VALE: June Dally-Watkins dead

AMAZING WOMAN: “REMEMBER, SHE IS AN ICON”.

JUNE DALLY-WATKINS, THE TRAILBLAZER WHO TURNED AUSTRALIA INTO A “POLITE AND WELL-GROOMED NATION”, DIED LAST WEEK-END, AGED 92. MAGGIE TABBERER, A CLOSE FRIEND AND FELLOW MODEL, SAID THE “ETIQUETTE QUEEN” WILL BE REMEMBERED AS AN ICON. “JUNE WAS AN AMAZING WOMAN. SHE TAUGHT MANY GIRLS HOW TO WALK, HOW TO TALK, AND TO BE THE BEST THAT THEY COULD BE”. – FM.


John Frost, the headline hunter: The newspapers are a unique record of events when they happen

JOHN FROST WITH A ‘HANDFUL’ OF HIS NEWSPAPERS. THE FUHRER EDITION IS TUCKED AWAY IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT-HAND CORNER. Below: THE DEATH OF QUEEN VICTORIA.

ONE OF FROST’S PRIZED NEWSPAPERS IS THE BLACK-BOARDED ONE-PAGE EDITON OF A GERMAN DAILY REPORTING THE DEATH OF THE FUHRER.

FRANK MORRIS

In the year 2000, I penned an article on John Frost after he forwarded me a mountain of news stuff and newspapers covering some of the intricate global events.

He went on to say that his collection had newspaper and news sheets dating back to rollicking times of the 17th century when the newspaper was in its infancy.

Frost’s fascination with newsprint started when he was a 10-year-old child in 1930. “After that I became hooked on collecting newspapers which recorded momentous events,” recalled John.

John Frost who collects – COLLECTS -- newspaper is no ordinary bloke.

The British-based Frost Historical Newspaper Collection comprises more than 60,000 British and international editions and 150,000 press cuttings dating from 1640.

In fact, Mr Peter Jones, of the Welsh (UK) Art Council, said it has been hailed as “the most remarkable collection” in the world.

Frost describes his mountain of newspapers as representing “a good slice of history”.  He is, he says, “a man who looks forward to the past”.  His business is collecting events which will become history.

The newspapers in this unique collection record everything from the day a British comedian was accused of eating a hamster, to the coronations and deaths of kings and queens.

A veteran of Normandy and now in his early eighties, Frost had been collecting since 1930.  “I was only ten and living in Notting Hill.  I remember the shouts of the newspaper vendors when the R101 airship crashed in France on its maiden voyage,” he says.

“I raced home to my mother who gave me a penny.  A few moments later I was back for another. It was a Sunday and the Sunday Express cost twopence”.

From that earth-shattering tragedy, Frost became “hooked” on collecting newspapers which recorded “momentous events”.

He was then kept busy with the rise of Hitler, the Spanish Civil War, the abdication of King Edward VIII, the Munich Crisis and so on.  His collection started to grow like Topsy.

After he was demobbed in 1946, Frost travelled for the next six years around Europe, collecting newspapers at every port of call; from Orkney Islands to Berlin.

“As a Normandy veteran I recall raiding billets evacuated by the Germans.  It paid off.  I managed to ‘capture’ a truly historic German army paper which reported the allied invasion”.

One of his prized newspapers of war years is a copy of the black-bordered one-page edition of the Lubecken Zeitung, reporting the death of the Fuhrer – Our leader has fallen – “in action”.

He has over 15,000 different newspapers, including some US editions, covering World War II from beginning to end.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The collection covers the death and coronation of every British Monarch since 1751, the election of every American President since 1832 and “practically” every major event in the life of Winston Churchill.

There are thousands of British and American editions which report the American Civil War, the Boer War, Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands and Middle East wars, famous trials, major disasters, obituaries, space exploration, Royal Events and notable sporting achievements.

