Archive

Archive for the ‘Surfing Heritage’ Category

South African Surfing Icons Honoured in Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame

March 20th, 2017 No comments
Surfer’s Circle Walk of Fame inductees with their commemorative certificates at the official opening of South Africa’s first national monument to surfing Photo: SCWOF

Surfer’s Circle Walk of Fame inductees with their commemorative certificates at the official opening of South Africa’s first national monument to surfing Photo: SCWOF

South Africa’s surfing icons were honoured in the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame on Sunday when tablets commemorating the first 30 inductees who established and developed the sport and lifestyle on the Southern tip of Africa were officially unveiled at Muizenberg in Cape Town.

A selection of Pioneers, Legends and World Champions, ranging from Heather Price, the first South African recorded riding a wave standing on a surfboard at Muizenberg in 1919, to Justin Strong who won the ASP World Pro-Am title in 1991, had their names recorded for posterity in the country’s first national monument dedicated to surfing.

South Africa’s most famous surfing personality, Shaun Tomson, delivered a heartfelt talk of the importance of preserving and promoting surfing’s heritage before fittingly cutting a surfboard leash to open the monument. Tomson is touring the country promoting his book ‘The Code’ and was the 1977 ASP World Champion, has become an author, filmmaker and motivational speaker and is acknowledged as one of the world’s most influential surfers.

Other high-profile inductees in attendance included multiple SA Champion and Springbok team captain in the 1960’s and early ‘70’s, George Thompson, who flew in from England for the occasion; Jeffreys Bay’s Cheron Kraak; 1978 ISA World champ Ant Brodowicz from KZN and Graham Hynes from St Francis Bay, the former owner of Safari Surfboards and arguably the world’s best surfing coach.

After the completion of the public opening ceremony at the monument on the beachfront, the inductees and VIP’s attended a post event function where they were treated to speeches by former local councilor Dave D’Alton, Muizenberg Improvement District’s Chevone Peterson, Surfing South Africa Deputy President Bruce Anderson and former United Surfing Council of South Africa Secretary General, Schani Nagia.

The national monument has been seven years in the making, stemming from the highly successful Surfers Corner 60’s Reunion event in 2010. This was followed by the launch of the Surfer’s Circle Walk of Fame in 2014 when the original 12 Pioneers, three each from Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London were selected.

The SCWOF committee is in the process of forming an NPO to run the project, solicit donations for the ultimate aim of erecting a suitable statue to complement the plaques and to the select the inductees, who will be officially ratified by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport.

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame
2017 Inductees

Pioneers
Heather Price
John Whitmore
Dave Meneses
John Grendon
John Heath
Leo Davis
Sandy McGillivray
Bobby Joubert
Roger Taylor
Mike Hornsey
George Thompson
Leon ‘Dux’ Coetzee
George Bell
Ahmed Collier
Schani Nagia
Addie Jappie
Basil Lomberg
Baron Stander
Peter Burness

Legends
Robbie Abrahams
Cecil Whiteman
Graham Hynes
Max Wetteland
Cheron Kraak
Ant Van Den Heuvel

World Champions
Shaun Tomson
Antoni Brodowicz
Wendy Botha
David Malherbe
Justin Strong

For more information on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame see www.thesurferscircle.co.za (under construction) or the Facebook page Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg

ENDS

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame to Honour Legends of South African Surfing

March 9th, 2017 No comments
The Surfers' Circle Walk of Fame is South Africa's first national monument dedicated to surfing

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame is South Africa’s first national monument dedicated to surfing

South Africa’s first national monument dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of surfing will be officially opened when the plaques honouring the first 30 inductees into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame are unveiled at Muizenberg in Cape Town on Sunday 19 March.

Featuring Pioneers, Legends and World Champions who contributed to the development and growth of the country’s surfing lifestyle and sport prior to 1992, 25 years ago, the monument has been seven years in the making and will be formally opened by 1977 world surfing champion Shaun Tomson.

