JACK’S FAREWELL: Twelve months ago the surf at Cronulla was awash with red roses

FROM NEAR AND FAR, FORTY SURFERS WISH JACK HAS A SAFE JOURNEY.

“OF WINDS AND WATER THAT WILL CARRY HIM TOWARDS HIS DESTINY …”

FINE WORDS WERE SAID ABOUT THE WORLD-WIDE PHOTOGRAPHER/JOURNALIST JACK EDEN. THE FORTY ODD SURFERS FROM NEAR AND FAR, EACH HANDED A RED ROSE, TURNED UP TO WISH JACK BON VOYAGE ON HIS LAST TRIP IN A CALM SEA AT CRONULLA. JACK’S SON, JOHN, READ A POEM AT HIS FUNERAL SERVICE WHICH I THOUGHT SUMMED UP THIS SPLENDID OCCASSION. JACK EDEN DIED LAST YEAR ON SEPTEMBER 29. THEN, ON OCTOBER 6, HIS ASHES WERE SCATTERED AND THE SURFERS SAID GOODBYE TO JACK AT CRONULLA BEACH.  FRANK MORRIS.

THE SURFER

Waves churn.
The lone surfer stares,
searching for that one.
Perfection.
Of wind and water
that will carry him
as his board,
glides along
the watery plain
towards his destiny …


FLASHBACK: Jack Eden … His “Surfing Sixties” photo exhibition was a smash hit in Cornwall

SURFING LEGEND, BOBBY BROWN

A LESSON IN LENSMANSHIP.

TRISTAN’S PHOTO GALLERY IN WADEBRIDGE, CORNWALL, UK, IN THE LATE 1990s, TOOK ADVANTAGE OF EDEN’S STATUS AND INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION AS A PHOTOGRAPHER!

MATTEW ARNEY, ALEX WADE, OF UK

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

ITS SUNNY LOCATION AMID THE SURF BEACHES OF NORTH CORNWALL IS A PERFECT LOCATION FOR A COLLECTION OF RARE HAND-PRINTED BLACK AND WHITE IMAGES BY THE “FOUNDING FATHER” OF AUSTRALIAN SURF PHOTOGRAPHY, JACK EDEN.

DESCRIBED AS “THE PHOTOGRAPHIC BIOGRAPHER” OF AUSTRALIAN SURFING HISTORY, EDEN SHOT THE MAJORITY OF THE IMAGES BETWEEN THE LATE FIFTIES TO THE LATE SIXTIES, MAINLY AROUND THE TOP BEACHES OF AUSTRALIA AND HAWAII, FOR HIS MAGAZINE SURFABOUT.

IN THE MEANTIME, HE STUDIED THE ART OF DEVELOPING AND PRINTING TECHNIQUES BY HIS CORRESPODENCE WITH LEGENDARY AMERICAN ANSEL ADAMS.

THIS PEDIOD, “THE SURFING SIXITIES”, WAS A TIME OF GREAT TRANSITION. THERE WERE GROWTH AND EVOLUTION IN SURFING, AS BOTH NEW MATERIALS AND DESIGNS ALLOWED FOR GREAT PROGRESSION IN THE WATER.

AS A RESULT, MORE YOUNG PEOPLE PURSUED A RELAXED AND CAREFREE LIFESTYLE – AT THE BEACH.
EDEN CAPTURED THE ACTION TAKING PLACE ON THE WAVES; AND ALSO THE FASHION, THE CARS AND THE MUSICIANS, AND ATTITUDES OF THAT BLOSSOMING, OF THE AUSTRALIAN BEACH SCENE.

.........................................................................................................................................
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
FROM THE MID 1990s, THE JACK EDEN’S SURFABOUT REVISITED COLLECTION WAS ONE OF THE MAJOR EXHIBITIONS TO RECOGNISE THE INPUT OF JACK’S WORK DURING THE SURFING SIXTIES.
JACK’S EXHIBITION STARTED IN PERTH AND WENDED ITS WAY ACROSS AUSTRALIA. OVERSEAS, IT WAS SHOWN AT THE TRITAN’S GALLERY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND. – FM.
........................................................................................................................................

NO WONDER THIS PART OF AUSTRALIA HAS BECOME A NATIONAL FRONTIER.

THE SIXTIES WERE SOMEWHAT PROPITIOUS FOR THE SURFING INDUSTRY. EDEN’S SURFABOUT MAGAZINE OPINED THAT “WE’VE COME OF AGE ON THE WAVES”.

IT WAS SURFING EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION ALL IN ONE.

EDEN HAS COMPRISED WELL COMPOSED AND ARTFULL AESTHIC ACTION SHOTS, TAKING PORTRAITURE AND PHOTOJOURNALISTIC LIFESTYLE AS SUBJECT MATTER.

