographer and writer.

In 1974, Greg started work as a photographer at the Art Gallery of W.A doing exhibition catalogues and recording the art and exhibitions for their files.  He retired from there in 2007.

Photos: 1970s Cottesloe Beach. Greg Woodward pics.

(Left) 1972 unidentified body surfer leaving the water. (Right) 1974 day at the beach with an esky.

In 1982 he stopped surfing due to ill health, the crowds and inconsistent beach breaks. He found he was spending more time driving around trying to find surf, instead of being in it.

Greg misses the waves and is still interested in the freedom and natural beauty of surfing. Two items on his bucket list are to see Yallingup bay closing out and Meelup Point breaking again.

SDS will feature images from Greg’s ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ Photo Exhibition in a future blog.

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Ron Moss “Rock Star”

In March 2017, the City Beach Surf Riders Club held a reunion for club members through the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s at Ocean One Bar in Scarborough. The club is flying at the moment with a good bank balance and new club rooms coming at City Beach.

Former club president Jaxon Crocker sent through some pics of the night which included a couple of Ron Moss, a former club president himself and life member. Ron has aged a bit since his heyday in the 60’s, but still sports the long white hair and beard. Anyway, the pics of Ron were forwarded to club members from the 60’s & 70’s and a couple of the old boys shot back replies saying that he looked just like rock star Brian Cadd.

Photo: 2017 City Beach Surf Riders Club reunion. Team photo at Ocean One Bar Scarborough. Photo courtesy of Jaxon Crocker.

Ron Moss is bearded chap in the front row on the left!

Photo: 2017 CBSR Reunion Scarborough Club Presidents past and current. L-R Corey Hill (former Club President), Ron Moss (former Club president & Life Member) with Mark Thompson (current Club President). Photo courtesy of Jaxon Crocker.

City Beach veteran Ron Moss now looks and dresses like rock star Brian Cadd. See Brian Cadd photo below.

Photo: Australian rock star Brian Cadd. Web pic.

The resemblance between Ron and Brian is uncanny, but the story doesn’t end there. It turns out that the boys were mates as young fellas, as Ron’s young brother David recalls.

David Moss: Brian Cadd’s father worked at Hollywood Repat Hospital with my father. We got to know his family through Hollywood Hospital Christmas parties which were held at Garden Island. Everyone would head over on the ferry, usually the Zephyr or Triton. They had a piano on board & a young Brian Cadd, not older than 9 or 10, would belt out some great tunes. In particular, he did a great version of Green Door(what’s that secret you’re keeping!). Ron developed a friendship with him which continued until he was called up for National Service in late 60’s. I think they also caught up in Melbourne when Ron was doing his Nasho training at Puckapunyal army base . On my way to New Zealand during my Uni days in the early 70’s, I also caught up with Brian Cadd who took me to a nightclub where iconic Australian band The Loved Ones were playing. I’m sure that Ron & Brian would still be mates if they lived closer to each other. To see them together now would be something, as I reckon they could easily be taken for twins.

Brian Cadd went on to perform with well-known Melbourne based Australian bands The Groop & Axiom (with Glen Shorrock) before doing a lengthy stint in America.

Before departing, along with Taman Shud & G. Wayne Thomas, he provided a good proportion of the sound track to the iconic Australian surf movie of 1971, Morning of the Earth. This movie recorded the first waves ever surfed at Bali’s Uluwatu.

Image: 2012 Morning of the Earth original film and music Live in Concert Sydney & Melbourne featuring Brian Cadd. Web image.

Click on this link to view Ron Moss SDS blog 1960s-70s Ron Moss another day at the office.

Click on this link to view CBSR Facebook page  City Beach Surf Riders Club

Ron Moss lives in Kalbarri and is still a colourful character.

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Ross Utting’s Travel Odyssey 1974-75

Every surfer’s nightmare is to sustain an injury which keeps them out of the water for an extended period of time.