The day’s activities comprise the public unveiling ceremony at the monument on the traffic circle in the centre of Surfers’ Corner at 11am, followed by a private function for the inductees, their families and invited dignitaries where each honouree will be presented with a certificate commemorating the auspicious occasion.

Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg is considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa since Heather Price became the first South African to be recorded riding waves standing up on a surfboard there in 1919. It was recognised as one of the world’s top 20 surf towns by National Geographic in 2013.

Originally mooted by the organisers of the hugely successful Surfers’ Corner ‘60’s Reunion in 2010, it took four years of tireless effort by the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), and in particular their Beach representative Peter Wright, to obtain permission from the local authorities to use the circle for a national surfing monument.

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame was launched in 2014 when 12 Pioneers (three each from Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town) were selected for their contributions to surfing during the 1950’s and ‘60’s. A committee has subsequently been formed to run the project with Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, providing the official endorsement of the inductees selected.

The 12 Pioneers selected in 2014 were John Whitmore, Dave Meneses and John Grendon from Cape Town; George Thompson, Leon Coetsee and George Bell from Durban; Sandy McGillivray, Leo Davis and John Heath from Port Elizabeth and Bobby Joubert, Mike Hornsey and Roger Taylor from East London.

Since then 18 more Pioneers, Legends and World Champions have been added to the list of honourees, each of whom will have an engraved black granite plaque in their name unveiled at the ceremony.

South Africans who won world titles prior to 1992 are Tomson (Durban), 1978 ISA champion Ant Brodowicz (Margate) and four-time (1987, ‘89, ’91 & ‘92) ASP women’s champ Wendy Botha (East London), along with David Malherbe (EL) and Justin Strong (Cape Town) who won the ASP world pro-am title in 1990 and 1991 respectively.

The Pioneers include Durbanites Peter Burness and Baron Stander; Capetonians Heather Price, Basil Lomberg, Ahmed Collier and Schani Nagia and Port Elizabeth’s Addie Jappie.

Those being honoured as Legends of the sport are Cheron Kraak from Jeffreys Bay; Ant van den Heuvel, Graham Hynes and Max Wetteland from Durban and Robbie Abrahams and Cecil Whiteman from Cape Town.

More honourees, including world title winning SA surfing teams, will be inducted into the Surfers Circle Walk of Fame annually, with the design and construction of a suitable statue honouring surfing’s heritage also in the pipeline.

Next Sunday’s activities will commence at 9am with an inspirational workshop for young surfers conducted by Shaun Tomson, one of the greatest surfers of all time and an internationally celebrated motivational speaker.

Titled “Commit to a Positive Wave: How to be the best you can be”, the 90 minute session complements the motivational messages in his best-selling book ‘The Code’. Shaun will be signing copies of the book purchased at the event on Sunday. Bookings can be made via howzitaway@gmail.com. Note that space is limited.

More on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame can be found at www.thesurferscircle.co.za and on the Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg Facebook page.

ENDS

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

50th South Africa Surfing Championships Awakens Memories

August 14th, 2015 No comments
Neville Calenbourne rides a giant wave at Ansteys Beach in 1966 Photo: John Thornton

Neville Calenbourne rides a giant wave at Ansteys Beach in 1966 Photo: John Thornton

Surfing Column for Independent on Saturday – 15 August 2015

By Paul Botha

The completion of the 50th annual South African Surfing Championships at Richards Bay last weekend has awakened memories of a bygone era when surfing was considered a fringe activity and not the highly organised global sport performed by professional athletes it has become today.

The first official national championships was held in Durban in July 1966 with provincial teams from Natal, Border (East London), Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth) and Western province (Cape Town) participating. After two days of dismal half metre waves at Dairy Beach, organisers opted to run Saturday’s heats at Ansteys Beach on the Bluff.

After the Junior Men (18-and-under) had been sent out first into overhead two metre waves, the Open Men took to the surf in a rising swell producing consistent three metre waves and occasional four metre sets. Many competitors struggled to paddle through the mountains of whitewater to catch unbroken waves and only the top watermen such as Robbie McWade of Durban and Peter Basford of Cape Town comfortable dealing with the conditions.

