Elouera - how did it get its name?

In 1967 - Elouera was chosen as the name for the location where the new Surf club was to be constructed. The name was selected by a secret ballot of Shire Surf Club officials.

Previously surfers had known the area as either 'Midway' [because it was midway between Wanda and North Cronulla] or 'Red House'. Because there was a Red House right at the northern end of Prince street - about where the Northern end wall starts today [next to the existing car park].

Elouera is an aboriginal word meaning "a pleasant place".

'Superama' and Windansea for Parko at Shoes

Kevin Parkinson, on a Peter Clarke surfboard at Sandshoes Reef
competing in the final of the '68 Bobby Brown Memorial Contest.
Above Wollongong's Kevin Parkinson competes in the final of the Inaugural Bobby Brown Contest at Sandshoes Reef, Cronulla in January 1968. Kevin is riding a locally made Peter Clarke surfboard and he finished 6th in the 6-man final.

If you look carefully - the bottom of his board, it has the giant word 'Superama' along the bottom. I was working at Peter Clarke Surfboards in 1968 and I hand scripted this design and masking taped it up to complete Parko's request. The board's bottom was solid yellow resin coat.

Why 'Superama'? Well 'Parko' loved to have a punt. 'Superama' was a greyhound that had a huge win for Kevin at the Bulli dish-lickers a few weeks earlier.

One more thing; if you have keen eyes, you will notice too that in the centre rear of Kevin's boardshort waistband - he displays the famous Windansea Surf Club embroidered patch. [click on the photo to enlarge to see the Windansea patch better].

Benz Bikini girl - is her name Mercedes?

Here's one Max Garling's famous Benz bikini girls during a beach fashion parade at the 1984 Beaurepaires Tyres Open contested at Elouera Beach. Benz Bikinis were a Cronulla brand icon in the Shire in the late seventies and early to mid eighties.

A Channel Ten news cameraman captures the Benz Bikini parade action at the
1984 Beaurepaires Open at Elouera Beach. Photo by Martin Tullemans.
When I asked Max many years ago; "Max, where did you dig up the name Benz from?" Max simply replied: "I stole it; from Benz, as in Mercedes Benz - the very word is associated with the finest of quality and design".

Oh and incidentally, the original logo for the Beaurepaires Contest on the banner in the background behind the Benz girl was designed by yours truly. The logo has the lights with hydraulic scissor-lifters illustrated on it - because the '84 Contest is when we had the world's first night surfing event under lights at Elouera.

How did Sandshoes Reef get its name?

In the days before legropes when surfers wiped out at Oak Park, in order to recover their board, they had to wade their way across Oak Park's shallow reef to retrieve their board. The entire reef is covered with a massive bed of spiny sea urchins and the minute you put your unprotected foot down - bingo - urchins spines penetrate deep into the soles of your feet and break off.

To alleviate this problem, we all actually used to surf with old sandshoes on. [these days we call the improved old basic sandshoes trainers, runners or joggers]. That way you could walk straight across the reef without fear. In the old days, guys used to wear something what is akin to today's classic Dunlop volleys.

So if you think about it; if running shoes had been more advanced back in the early sixties - perhaps Sandshoes Reef may have become know as Trainer's Reef, Runner's Reef of Jogger's Reef.

See: Sandshoes Boardriders


Voodoo - how did it get its name?

It is has been handed down from the tribal elders in old Cronulla surf folk lore that North side board builder, Scott Dillon gave Voodoo Reef it's name.

On a surfing visit to the South side in the early sixties, Scott was taken by locals, including Brian Jackson, out to Boat Harbour for a surf.

At noticing its remoteness and how far out into the ocean you surfed and how 'hairy' it looked - Scott remarked that the place looked like 'Voodoo' out there. And the name stuck - forever.


The very last Peter Clarke Surfboard - where is it?

Sandshoes surfer Jamie Hocking e-mailed to advise me that the last shaper at Peter Clarke Surfboards was Peter 'Beatle' Collins.

Jamie concludes by saying that 'Beatle' still has the very last Peter Clarke surfboard ever manufactured. 

The story is that the last board was apparently rescued from the '76 fire that destroyed the factory and ended production of the iconic Southside brand forever. Back in the late seventies, Beatle moved to the NSW South Coast to Bermagui, and for a time made Full Flight surfboards with Bob Harris.


Sit Down, I think I love You

From '67 through '69, there was a very polished bunch of six local musicians who called themselves 'The Executives'.

In those late years of the sixties, the big Friday night gathering of surfers was fairly central; it was at 'the dance' at the South Cronulla Surf Club hall.

The night usually kicked off with a few beers or 'Dutch Courage' as we used to call it - downed at the old nearby watering hole; the Cecil Hotel. Then it was off down the grassy hill to pound the wooden dance floor at the Southies clubhouse.

The regular headline band at the dance was of course 'The Executives'. They were note perfect at doing cover versions of contemporary 'Top 40' songs from the period and also had a few hits themselves. 'My Aim Is To Please You' was one and 'Sit Down I Think I Love You' was another.

With a true sixties sound that resembled The Mamas & The Papas, The Executives were a polished sextet formed by husband and wife team Brian and Carole King who were from The Shire. I still think they live in the area and are still in the production side of the music business.