HIS PHOTOGRAHY TRULY CAPTURED THE INNOCENCE AND ESSENCE OF SURFING IN THE SIXTIES.
AMONG THE PRINTS ARE CLASSIC IMAGES FROM THE FIRST SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP HELD AT MANLY, AUSTRALIA, IN 1964.

THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THAT ANY OF THESE WORKS HAVE BEEN DISPLAYED IN EUROPE; THEY HAVE EXTENSIVELY TOURED MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA.

<< This story was written in 1999 and published in Grand Years in 2008.

………………………………………………………………………………………
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
OF THE SURFING SIXTIES, JACK WAS QUITE LITERAL ABOUT THOSE TIMES. “IN THE ERA WE WERE REGARDED AS BUMS.
“BUT FOR SOME REASON A LOT OF THOSE BUMS WERE TOP SURFERS; MANY OF THEM WERE INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED. IN THEIR DAY, THEY WERE PRETTY IMPORTANT PEOPLE.
“THERE WERE JUDGES, BARRISTERS, LAWYERS, AND BIG BUILDERS. YOU NAME IT”. – FM.
 


After The Surf: Final.  When Australian’s first surfing magazine bit the dust, the “surfing sixties’ hit our shores!

LEE CROSS AND THE AUSTRALIAN SURFER. Below: LEE CROSS, ALWAYS SMILING.

THE 1960s PROVED TO BE A GROUND-BREAKING DECADE. IT HERALDED THE BEGINNING OF THE SURFING REVOLUTION!

FRANK MORRIS

BACK IN THE 1960s, LEE CROSS WAS AN ARDENT AND CRUSADING BOARDRIDER.

CROSS, JACK EDEN AND BOB EVANS WERE ALL RESPONSIBLE BOARDRIDERS WHO PRODUCED – AT VARYING TIMES -- A NEW GENRE OF PUBLISHING – THE SURFING MAGAZINE.

BUT CROSS WAS FIRST TO EXPLOIT THIS NEW FORM OF PUBLISHING BY PRODUCING THE FIRST TO HIT THE STREET, THE AUSTRALIAN SURFER.

HE PURLOINED, I AM TOLD, THE IDEA FROM AMERICA. THE LOS ANGELES-BASED PUBLISHER, ROBERT PETERSEN, PUBLISHED THE FIRST JOURNAL FOR THE BURGEONING US BOARDRIDING POPULATION CALLED SURFING MAGAZINE.

PETERSEN’S EFFORT WON KUDOS FROM SURFERS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

THE 1960s WAS TO PROVE A GROUND-BREAKING DECADE FOR AUSTRALIA. IT HERALDED THE START OF THE SURFING REVOLUTION.

IN AUGUST 1961, I STOOD ALONGSIDE THE PRINTING PRESS AT A SMALL SYDNEY PRINTERY THAT WAS SPEWING OUT SHEETS OF CROSS’S HISTORY-MAKING JOURNAL, THE AUSTRALIA SURFER.

I WASN’T ALONE. OWNER OF THE MAGAZINE, LEE CROSS, WAS STANDING ON OTHER SIDE. WE ONLY HAD A BRIEF CONVERSATION. THEN HE LEFT.

NOW, LONG FORGOTTEN, ARE A FEW DIEHARDS WHO STILL TREASURE THEIR COPIES OF SURFING MAGAZINES.

CROSS, ONLY 19, AND A KEEN BOARDRIDER, BELIEVED THAT SURFING SHOULD BE GIVEN MORE ENCOURAGEMENT AS A WORLD-WIDE SPORT.

“WHEN PETESTSEN’S PUBLICATION REACHED AUSTRALIA, I RECALLED SAYING ‘WELL IF THEY DO IT … WE CAN DO IT’”, CROSS WAS QUOTED AS SAYING.

………………………………………………………………………………………
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
MANLY CELEBRATES ITS 40 YEARS OF MALIBU SURFING IN 1996. THE MANLY ART GALLERY & MUSEUM HAD A SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE BEACH AND THE WAY IT TRANSFORMED PART OF OUR COMPLACENT LIFE.
SUFFICE TO SAY THAT THE MALIBU OR LONGBOARD BECAME AN INSTANT HIT ON THE AUSTRALIAN BEACHES. IN 1964, MIDGET FARRELY WON THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT MANLY.
ONE PERSON WHO SAW IT ALL, AND PHOTOGRAPHED THE PERSONALIES, THE CHAMPIONS AND THE CROWDS WAS JACK EDEN. CONTINUES BELOW.
….……………………………………………………………………………………

CROSS DECIDED TO PUBLISH A MAGAZINE WHICH WOULD PROFILE THE BEST SURFING SPOTS, SHOW HOW TO RIDE A SURFBOARD, AND SHOWCASE THE LOCAL CHAMPIONS WITH PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARTICLES.