Ironically the standout of the day was a non-contestant, Durban lifeguard Neville Calenbourne, who was immortalising when his ride on a five metre high wall of water was captured by photographer John Thornton and published in the following day’s newspaper.

The contest was completed the next day in half metre waves at Dairy Beach with McWade becoming the first South African surfing champion while Capetonians secured the rest of the titles with Donald Paarman in the Junior Men, Margaret Smith in the Women’s division and John Whitmore in the Senior Men (over-35).

The South African Surfing Association (formed in September 1965) then selected their first Springbok surfing team to participate in the ISF World Surfing Championships in San Diego, California that October. The trip, paid for by the United States Surfing Association, saw the Bok team cause a stir on the beach when they arrived for the opening ceremony clad in collars, ties and green blazers amongst the casual and colourful hippie attire worn by their contemporaries from the rest of the surfing world.

Tributes to Peter Daniels have flooded social media and surfing websites globally after the legendary Durban born surfboard shaper passed away in Northern Spain earlier this week. Globally acknowledged for his expertise in designing and hand shaping in excess of 40 000 surfboards in a career spanning more than four decades, ‘Pepsi’ honed his skills while living in Jeffreys Bay in the early 1970’s and produced equipment for many of the world’s best surfers while living according to his own rules in many of the world’s most popular surfing locales.

Daniels and Durban’s ‘Mr Surfing’, Max Wetteland, who passed away in early July, charted the course of modern day surfing through their artistry, energy and having the courage to defy convention and experiment with designs, materials and equipment that have become today’s standards.

The world’s best surfers performing in big, hollow waves at Teahupo’o in Tahiti can be watched live at worldsurfleague.com during the Billabong Pro Tahiti starting at 8.30pm daily until 25 August.

ENDS

 

First South African Surfing Pioneers Inducted into Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame in Muizenberg

April 6th, 2014 No comments
Cape Town’s Dave Meneses and John Grendon were amongst the first group of 12 South Africa surfing pioneers who were inducted into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame at the Big Jol launch function in Muizenberg on Saturday evening  Photo: Surfers’ Circle / Pierre Marqua

Cape Town’s Dave Meneses and John Grendon were amongst the first group of 12 South Africa surfing pioneers who were inducted into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame at the Big Jol launch function in Muizenberg on Saturday evening Photo: Surfers’ Circle / Pierre Marqua

The first 12 pioneers of surfing to be inducted into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame were announced on Saturday at the launch function for the national landmark that will celebrate the past, present and future legends of South African surfing at Muizenberg in Cape Town.

Honoured for their inspirational and influential contribution to the surf community in the period up to and including 1964, the inaugural group of honourees consists of three pioneers each from Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town where the majority of the country’s surfers resided 50 years ago.

The crowd of nearly 400 surfing and local celebrities were treated to the wacky antics of MC Deon Bing, a thought provoking talk on community spirit and songs by Verity Price, the grand niece of Heather Price who in 1919 at Muizenberg became the first South African recorded riding waves standing on a surfboard, and presentations on the background and aims of the project and the need to raise funds to design and implement the landmark.

Tony Smith, chairman of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), explained that the non-profit company that is driving the Surfers’ Circle project and obtained permission to use the traffic circle at Surfers’ Corner for the landmark was inspired by Heather Price’s historic achievement, the role surfing has played in the economic development of the town, the way it has fostered cultural diversity and social cohesion and gained international recognition for Muizenberg as a destination of choice in South Africa.

He noted that the MID’s mandate included maintaining the landmark once it was built, but that all the estimated R2 million required for the design and construction of the centrepiece, walkways embedded with plaques honouring the country’s surfing legends and the landscaping would have to come from fund raising efforts such as the Big Jol and donations.