In the winter of 1973 City Beach and regular south west surfer Ross Utting tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during a social football match.

He spent about a month in hospital with the leg in traction, 2 months with it in a plaster cast, then underwent a further 2 months of intensive physiotherapy.

Image: 1973 Injury report courtesy of Doug White’s Wave Length surf column in the Sunday Times.

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When all that was over his surgeon said “No surfing for at least a year”.

Rather than sit around and develop bad habits, Ross bought a one way air ticket to London and began a 2 year travel odyssey which ended back in the surf in Bali.

This is his travel story…..

London and UK

When I lobbed in London in early 1974 I eventually found my way to a place in Norfolk Square in Paddington.  I guess in today’s lingo it would be called a “backpackers”, but it was a pretty salubrious address and just a stroll down to Hyde Park.  At Norfolk Square I teamed up with a couple of South Africans and we had a pretty good time exploring London.  These were heady days in London with free rock concerts in Hyde Park on Sunday arvos and great bands in the pubs, clubs and theatres. One concert that sticks in my mind is Ian Anderson and his flute out front of Jethro Tull at the famous Rainbow Theatre.  Wow! That was a show, but there were many others.

The sport was pretty good in London too and during my stints there between trips I saw an Australian/England test match at Lords, the tennis at Wimbledon, went to the horse races at Epsom on English Derby Day and was a regular at Queens Park Rangers soccer matches.

Photo: 1974 London party. Ross 2nd from right. Ross Utting pic.

1974-london-ross-2nd-right-crew-ross-utting

It was during these early days that I tried to track down Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell in London.  Back in WA we had all heard about Mitch’s exploits in the 1973 UK Surfing Titles in Cornwall, and a Scarborough guy I bumped into in London told me he regularly saw Mitch at a pub in North London where NZ/AUST band Max Merritt & the Meteors were the resident act.  But by the time I got around to ringing Mitch’s number it was disconnected.

Click on this link to view 70s-80s Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell blog re ’73 UK surfing titles.

I travelled all through England, Scotland and Wales but was particularly taken with Cornwall in the SW of England. Saw some good waves around Newquay (Fistral Beach) and St Ives. No one in the water but bloody cold, glad I couldn’t surf.  I went back to Cornwall in 2008 and found good waves again at Fistral, still freezing but now many people in the surf.

Photo: 2008 Fistral Beach Cornwall. Ross Utting pic

2008-fistral-beach-newquay-cornwall-ross-utting

North Africa

After cruising around UK I had a chance to do a trip across the top of North Africa with one of my South African mates, so we caught a boat from Genoa in Italy across the Mediterranean Sea to Tunisia, and travelled onto Algeria and Morocco.  It was in Morocco that I developed a taste for offbeat travel experiences.  We headed back to London via Portugal and Spain.

Southern Europe

When we got back to London we bought a car and headed back to Spain.  Amongst other things, we got caught up in the mayhem of the Tour de France bike race when crossing the Pyrenees, explored the Basque coast around San Sebastian and went to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.  We then travelled onto Barcelona where we had arranged to meet another guy.  No mobile phones in those days, so the arrangement was “be on the steps of the Post Office at 11am each day from mid-August, till we get there”.  We were quite a few days late and he said he was getting nervous, but we hooked up in the end.

We travelled all around Southern Europe including a visit to the Monte Carlo Casino on the French Riviera.  Problem was, our standard of dress was so poor that they wouldn’t let us in. Between the 3 of us we put together an outfit, which had to include a tie, that got us in.  One of us would go in for an hour in the fancy outfit, come out, swap clothes and the next guy would go in.  We felt inferior sitting out the front waiting our turn and watching all the limo’s dropping off the toffs.

The trip ended on a sour note when our car was broken into outside Salerno in southern Italy when we were having a swim, and we lost everything but our board shorts, T-shirts and thongs.  Fortunately, we had hidden our passports and travellers cheques in the rocks while we swam.

