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

February 17th, 2010

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.


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

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