An audio visual production on the landmark, live music from the Robin Auld Trio and a heartfelt rendition of Andre de Villiers’ tribute to the late John ‘Oom’ Whitmore, the Doyen of South African surfing, were followed Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker celebrating his recent crowning as the 2014 Big Wave World Champion and inspiring everyone to follow their dreams.

The highly anticipated announcement of the names of the first surfers whose names will be honoured in perpetuity on the plaques in the Walk of Fame, and particularly the appearance and comments by Cape Town inductees Dave Meneses and John Grendon, were the highlight of the evening..

Meneses, 76, commented wryly on the rigours of surfing in the frigid waters of the Cape Peninsula in the 1950’s and early ‘60’s before wetsuits and leashes were invented and the effort required to hang onto surfboards that weighed 20 Kgs or more in giant waves at the Outer Kom and other powerful West Coast breaks to avoid having to swim 300 metres to the beach to collect them after a wipe-out.

Grendon, an extreme waterman and multiple SA Veterans champion, who is credited as the first surfer to ride a wave at Jeffreys Bay in 1964, laconically replied ‘Lonely’ to a query on what it was like surfing at Scarborough back in the early ‘60’s. He went on to explain that he, his brother Robert, who graced the cover of the SA Surfing magazine in 1966, and sister Jane, an early women’s surfing champion, shared a single surfboard and were the only surfers in the town that is now home to more than 100 wave-riders with many more visiting when conditions are good.

The Cape Town pioneers include Whitmore whose energy, inquiring mind and pioneering spirit saw him experiment with innovative board building techniques in the ‘50’s before introducing the polyurethane foam and polyester resins that the vast majority of surfboards are constructed of now. He also imported the first international Surfer magazines and surf movies (including the iconic Endless Summer where he starred in the SA segment), invented surf racks, hosted the first daily surf report (which ran for more than 30 years on Good Hope Radio), was the first Chairman of both the Western Province and South African Surfing associations, managed the first official Springbok surfing team at the World Surfing Championships in California and won the SA Masters surfing title twice.

The Durban contingent comprises George Thompson, a three-time SA men’s champion and four-time Springbok acknowledged as the country’s best surfer of the ‘60’s, along with George Bell, a standout in the early ‘50’s who introduced fins to the hollow wooden surfboards of the era enabling surfers to ride across waves instead of straight towards the beach and the late Leon ‘Dux’ Coetzee whose equipment innovations after returning from representing South Africa at the lifesaving championships held alongside the 1956 Olympic Games in Australia led to Finn Anderson surfboards becoming the equipment of choice for the country’s surfing community between 1957 and the introduction of urethane foam in 1961.

The trio of inductees from East London comprise the late Bobby Joubert, a legendary man-mountain who mastered many of the breaks in the area, led Border surf teams in the early national surf contests and manufactured Joubert Surfboards before introducing Rick Surfboards under license from the USA. He is joined by supreme surfing stylists Roger Taylor and Mike Hornsey who discovered new surf breaks in the area and motivated their peers with their dedication to the surfing lifestyle and inspirational surfing.

Port Elizabeth is represented by John Heath, who was also nominated as a Cape Town inductee for his surfing skills in the late 50’s before becoming influential in the Eastern Cape in the early ‘60’s by taking many youngsters along on his regular trips to nearby Jeffreys Bay and forming the Eastern Province surfing association that hosted the first interprovincial surfing contests. The evergreen Leo Davis, who still travels to exotic equatorial surf locales, inspired generations of 60’s PE surfers by forming the Commodore surf club and fellow inductee, the late Sandy McGillivray, became the era’s ‘Mr Surfing’, operating the first surf shop and building Seal Point surfboards.

The party continued with nine recipients awarded prizes totalling nearly R25 000 before legendary surf muso Steve Walsh joined the Robin Auld Trio for another rocking session and the evening closed out with dance music from the Bacardi mobile disco.

