PEARL TURTON: Final. Queen of the surfers – a young woman who turned heads!

PEARL TURTON (CENTRE) ON THE WAY OUT TO BLITZ THE FINAL AT THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL TITLES AT AVALON IN 1963. Below: PEARL ON THE COVER OF TEENAGERS WEEKLY.

NOTHING COULD STOP PEARL RIDING THE WAVES NOW THAT SHE HAD A CONTEST TO WIN! IT WAS TO BECOME A FORERUNNER IN AUSTRALIA SURFING.

RON TURTON           Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

In 1963, the Interstate Surf Meet was to be run under international conditions over two days at North Avalon with senior and junior men’s and a ladies division.

This event became the forerunner of the Australian titles so it was a pretty big deal.

Pearl surfed on her heavy 9’2” Scott Dillon. She could really toss it around. Of course, with no legropes, and, if you wiped out, you swim to shore then paddle back out through the white-water; you start all over again.

You had to be fit! Anyway, in the ladies demolition derby, with countless surfers competing, Pearl prevailed and overnight she became very famous.

The pretty little 16 old became a household name. The phones didn’t stop at our house. Pearl was featured on nation television, on top-rating Bandstand rock and roll show.

They filmed it outdoors one week and they interviewed Pearl in a bikini. Absolutely, this was unheard of in those days.

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IT’S ABOUT OLYMPICS ….
1960, ANCIENT RUINS HAVE TO BE REVOVATED AND IT COSTS THE ITALIANS HEAPS OF MONEY -- $30 MILLION – TO STAGE THE ROME OLYMPICS. THE GAMES BECOME THE MOST WIDELY TELEVISED AND EXPENSIVE EVENT IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AT THE TIME. CONTINUED.
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She was on the cover of the popular Everybodys magazine and the cover of Teenagers Weekly, a liftout-section of the Australian Women’s Weekly, which was the national top-selling magazine.

She started writing the Ask Pearl section in a surfing magazine*, with girls from all over Australia and New Zealand sending in questions for Pearl to answer.

Pearl only competed one more time after that. It was at Bondi.

When the soon-to-be iconic movie The Endless Summer came along, Pearl was asked to be a part of it when Robert August and Mike Hynson did the Australian section of the film.

She had a ball being filmed for many hours surfing with the boys.

When the movie was released in Australia, it was shock horror! All it shows is a pretty young girl looking like she’d never ridden a board at all.

That’s all.

And it didn’t show any of her good shots, or how polished her surfing was; and it didn’t even mention that she was the reigning National Champion. Sad, as it’s still widely regarded as the best surfing movie of all time.

We’d loved to have seen the rest of the footage and to have known what happened to it. I think this was all just such a rollercoaster ride for a young girl.

Pearl is still proud of the beautiful trophy these days. I think she probably appreciates it more now than she did way back then.

Frank Morris comments: The journal was Surfabout Magazine from the mid-1960s. The column, Pearl Turton Speaks to the Girls, to be published in March.

<< Adapted from Pacific Longboarder, Vol. 19, Number 1.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT OLYMPICS …
IN 1960, AT THE ROME OLYMPICS, THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINGENT “BROUGHT HOME THE GOLD” TO GIVE EVERYONE SOME ENJOYMENT! ATHLETICS: WHEN HERB ELLIOTT WON THE 1500m WITH A WORLD AND OLYMPICS RECORD-BREAKING RUN AGAINST THE ODDS. SWIMMING: JOHN DEVITT, 100m FREESTYLE, MURRAY ROSE, 400m FREESTYLE, D. THIELE, 100m BACKSTROKE, 1500M FREESTYLE, JOHN KONRADS. DAWN FRASER, 100m FREESTYLE. ALSO EQUESTRIANS, INDIVIDUAL EVENT: L. MORGAN AND THE 3-DAY TRIAL, DESPITE BILL ROYCROFT WITH A BROKEN COLLARBONE.


HISTORIC MYSTERY: The lad who would inspire The Man from Snowy River

CLIFF CRANE ON THE VERGE OF DISCOVERING THE MYSTERY RIDER THAT INSPIRED THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER. Below: BANJO PATERSON: WHEN HE WROTE HIS FAMOUS POEM.

FRANK MORRIS

The secret has been solved!

Researcher Cliff Crane on the ABC has revealed a factual account about the mystery, after 25 years working on the puzzle, of who was the rider that inspired Banjo Paterson’s poem, The Man from Snowy River, written in 1895.

According to Crane, it was not a man or woman but a young lad, aged 11, from in Binalong, NSW, who performed a god-fearing ride you only see in comic books.

“It was a death defying ride”, Crane told James Valentine.

He says the source of the mystery was contained in a newspaper article published in the 1900s that indicated to Crane he was on the right path.

