Forgotten Manly Legends

spencie's picture
spencie started the topic in Sunday, 6 Jul 2014 at 10:35am

When I read Blindboy's comments today re Baddy Treloar and Johnny Otton it brought back memories of the many great surfers from that era. I grew up surfing Manly in the 60s and early 70s and can remember great surfing by Glen Ritchie, Baddy, John Otton , Jack Knight , Warwick Smith and Ted Spencer, amongst many others. I moved up to Byron in the mid seventies and both John and Ted called in to catch up early in the piece. Then we lost touch and I heard all sorts of differing stories but the main theme is that they didn't surf any more. Same with Warwick Smith (who could have easily been Aussie champ if he wished). I saw him a few years back in a little unit at Nambucca and it was tragic.

Does anyone else remember the great surfing legacy that Manly Pacific created?

I know there were many great surfers from Narrabeen but Manly was well under the radar, same with the Queensland guys.

Oigleman's picture
Oigleman's picture
Oigleman commented Friday, 7 Sep 2018 at 7:03am

Bobby Mills 'legendary' status came not from great surfing ability but the fact that he would take off on some hideous waves on those crazy big days at Manly and wow the onlookers with his daring. I never saw him make even one! They just had no shape at all.
When he first arrived on the scene he could not surf at all, but would be out there every day. He would talk with anyone, but always seemed to be alone. Especially over his last couple of years. Most shunned him because he could not communicate, and most likely got no help aimed at getting him back to some sort of normality. Sad.

spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack commented Friday, 7 Sep 2018 at 7:03pm

@ Spencie.
They would have been great days; savour the memory of having lived through that golden epoch. Time the conqueror . . . apologies to Jackson Browne.

Stay salty

Alan Berzins's picture
Alan Berzins's picture
Alan Berzins commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 10:50am

Darley Road. Are you thinking of Jill McClintock? If yes I knew her well and surfed with her at Queenscliff. I tracked her name on Google to U.K. Not sure if thats her. Me. Im originally Queensie Mob from Golf Parade 60s. All the Ottons were mates

Alan Berzins's picture
Alan Berzins's picture
Alan Berzins commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 11:08am

Im one of the original Queensie Mob. All the Ottons incl Johnny were mates as was Robbie Barnes (not suicide 1975 but murder. I have details). I just found out today from John Witzig that John Otton is now dead. I have lots of names in mind incl. eg. Lester Brien orig from Freshie. Yes. Many Dead from that era buy many still alive too as John Witzig said to me today

blutek's picture
blutek's picture
blutek commented Saturday, 16 Mar 2019 at 6:53pm

I last heard Johnny was living with Trent on the Sunshine coast hinterland, from his nephew on the FB Surfing the NB 1960's group.
Lots of Queensie boys checked out too early unfortunately.

Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 5:54am

Hi, Peter Thomas' son left a message(2014) on "Forgotten Manly Legends (Swellnet) which I recently noticed. I tried to call him but to no avail...his mobile is disconnected it seems.

He advised " Peter Thomas passed away on Thursday and his good mate Roy will be attending his funeral on Wednesday the 6th of December.If you no my dad or surfed a wave with him please call 0415674010 as i would love to see you on this day."

I have a couple of stories about Peter...we met when he was sent to give me a flogging by three local surfers, my age not keen to have a go themselves. I'd warned them of 'consequences' after they boasted of terrifying a young retarded lass, from Far West sitting around the rocks at South Steyne, Peter and I formed a bit of a connection after that .

I was thinking of Pommie Roy recently I recall him as a golden gloves boxer, very straight up and handsome, pretty quiet too most of the time. Saw him mostly at mid-South Steyne. (My brother managed the Steyne pub, on shifts of course, for some 18 years and until Ross Ryan sold out.).

Would anyone who knows where to find Peter's son give me a message of how to contact him or ask him to contact me Also, one of those sadder eventsCan anyone recall the young chap, pretty well known I think ..hung around Nth Steyne who borrowed to start a surfboard business. From memory quite a lot of money. A lot of the lot went on might have been (new) an XY Ford GT...can't recall but from memory may have been gold-coloured. The business was then undercapitalised....He didn't work on the rule of thumb that any business has to have enough capital to run for at least 12 months without income. Sadly he disappeared and I heard he'd taken his own life. I spoke to him from time to time but his name...just can't recall it.