The success of the Big Jol launch party was made possible by the support of True Blue Travel, African Perfection Guest House, RVCA, Quiksilver, WaveJet, Roxy’s Surf Emporium, Boekenhoutskloof Winery, Hurley, The Drift Villa and Winery, Blue Bottle Liquors, Khuluma Meals, Soundworx, Grit Security and the staff and students from the False Bay College Catering Department, along with many dedicated volunteers and unsung heroes.

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame
2014 Inductees – The Pioneers

Cape Town
John Whitmore
Dave Meneses
John Grendon

Port Elizabeth
John Heath
Leo Davis
Sandy McGillivray

East London
Bobby Joubert
Roger Taylor
Mike Hornsey

Durban
George Thompson
Leon ‘Dux’ Coetzee
George Bell

For further details on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame, including how to make donations or volunteer your services, please contact Chevone Petersen at manager@mid.org.za or 021 788 1196.

Stay up to date with the latest news on the project at www.facebook.com/Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg

About the Surfers Circle Walk of Fame

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame is a project of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), a Not for Profit Company that has been inspired by the pivotal role surfing has played in encouraging economic growth, fostering cultural diversity and social cohesion and gaining international recognition for Muizenberg as a destination of choice in South Africa.

The historic national landmark celebrating the heritage and culture of surfing will be constructed on the traffic circle at Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg and includes a life-size centrepiece and a Walk of Fame comprising landscaped gardens surrounding walkways embedded with plaques honouring the country’s past, present and future surfing legends.

After a four year journey to obtain permission to build the landmark, every cent of the estimated R2 million required to design and construct it will come from donations and fund-raising efforts.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Muizenberg Improvement District
Contact: Chevone Petersen – MID Manager
Ph: 021 788 1196
Email: manager@mid.org.za

MID Logo - web

 

 

 

 

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

The Big Jol to launch the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame landmark at Muizenberg

March 28th, 2014 No comments

Big Jol - Poster - web - 600

The ground-breaking Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame, a national landmark to celebrate the legends of South African surfing in perpetuity, will be launched at a momentous function at the Pavilion in Muizenberg, Cape Town, on Saturday 5 April.

Aptly titled The Big Jol, this gathering of hundreds of surfing luminaries and local celebrities will feature live music and audio visual presentations, reveal the details of the country’s first national surfing landmark, announce the names of the first 12 surfing pioneers to be honoured in the Walk of Fame and disclose the selection criteria for future honourees.

With the effervescent Deon Bing as master of ceremonies, lucky draw prizes totalling more than R20 000, great food and drinks on tap and plenty of camaraderie, the Big Jol will go down in the annals of surf folk lore as a night to remember!

Long-time surfer Robin Auld heads the music bill with his internationally renowned blues, folk, reggae and African influences given a rock steady feel by bassist Roger Bashew and drummer Paul Tizzard. Andre de Villiers provides one of the highlights of the show with his tribute to the late John Whitmore, the Doyen of South African surfing, while fellow SA music legend Steve Walsh will join the Robin Auld Trio in a rocking jam session.

The evening’s entertainment is kick-started by Verity, whose tenacity, inspirational music and revolutionary use of crowd-funding enabled her to produce her first album in 2008. A sought after speaker on innovation and thinking outside the box, Verity is a direct descendent of Heather Price, the first South Africa recorded riding waves standing up on a surfboard at Muizenberg in 1919.

Tickets for the Big Jol are R250 each, or R2 000 for a table of eight, and are available from Rustenberg Pharmacy or Epic Print in Muizenberg. Contact Tessa at muizies@gmail.com for details on how to obtain tickets / tables via electronic banking. Tickets numbers are limited and will be sold strictly on a first come, first served basis.

For further details on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame, how to make donations or to volunteer your services please contact Chevone Petersen at manager@mid.org.za or 021 788 1196.

Stay up to date with the latest news on the project and the launch function at www.facebook.com/pages/Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg

About the Surfers Circle Walk of Fame

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame is a project of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), a Not for Profit Company that has been inspired by the pivotal role surfing has played in encouraging economic growth, fostering cultural diversity and social cohesion and gaining international recognition for Muizenberg as a destination of choice in South Africa.