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ABOUT THE OLYMPICS …
FANNY DURACK WAS GIVEN HER FARE TO MAKE SURE SHE APPEARED IN THE 1912 STOCKHOLM OLYMPICS GAMES. ACCORDING TO A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE, “FORGOTTEN HEROINES,” AUSTRALIAN OFFICALS REFUSED TO ADD THE CHAMPION SWIMMER TO THEIR FIVE-MAN SWIMMING TEAM. – FM. CONTINUED.
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His “crown jewels” include the rare colour newspaper of 1909, reporting the French aviator Bleriot’s historic flight over the English channel; the sinking of the Titanic in 1912;  The Times of 1874, announcing the birth of Winston Churchill; the Wisconsin News reporting the death of Rudolph Valentino; the death of suffragette Emily Davidson, who threw herself under the King’s horse at a race meeting in 1913;  the Neues Wiener Tagblett of 1914, reporting the assassination of Sarajevo of the Crown Prince of Austria.

Says Frost: “Whenever a big event takes place, no matter where in the world it is, a newspaper reporter will always be there. Every day in every country in the world newspapers are on sale with some dramatic story only hours, minutes even, after the event”.

He says that to gain a “more personal perspective” on the world-wide events he likes “to get the newspaper from where it happened”.  In the case of the Apollo II moon walk in 1969, for example, he has the newspaper from Neil Armstrong’s home town.

My first contact with Frost was in 1998.  I came across an article he wrote for the MacMillan’s Press Directory.  He replied to my letter promptly.

A few days later a package of newspapers arrived, the first of many, among which was a copy of the New York Herald, reporting the death of Abraham Lincoln and various editions of British newspapers from the 1930s, reporting some major event.

“This (newspaper collecting) is a wonderful pursuit,” he says in his first letter.  “This century has certainly seen history in a hurry.  It’s wonderful seeing instant news on television.  But nothing can beat the printed word and reading the full story”.

<< Part 2. John Frost: Headlines we will never forget by Elaine Williams. Coming March 13.

COMING: Skateboarding, the pastime that leaves blood on the sidewalks, was developed as a sport in 1960s, will be introduced at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

DAILY EXPRESS: MAN ON THE MOON.

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ABOUT THE OLYMPICS …
EARLIER THIS CENTURY, FANNY DURACK ALMOST SUFFERED FROM AN UNUSAL FATE. DURACK “BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN TO WIN A GOLD MEDAL AFTER SOME PROMINENT WOMEN SUBSCRIBED TO RAISE HER FARE,” WROTE DEBORAH HOPE OF THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. CONTINUED.– FM.


HISTORIC MYSTERY: Was it man, woman or a young person The Man from Snowy River?

BANJO PATERON SECRET REVEALED.

THE MYSTERY HAS BEEN SOLVED. THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER WASN’T MAN OR WOMAN. BUT AN 11-YEAR-OLD CLASS MATE OF BANJO PATERSON WHO WAS ACTUALLY THE MYSTERY RIDER. RESEACHER CLIFF CRANE HAS BEEN STUDYING PATERSON FOR 25 YEARS AND THIS IS WHEN HE REALISED THAT A SECRET WAS BURIED IN THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER THAT HAS TO BE REVEALED. THE FULL STORY NEXT WEEK.


SURFS UP! Fancy nameplates of surfing 60s from the board builders of Australia

NORM CASEY BEGAN TO MANUFACTURE SURFBOARDS IN 1949. IN AUGUST 1962, HE OPENED A MODERN SHOP AND FACTORY AT ROCKDALE, SYDNEY. THE FACTORY, OPERATED ON PROVEN AMERICAN METHODS, AND HOUSED SOME OF THE MOST UP-TO-DATE EQUIPMENT IN THE INDUSTRY. NORM ONCE REMARKED THAT “I’VE REALISED THE VITAL NEED OF CARRYING OUT CONSTANT RESEARCH ON THE FLEXIBILITY OF NEW MATERIALS”. THIS IS WHY NORM CONTENDED THAT HE HAD DEVELOPED THE “HIGHEST STRENGTH TO WEIGHT RATIO” OF ANY CUSTOM BOARD ON THE AUSTRALIAN MARKET. (WRITTEN FOR SURFABOUT MAGAZINE IN 1965 FOR THE NEW PUBLISHERS.) – FM.

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ABOUT THE OLYMPICS …
FANNY DURACK WON THE 100 METRES FREESTYLE IN ONE MINUTE 22.2 SECONDS, DEFEATING TEAM-MATE WILHELMINA WYLIE. THE EVENT, WHICH WAS NEW TO OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SWIMMING, WAS DESCRIBED AS “A GREAT SUCCESS”. – FM.