Crane said Paterson would end up writing this epic work. This effort demonstrated the genius behind the man who would write that monumental poem.

Banjo Paterson, was just 9 at the time, witnessed an event that he found so hard to forget and Paterson would harbour this ‘secret’ until his death.

He saw the lad galloping bareback on a brassy looking young colt which bolted and descended down a rugged hill covered with undergrowth.

At the end of the ride, the horse veered and crashed into a tree and the lad, Edward Hall, was thrown to the ground. He died hours later.

Valentine asked Crane about the woman or girl who was the rider. “That certainly was a bit of teasing”, Crane replied.

Paterson wrote the famous poem, The Man Snowy River, 15 years after his mate was killed.

The Bulletin published The Man from Snowy River in 1890, but anonymously. It later used the author’s name. “It lays claim to be Australia’s most famous poem, a critic said.

In l895, the poem was published by Angus & Robertson and became their first best-seller.

<< The photo of Cliff Crane is the property of the St George and Sutherland Leader, Kogarah, NSW. Picture by John Veage.

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COMING: AT THE CLUB. STARS, OLD AND NEW, AND HOW THEY ENTERTAIN THE CLUB THRONG. PERMANENT FEATURE.


VALE: The one and only Bob Cooper, surfer, dies after battle with cancer

COOP “EL PARALELO”AT RINCON IN 1965. Below: BOB COOPER.

FRANK MORRIS

The prominent and influential Bob Cooper, who was surfing’s original beatnik, died on Sunday, February 16, after a long bout with cancer, on the Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

He was 82.

Cooper was one of the most skilled shapers and surfers who had a major input in surfing history on both sides of the Pacific, says Pacific Longboarder News Wire.

He was a gentle, wise and a distinctive sort of character who was a guiding light to many persons of the surfing industry.

Sidney Robert Cooper was born 1937 in Santa Monica. He was one of the core crew surfing at pre-Gidget Malibu and Rincon in the 1950s.

He surfed at Malibu in 1952 and Rincon the following year. He was a contemporary of early innovators and radicals among whom was Leroy Grannis who developed into a great surfing photographer.

In 1959, Cooper visited Australia and in worked in our fledgling surfing industry with Gordon Woods and Barry Bennet where he freely shared his California ideas on production techniques.

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ON THE WAVES …
SAYS WILMER C. MORRIS IN AN INTRODUCTION TO THE DUKE: A GREAT HAWAIIAN, DUKE KAHANAMOKU TAUGHT ME TO SWIM WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD AT MY GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE AT PU’ULOA, THE ENTRANCE TO PEARL HARBOR. I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO KNOW THE KAHANAMOKU FAMILY ALL MY LIFE.
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He was generous in sharing his knowledge, particularly to the younger generation.

He surfed many beaches in California over the years. There was hardly a beach he did not know about. He returned there many times to regather with surfing buddies and old friends. And to surf.

Cooper opened a Cooper Surf Shop at Coffs Harbour, NSW, and eventually sold up some years later. He moved to Noosa where he surfed, made boards and made countless friends.

He was visited by admirers from around the world.

In Surfabout Magazine in 1965 (Vol. 1, No. 5), there was an article by Peter Rae called On Surfari. Rae said, “Bob Cooper showed me the wonderful sights of California”. Rae was to quickly learn what makes California ticks.

Rae ended his piece by highlighting an incident that involved Cooper surfing at Malibu. He writes:
“The third ride was Bob Cooper’s at Point Conception. Bob paddled out, still dry, and waited for his wave. He picked up a six-footer, made his turn. And as the approaching tube came up, crouched through it.

“He disappeared for about three seconds, then reappeared with only his right shoulder and head wet – the perfect tube”.

The Pacific Longboarder News Wire ended with a poetic yet familiar saying: His was a life lived large.

COOP WITH JOE LARKIN, THE QUEENSLAND SURFBOARD BUILDER. THEY WERE FOREVER FRIENDS.

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ON THE WAVES …
WILMER C. MORRIS, CONTINUED: DUKE WAS PHYSICALLY IMPRESSIVE, HE WAS A MAGNIFICENT POLYNESIAN. HE WAS HANDSOME, MAGNETIC, WITH AN AURA THAT DREW ALL EYES WHEN HE ENTERED A ROOM. HIS 20 YEARS OF OLYMPIC COMPETITION DID MORE TOO PUT HAWAI’I “ON THE MAP” THAN ANYONE BEFORE OR SINCE.
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ON THE WAVES …
WILMER C. MORRIS, CONTINUED: SOME OF MY CHERISHED MEMORIES ARE OF LEANING AGAINST A CANOE, WARMED BY AFTERNOON SUN, LISTENING TO PAOA REMINISCE ABOUT GROWING UP IN KALIA; SIMPLE STORIES TOLD WITH EMOTION. CONTINUED.D

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 06 March 20

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