The historic national landmark celebrating the heritage and culture of surfing will be constructed on the traffic circle at Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg and includes a life-size bronze statue and Walk of Fame comprising landscaped gardens surrounding walkways embedded with plaques honouring the country’s past, present and future surfing legends.

After a four year journey to obtain permission to build the landmark, every cent of the estimated R1,5 to R2 million required to design and build it will come from donations and fund-raising efforts.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Muizenberg Improvement District
Contact: Chevone Petersen – MID Manager
Ph: 021 788 1196
Email: manager@mid.org.za

MID Logo - web

 

 

 

 

 

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Once in a lifetime gathering of 1960’s surfers in Cape Town this weekend

March 18th, 2010 No comments

Surfers Corner Sixties Reunion

A once in a lifetime gathering of 1960’s surfers and other beachgoers who frequented the iconic Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg Beach will celebrate their memories in Cape Town this weekend, starting with a party at the Pavilion on Friday night and continuing with barbeques on Saturday and a get together on the beach at the Corner on Sunday.

More than 520 guests, many of whom have travelled from overseas or elsewhere in the country specifically for the event, will be packed into the Friday night shindig that will feature live music from the era, a tribute to the late John Whitmore, the Doyen of Cape Town and South African surfing, a huge raffle with sponsored prizes totaling tens of thousands of Rands, a giant custom-made backdrop of the Corner bathing boxes for group photographs, aptly named dishes on the food menu and a wide choice of discounted refreshments..

Patrons will also be treated to a video presentation of original footage and interviews with storytellers from ‘back in the day’ along with a slide show of archive images compiled by Carlos Feyder. Footage recorded at the event will be added to the compilation which then will be available for general distribution. Images from the function can also be downloaded from www.surfpix.co.za after the event.

Initiated and coordinated by veteran surfing administrators Nick Hough and Charlie Moir, the project was intended to get around 100 of their old surfing buddies together but has resulted in undeniably the biggest ever gathering of Cape Town’s surfing pioneers and arguably the largest assembly of 1960’s surfers anywhere. Hough, Moir and the rest of the organising committee are hopefully that the occasion will leave a lasting legacy for Cape Town surfing with plans for a Surfing Museum and a Surfing Walk of Fame at the corner being hatched.

The gathering will also commemorate a centenary of surfing at Muizenberg as according to the recently published book “Muizenberg – a forgotten story” by Mike Walker, the official history of the coastal town, people started surfing there in 1910 and there is photographic evidence of stand up surfers riding waves during WW1.

There will be reunions within the overall reunion as members of the surf clubs of the day such as Muizenberg Corner, Atlantic, Point and their elite offshoots Surf Club Da Cat and Surf Club Swamis get together with their old-time friends. The project culminates in a gathering of everyone on location at the Corner on Sunday at 10am when a dozen or so original 1960’s surfboards will be available for the attendees to test their skills on in the gentle rollers.

Further information on the event can be found at the Facebook group ‘Surfers Corner Sixties Reunion’ where hundreds of archive images are displayed alongside discussion threads and messages from former Surfers Corner beachgoers.

Ends

Compiled & Issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 Please Note: For media enquiries, please contact Paul Botha via the details above.

Surfers from the 1960’s plan huge reunion in Cape Town

February 17th, 2010 No comments

SCR100108 - REUNION POSTER 2010 - Compressed - 500 

The simple query “When are you gonna get the guys together?” by 1960’s Muizenberg surfing stalwart Henk ‘Farmer’ Schagen has triggered a sequence of events that will culminate in over 500 people from every corner of the globe re-uniting in Cape Town in March to celebrate their memories of the time they spent at the iconic ‘Surfers Corner’ between four and five decades ago.

The question, posed to Charlie Moir in late 2009, led the longboard surfing veteran to consult with good friend and former surfing administrator Nick Hough. The pair who resurrected local longboard surfing in the mid 1980’s by forming the Western Province Longboard Club decided to start making enquiries about the whereabouts of their 1960’s peers.