PEARL TURTON: Part 1.  Queen of the surfers -- the young woman who turned heads

PEARL TURTON, AWAYS IN CONFIDENT FORM, AS SHE SLICES THROUGH A BULKLY WAVE AT WHALE BEACH. Below: HOW PEARL BECOME QUEEN OF THE SURFING FRATERNITY.

PEARL TOOK TO THE SURF WITH THE BOYS. HER MATES WERE MY MATES AND SHE WAS JUST ANOTHER OF THE GANG.

RON TURTON       Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

In October 1949, Ronald and Pearl Turton Senior arrived in Australia from England, along with their children. I was four, Pearl was two and Ross was on the way.

We settled in Palm Beach at the tip of Sydney’s famous northern beaches. And although Pearl was not a big girl by any means, from the beginning she showed all the attributes of a sport star.

Palm Beach was very much a holiday destination then and was packed on the weekends in summer. But for the locals it was the sort of place where everyone knew everyone – although there weren’t too many locals our age.

During the weekdays after school we’d all play rugby league and cricket, which were “boy sports” in those days; but Pearl just joined in and was accepted.

She could run like the wind, had remarkable hand-eye coordination, and excelled at track and field, basketball and gymnastics.

But it was the surf that soon become the main attraction. Looking back, the timing was right. It was end of the 50s and we weren’t even teenagers yet. But things were starting to change – music, clothing and surfing.

Pearl took to the surf with my mates. She was just another of the gang.

We didn’t own our surfboards at first, we just bodysurfed. Then we rode these things called “surfoplanes”. You had to paddle like mad to catch a wave, the bigger the better; and then we’d lay down and hang on.

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ON THE WAVES …
WHO WAS THE FIRST WOMEN’S SURF RIDER IN AUSTRALIA TO STAND UPRIGHT ON A SURFBOARD? ISABEL LETHAM AGED 15, IN 1916. WHEN SEAS WERE POUNDING AT A BEACH CALLED FRESHWATER, NSW, HAWAIIAN DUKE KAHANAMOKU WAS DEMONSTATING HIS SURFBOARD RIDING. “COME ON!” SAID THE DUKE. HE WAS COAXING THE TEENAGER ONTO THE FRONT OF IT. “I WAS TERRIFIED … I WAS TOO SCARED TO STAND UP …” SAID ISABEL. -- FM.
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It was fantastic. Before too long Pearl decided it would be fun to ride these things like a jockey. And I can still see her flying down these waves: one hand on the handle and the other raised in the air like a rodeo rider rocketing around terrified body surfers.

It was so much fun.

Surfboards were only for the older boys and men. That was all about to change.

About half a dozen fellas my age – around 12 – bought nine-foot balsa Malibus. Some of the surf club members let us have a ride on their 16-foot hollow plywoods; but they were so heavy and awkward, compared to a fibreglass and resin balsa.

It was just a matter of time before Pearl borrowed my board. Off she went, this petite little thing … and she had confidence and raw talent to burn.

Soon, it was to become a way of life. It was more than a sport, and as Pearl had always been one of the Palm Beach gang there was none of this “what’s a girl doing our wave” stuff.

Pearl left school early in her mid-teens to work at the Palm Beach Pharmacy. She used to surf before and after work, whenever the “surf was up”.

There were no contests at the time, but, unbeknown to Pearl, there was a big surprise in store.

<< Adapted from That Pearl by Ron Turton, Pacific Longboarder, Vol 19, Number 1.

NEXT: Success was staring her in the face. She was to become a household name.

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ON THE WAVES …
SURFBOARDS HAVE HAD THREE DISTINCT ERAS: THE SOLID BOARD, USED FROM 1912 TO ABOUT 1938; THE HOLLOW LONGBOARD, FROM 1938 TO 1956; AND THE REVOLUTINNARY LIGHTWEIGHT MALIBU BOARD OF FIBREGLASS COVERED BALSA, WITH A FIN. THE MALIBU BOARDS REVOLUTIONISED BOARD RIDING. – LANA WELLS.
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ON THE WAVES …

WHEN LONGBOARD AND RIDER PARTED COMPANY, THE SWIMMERS NEARBY DUCKED FOR COVER. LONGBOARDS CAME TO A HALT IN 1956. THEY HAVE SINCE MADE A COMEBACK.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 February 20

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