Israel/Greece

By now it was winter, I had been away for a year and back in London based in West Kensington, I was ‘over’ going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.  Then I saw an advertisement seeking volunteers to work on a Kibbutz in Israel.  The deal was, if you worked for a couple of months they paid your airfare, provided accommodation and meals and you got 2 bottles of beer thrown in on your Saturdays off.  That’s me! I’m off.

I worked on Kibbutz Gazit in the North of Israel.  Great experience, but the reason they needed volunteers was that the young people were all off fighting wars, some nearby in the Golan Heights bordering Syria.  My first job was picking oranges, but I kept falling out of the trees when the war planes would break the sound barrier low overhead and there was a sonic boom.  I tried washing dishes but upset the other Kibbutzniks when I tried to get them to scrape the scraps off their plates before they chucked them into my sink for washing.  Found my forte when I became a chicken man, feeding the chooks and catching them to take to market.

Photos: 1975 Israel Kibbutz Gazit. Ross Utting pics

Left: Ross’s kibbutz hut. Right: ‘Chicken Man’ Ross.

1975-israel-1-picmonkey-collage

On completion of our working commitment I travelled all over Israel with my hut mate, a Dane named Torben. Great adventure, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Red Sea, Dead Sea, Bersheba, Eilat ………

Eventually caught a ship out of Haifa headed to Greece, but I could only afford deck class.  That meant you spread out your sleeping bag on the deck up near the bow and were quarantined from higher class passengers.  The ship stopped at Cyprus and Rhodes on the way to Athens.  After checking out Athens, I spent a few months on the Islands of Ios and Santorini. In those days there were no hotels on Ios so you had to make your own arrangements & I found a room at a great family’s home.  There were no jobs on Ios so all the men were either in the US working or on the mainland.  I got allocated tasks around the house, the most important of which was to keep the barrels in the kitchen and bathroom full of water (no running water). I was lucky enough to go to functions and religious ceremonies with my Ios family.

Photos: 1975 Greece Ios Island. Ross Utting pics

Left: Ross with his Ios ‘family’.

Right: (Top) Ross with Ios neighbour Dimitrios. (Bottom) Ios Port view from town.

1975-greece-ios-island-1-picmonkey-collage

Turkey to Nepal

From Greece I travelled into Turkey, and around the coast into Iran, Afghanistan, through the Khyber Pass to Pakistan, India and Nepal.

Long and exhausting travel, but extremely rewarding (once it was over) as you just couldn’t do it now.

Afghanistan was like the wild west.  Out of the main towns of Herat, Kandahar and Kabul everyone carried rifles, but they were so friendly.  Not scary at all. Well maybe a bit!

I didn’t get off the road from Herat through Kandahar to Kabul, but from there I headed up through the Bamian Valley to the Hindu Kush mountains. Just beautiful country but harsh.

I recall not taking my clothes off for 2 weeks at one stage. Just too cold and no facilities.

Photos: 1975 Afghanistan. Ross Utting pics.

Left: Ross’s shoe shine spruce up in Kabul (at least his boots were clean!).

Right: (Top) Afghan bus. (Middle): Buddhas of Bamian (since destroyed by the Taliban). (Bottom): View of Bamian Valley from Buddhas Head.

1975-afghanistan-travel-ross-utting-fotorcreated

Bali Bound

Once I got to Kathmandu in Nepal I was on a mission, the surf was calling.

On his return from travels with Bruce King, Bob Monkman and Peter Mac, Micko Gracie had told me that he got good waves in Bali on his way home. Remembering this, I travelled down through south east Asia and lobbed in Bali in November 1975. Didn’t like Kuta (too busy. Ha!), but a couple of klms north on a limestone track was another quiet little village called Legian.

There I found the family run losman Puspa Sari on Jalan Padma and settled right in. I think it was about where the Legian Village Hotel now stands. Got a Midget Farrelly board off a Sydney guy returning home and I was all set.