Their quest immediately drew positive feedback from everyone approached and within weeks there were nearly 100 names on the list of Sixties surfers, lifesavers, girls, beach bums, musicians and others who were keen to meet and reminisce about  the magical era as the so-called ‘baby-boomers’ started to come of age.

Thanks to modern communications facilities, word of the reunion soon spread throughout the Muizenberg diaspora and enquiries started flooding in from all corners of the country and the planet. With a month to go before the official Surfers Corner Sixties Reunion at Muizenberg on March 19, there are already 500 confirmed attendees and organisers have stopped taking more.

“It’s unbelievable how the project has grown,” says Moir whose portfolio includes what he calls the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the event, ensuring that the ticketing, staffing, decorations, catering, entertainment and other aspects of the reunion function are in place.

“What we expected would be a casual get-together of around a hundred people has escalated into this huge party with people who used to hang out at Surfers Corner 40 to 50 years ago coming from all over the country and the world.”

Hough, who has worked tirelessly in handling the communications and guest list, gathering archive materials and trying to raise sponsorship so everyone can attend the event at no cost, is equally amazed at the response the reunion has generated.

“The response has been mind-boggling,” says Hough, who grew up in Muizenberg. “It’s good to know there are so many generous people and companies out there who have contributed everything from cash and posters to photographic services, PA systems and sausages, not forgetting all those who have dug into their archives and found some fascinating historical photos and artifacts from that magical 1960’s era.”

Arguably the most beneficial aspect of the event has been the rekindling of friendships from decades ago made possible via the contact list containing well over 300 interested parties compiled by the organisers. People who spent their formative years hanging out on the beach at Surfers Corner but who have not seen or heard from each other for decades are now back in touch and communicating.  

A video presentation featuring archive footage and images, interviews with personalities from the ‘60’s and music from the period is being produced by Carlos Feyder to be shown at the event. Tentatively titled ‘Surfers Corner – The Movie’ with a sub-title of ‘Should have been here yesterday’, the trailer for the movie can be found at http://www.vimeo.com/9373680 Additional material recorded at the function will be included in the finished production which will be available to all participants after the event.

The dress code for the function is ‘casual, with a hint of Hawaiian’ and the organisers foresee the men wearing floral shirts while women can wear leis and flowers in their hair. Patrons will be seated according to their original home base or surf club affiliation during the sixties and designated areas will house those from Deep South, Southern Suburbs and Atlantic Seaboard which produced clubs like the Muizenberg Corner, Point and Atlantic and their elite offshoots such as Surf Club Swamis and Surf Club Da Cat.

The function gets underway at 7pm and a massive group photo is planned for 7.30 with the image rushed off for processing and printing before being inserted in a frame and a copy presented to all participants before they leave that evening, along with a copy of the poster specially designed for the event.

After the welcome by the organisers, a special toast will be made to the late John Whitmore, the Doyen of South African surfing and an icon of the sixties surfing lifestyle. The tribute, to include ‘absent friends’, will be led by Claus ‘Bosco’ Andrup who is traveling from Canada specifically to attend the event.

A cash bar, run as a fund-raiser by the Western Province Longboard Club, along with a choice of convenient foods will be available at the venue while the entertainment for the evening includes original sixties music performed by a band that includes Paul de Villiers, Jimmy Moffatt, Clive Maasch and others, with harmonies from the Surfing Sixties Sisters.

A raffle featuring dozens prizes ranging from a Firewire longboard through apparel from multinational brands to numerous alcohol products, accommodation vouchers, surfing equipment and many, many more will ensure that virtually everyone who attends will take something home.

Further details on the event can be found on the Facebook group Surfers Corner Sixties Reunion where there are well over a hundred old time images, many threads of friends connecting and more than 250 members.

/Ends

Compiled & Issued by:

Life’s a Beach Communications

PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel:              +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Fax:             +27 (0) 86 684 6250
Mobile:         +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:           lifesabeach@mweb.co.za