THANK YOU BERNARD
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.