THANK YOU BERNARD

Surfing World - - Contents - By Terry Fitzger­ald

Hard to write about a boy­hood hero with­out sound­ing trite, I did not know the man well. I was how­ever lucky enough to have his shadow fall upon me.

Watched the ’64 World Ti­tle on tele­vi­sion and hired a surf­board the next hol­i­days. The Bobby Brown at Cronulla, met my first ‘hero’, sat with Bev, mar­velled at the wel­com­ing in­clu­sive­ness (aloha) and a per­fec­tion­ist’s surf­boards. Sec­ond at the Jo­hanna Worlds un­der­lined pre­ci­sion and pro­duc­tion. In Brook­vale’s surf­board ghetto, the Far­relly fac­tory was the other side of Win­bourne Rd and may as well have been the other side of the moon. The boards reeked resin vi­brancy from im­ported pig­ments and 5 Star ma­te­ri­als. The shapes, sin­gle mind­ed­ness. In­tim­i­dat­ing. In­spir­ing. Nat or Midget? Midget or Nat? Midget!

Was only four years older, but seemed 24 – re­spon­si­bil­ity of young fam­ily, young busi­ness, young sport cre­ated per­cep­tions. But al­ways a smile and wave from be­hind a kombi wind­screen. Style and grace, be­fore grunt and groan, in more ways than one. Thank you Bernard.

Midget at Narrabeen. (Ai­tionn)

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