THE PAGES WERE PEPPERED WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND JOKES BY ART STUDENT DAVID LETTS WHOSE WIT AND WISDOM BROUGHT ON LOADS OF SMILES.

“ALTHOUGH I FELT A HUGE ERROR IN REDUCING THE PRESSRUN FROM 3000 TO 2000 COPIES”, THE JOURNAL’S EDITOR SAID, “MY ESTIMATE WAS NOT THAT MANY SURFERS WERE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN THE SPORT AT THE TIME”.

AT SUCH A CRITICAL PERIOD, HE WAS CERTAINLY MISGUIDED.

“THERE WAS NO INTRODUCTION, EDITORIAL OR LETTERS PAGE AT THAT TIME”, SAID THE AUTHOR, PAUL SCOTT, OF A PAPER HE PRESENTED TO GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY IN 2005.

“WHILE AN ADVERTISEMENT THAT URGED READERS NOT TO MISS THE NEXT ISSUE, ISSUE NUMBER 3, WOULD NOT APPEAR”.

WRITER KERRY YATES, OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY, ENTERED THE FRAY WHEN THE MAGAZINE WAS UP AND RUNNING.

“CAN I REALLY RIDE A BOARD FROM INSTRUCTIONS IN A BOOK”? WAS ONE FIRED AT CROSS IN KERRY YATES DOUBLE-PAGE FEATURE FOR THE MAGAZINE.

“A SUNTANNED BLOND, THE 19-YEAR-OLD SYDNEY SURFER, CROSS HAD SHOWN ME A COPY OF THE AUSTRALIA SURFER JOURNAL WHICH HE HAD WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED HIMSELF”, SHE WRITES.   

“GRAB YOUR SWIMSUIT NEXT SUNDAY MORNING … AND WE’LL FIND OUT”, CROSS SAID. KERRY YATES SAYS “YES”.

CROSS “TOLD ME A LITTLE ABOUT HIMSELF AND WHY HE WROTE HIS BOOK ON SURFING”. SINCE HE LEFT HIGH SCHOOL … HE WORKED WITH AN WELL-KNOWN ADVERTISING COMPANY.

AMAZING WIT. ‘GOING FAR?” “NO – ONLY A MATTER OF A FEW FEET!” (DAVID LETTS, AUSTRALIAN SURFER, 1961).

HE BRANCHED OUT TO THE UNKNOWN FEAR OF PUBLISHING A MAGAZINE ON SURFING WITH “HELP OF HIS TEENAGE SURFING MATES” THAT WOULD GARNER THE DESERVED PUBLICITY.

“I TRIED AND TRIED TO STAND UP IN ONE ACTION, AS THE BOOK SAID … BUT I CAN’T EVEN DO THAT ON LAND”’ KERRY WROTE.

“AFTER ABOUT 30 MINUTES I LEARNT TO STAND IN A STRICTLY NON-FEMININE FASHION; I COULD STAND UP, I WAS SURE THAT I’D BE A SURFBOARD RIDER ONE DAY”.

IRONICALLY, BY THE TIME EDEN’S SURFABOUT APPEARED ON THE SCENE (THERE WAS ONLY A WHISKER IN IT) CROSS’S TRIAL-BLAZING AUSTRALIAN SURFER HAD FOLDED.

SURFABOUT’S PRINT-RUN WAS 10,000 COPIES ALL OF WHICH EVAPORATED IN A WEEK.

SURFING WAS HOT. THE HARDCORE WEEKEND WARRIOR AND BEGINNER LITERALLY DEVOURED THE INK OFF THE PAGES!

<< ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE, HOW WAVES WERE TAMED (UNPUBLISHED) BY FRANK MORRIS.

………………………………………………………………………………………
ABOUT JACK EDEN …
HIS IMAGES FROM SURFABOUT MAGAZINE REVISITED COLLECTION FORM AN IMPORTANT SECTION OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVE OF GREAT SPORTS.
THIS COMPREHENSIVE IMAGERY OF SURFING HISTORY, COMPILED OVER 1O YEARS, PROVIDES A UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO THE STYLES AND PERSONALITIES BEHIND AUSTRALIAN SURFING.
MIDGET FARRELLY AGREED. “THE LATE FIFTIES AND EARLY SIXITIES WERE ECLETIC TIMES FOR SURFING. GREAT TRANSITIONS WERE MADE IN A SPORT THAT HAD BEEN THE OBSCURE DOMAIN OF THE SURFLIFESAVING MOVEMENT”. – FM.
........................................................................................................................................

NEXT ISSUE OF GRAND YEARS WILL APPEAR ON OCTOBER 9.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 September 20

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