Also, who can recall who began the 'fruit salad" works that seemed to be powering along, along with Yoghurt down Nth Steyne/Queensliff area....Slurpers had their brekkies watching the swell. I have a feeling it was a couple of older surfers, maybe from Manly Pacific. Is Manly Pacific still going?

I've left a message some-where on the (searchless?) forum....asking the whereabouts of several blokes, including Jeff Fergus (Fungus/Hollands from Carlton Street, married "Sammy" ..had a young brother, Ian I think, and one sister. Peter Rimmer, worked then at Garden Island I think was another survivor...little Andre..(c'est vraiment francais mais sans l’accent acute) the brother of Gabby who kept Manly Police busy when the plods weren't organising weed sales...…(That old buggar Sgt Menzies wasn’t a great lover of surfers….not was the ranger who patrolled Nth Head) .Bobby MacDonald and his sister, Dick Stuart from Gladesville (like Robbie Kerr was ex Fire-Control at Brookie) who went to Qld....cute Jillian McLintock and Toni Balmer who’s father built unit blocks around Steyne were some who periodically reappear into my mind. Any memories and whereabouts from you others?

At that era (60’s) the Water Board gave work to casuals….which suited surfers down to a “T” . Several went to Israel to work in the kibbutz’ and try out the willing local talent. Sorry if I reminded anyone…..(chuckles). Anyone recall the Board. One copper, related, who worked part time for them told me they installed a valve to direct raw sewage into the sea during storms…Collaroy I think it was. Anyone who recalls the ‘sea-lice’ and condoms in which we surfed …maybe that’s why!

Robbie's sister married Mike Jeffery from SAS. I still clearly recall the night I had to find his Mum, Joyce, and tell her Robbie had been killed. He was a good mate. Yes...I'm sentimental it's true and there are so many videos in my memory that I see events as very clear 're-runs'…but I’m losing a bit with age maybe…or just the pressures of my Masters Degree…which will finish in September. HD’s take a lot of work.

Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy commented Thursday, 11 Jul 2019 at 10:57pm

Alan not sure if the "Darley Road" reply was for me...I said Darley Rd but that was where well known local Robbie Kerr lived...I think Spencer knew him reasonably well and the blokes at the fire Station up Sydney Road......I should have written 'Carlton Street' not Darley ...which was where (opposite) Squeakie and the 'special spot' group hung about. I wrote about Squeak elsewhere.

Jill McClintock (brother was Warren) I recall well, I got on ok with her....

I have a list of 'missing persons' however one who's name doesn't seem to pop up is Bob Pike...I think he was one the Bower group.

Snow McAllister was a legend...anyone have stories about him?... saw him occasionally up Central Coast as well as off Queenscliff. Another local, Jeff Hollands (aka "Fungus"...his mother remarried and Tom Fergus became his stepfather I think) again, anyone seen Jeff recently or know where he is? I'd like to chat with him.

Is Mid Steyne / Manly Pacific club still going? I can't believe I'd have turfed my club shorts but I've put on about 10" (waist!) since then but it's nostalgia... .

Again would anyone know how to get to Peter Thomas' son, his mobile shown in the earlier posting isn't operational. Peter and I got on pretty well after he was sent to smack me around, which didn't work out that way.

A couple of others who spring to mind...Paul and Louchie Gee who lived up along Addison Road ...I heard later they'd both o/d'd. The Dawes brothers who's dad drank at the Brighton. He ran foul of Peter Thomas. Another ..any one recall "Garbo"...pretty well known local. Toni Balmer...I remember her well and particularly from a quite dissipating 4 day party she held in one of her Dad's apartments around the South Steyne point.

Peter Morgan another Brighton drinker told me about his about Friday night/ Saturday night (whatever) entertainment up the Cross "Poofter Punching" with his mates....pretty miserable stuff. A fortnight or three weeks later Morgan came to the Brighton looking much the worse for wear, stickers bruises and band-aids.

What happened to you Morgan?..."Well we followed this (descriptive) bloke down a side street (to flog him) but it was a set-up. As we caught up with him a bloke jumped out of a doorway swinging a claw hammer and they got stuck into us"

Well what goes around comes around, eh...…

Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy's picture
Tony Jack Clancy commented Friday, 19 Jul 2019 at 6:17pm Ted Spencer still with us, and contactable;?..I'd be obliged for that info if someone can help out. My Regards