Very few Balinese surfed in 1975 and there were hardly any other surfers around.  I surfed Kuta Reef on my own, but other guys liked to have company and used to come looking for you. Best waves of my life were at Sanur, 6-8 ft freight trains nearly down to an old ship wreck, 5 guys out, but we rarely saw each other. In the months I was in Bali I rode my motor bike out to Uluwatu 3 times and never saw a soul. Even in those days with no traffic it was a long trip on a very narrow road. Doc McDermott of Smiths Beach once told me that in 1975 he and his wife Carol rode their pushbikes out to Uluwatu. Bloody hell, how did they get up that first hill at the back of Jimbaran, let alone the rest of it!

Life in Legian Village was great. Very quiet, surf by day, gamble with the old guys out front of the Banjar buildings on Jalan Legian at night while the gong boys practised inside, and generally chilling out. I needed it after my lengthy travels and while everyone around me was getting Bali belly, I was putting on weight as from whence I had come, the food and hygiene in Bali seemed outstanding.

Photos: 1975 Bali Indonesia Kuta/Legian.

Left: Made Swita & Ross at losman Puspa Sari in Legian.  Ross Utting pic.

Right: Jalan Legian Kuta. Peter Neely pic www.indosurf.com.au

1975-bali-ross-utting-4-fotorcreated

The tariff at Puspa Sari was $1 per day including breakfast, which was a thermos of tea and a bunch of bananas left on the table and chair outside your room.

One of the staff members was Made Swita.  I remember his name cos he wrote me an envelope with his name and address and instructions to send him my Puspa Sari photos when I eventually got home.

Anyway, Made had this chook that he was grooming.  Cock fights were huge back then.  “Mr Ross, we can get money today, you come.” With the chook in a basket we caught a bemo to the purpose built ‘arena’ near the bemo station in Denpasar. It had a small ring and tiered seating all around. Losing chooks hung on hooks around the place for sale.

I backed 5 winners in a row leading up to Made’s chook fight, but as is the story of my life on the punt, the one you need to get up, gets beat.

Made was philosophical about the defeat and retorted “No problem Mr Ross, dinner tonight, chicken soup!”

No money, time to go home.

Ross Utting.

Editor’s note: Following his 2 year travel odyssey, Ross continued to travel and surf, often combining both. He also returns to Bali every year, but pines for the days of ‘75. 

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Yallingup Boardriders Club – Past meets Present

A gathering of Yallingup Boardriders Club past members was held in the beer garden at Caves House Yallingup on Saturday 8 April 2017. The event has been held for several years at Caves House on the Saturday before Easter break.

For the first time some present YBC members were in attendance and mixed with past members from the early 60s. This provided an opportunity for cross pollination between the two groups.

Loz SmithThe purpose of the social function was to connect past and present YBC members. Hopefully the two groups will bond and document Yallingup Boardriders’ past and present history.

Pizzas were kindly provided by Loz Smith.

Photo: 2017 YBC past members (and guests) in Caves pub beer garden. Loz Smith pic.

Standing: L-R John Pozzi, Mike Bibby, Jim King, Kim Jones, Ashley & Nina Jones.

Sitting: L-R Kim ‘Dish’ Standish, Dave ‘Davo’ Aylett & Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell.

Photo: 2017 past & present group photo in front of all conquering 1964 YBC team photo hanging in the front bar at Caves House. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: 2017 Garth Mullumby, ‘Spook’ Bothwell, Aaron & Micko in the front bar at Caves House. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: 2017 Garth Mullumby (current YBC President) with Jim King (former City Beach President) in the beer garden at Caves House. Loz Smith pic.

Image: 2017 Yallingup Boardriders Club sticker (Club incorporated 1991). Loz Smith pic.

To view YBC Facebook page click on Yallingup Boardriders Club

The gathering of YBC past members will happen again same time and place next year.

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