Sydney, 6 January 1950, page 10.
Any hot weekend, Bondi Beach attracts more
GEORGE H. JOHNSTON
AUSTRALIA'S most famous beach seems to be getting itself in
the dog-house again.
Civic authorities and police are worried at the behaviour of
certain people at Bondi.
Hardened surfers are disgruntled by the fact that they've
scarcely seen a decent surf there since the early days of
People in search of gentle relaxation rarely go to Bondi any
more at weekend; aesthetes deplore the presence on the sands
countless hundreds of portable radios; oldsters look down
their noses at the antics of the Cornel Wilde boys and their
bobby-soxer friends; Xenophobes talk cuttingly of . "too many
foreigners"; and it seems that most of the people one meets
are always saying, "You wouldn't get me down to Bondi Beach
with a barge pole!"
Yet despite all this, Bondi persists in remaining the most
popular beach in Australia and one of the most spectacular in
Between now and the end of the summer, probably between
2,000,000 and 3,000,000 Australians (and New Australians), and
almost all our overseas visitors, will have made the trek out
In a given summer season, Bondi Beach handles considerably
more people than Miami Beach (Florida), plus Waikiki Beach
In fact, in terms of popularity, it is probably exceeded by
only two beaches in the world— Coney Island and Jones Beach,
which cater during summer for New York City's heat-stricken
Bondi is, of course, an infinitely better beach than either of
That is probably not surprising — as a beach, Bondi would be
hard to excel anywhere — but what is perhaps surprising, at
least to our nose-wrinkling aesthetes, is the fact that the
built-up area of Bondi's background in spite of hideous rashes
of flats and some of Sydney's most scrofulous architecture —
is at least no more raucous and unlovely than either Coney
Island or Jones
It is probably, in fact, considerably better!
It has, in addition, the famous Bondi Promenade.
Comparing this with Coney Island's equally famous Boardwalk is
rather like comparing caviare with corned beef.
It has also several less tangible advantages over
America's major beaches.
The first — and most obvious to the bulk of our foreign
visitors — is the extreme physical beauty of so many of
While admittedly one can see, at any week-end, 10,000
excellent living reasons why homo sapiens is a clothes-
wearing animal, one can also see more magnificent-looking men
and beautiful girls than you could find by dredging through
all the lots of Hollywood.
The second is that the manners of Australian beachgoers, even
at Bondi; are very considerably better than one will find on
similar beach in the USA.
As an example, take a look at the fair spin always given at
Bondi to toddlers and infants, even on the most crowded days.
A hot day at Coney Island, on the other hand, must be seen to
The third is that Bondi Beach is essentially a good-natured
beach— a rare thing on any stretch of sand which absorbs large
And the fourth is that Bondi has powers of recuperation after
a heavy day that are positively amazing.
Considering its size and I the number of people who use it,
the sand is usually remarkably clean.
It is, in fact, in many ways, the cleanest beach we have in
spite of contrary opinions.
During the summer, gangs of workmen arrive shortly after dawn;
rubbish is gathered, and generally a bulldozer turns over the
sand to a depth of nine inches.
Cleaning up the litter left by 50,000 people is no small task—
but it is done.
This statement, of course, disregards the sewage outfall,
which has been the bete noir of Bondi people for years, and
the stormwater drain, which unaccountably spills its dirty
water and rubbish across the southern end of the beach.
In time, perhaps, something will be done here also.
However, one is forced again to make the comparison with
Bondi's rival beaches in point of size.
Medical reports have revealed that New York's beaches, because
of sewage pollution, are much more dangerous to health than
Coney Island is washed by polluted water containing a high
percentage of infantile paralysis and typhoid viruses.
Microscopic examination of water taken from there recently
showed a pro portion varying between 2400 and 11,000
bacteria to the mouthful!
It would be interesting to compare this with an analysis of
the Bondi water.
Bondi Beach, in any event, still goes on being Bondi Beach.
Its history in recent years has been a series of minor crises
— the sewage outfall, the French swim-suits, the larrikinism
of visitors, the behavior of the Cornel Wilde boys, the
stormwater drain, the menace of the surf-ski riders, the
sweeping away of the
sands by fierce storms, shark scares, and the activities of
However, if it's a good weekend, there'll be at least 50,000
people on Bondi's sands tomorrow.
Most of them will have read and talked about this catalogue of
perils and menaces/ but they'll still be there, any way.
You will see:-
The acrobats in their tight satin trunks doing their
back-flips and hand stands with a calculated air of shy
The harrassed fathers standing at the water's edge vigilantly
watching excited children.
The mahogany-skinned men who have worked twice as hard as
necessary all through the winter so they can have a five
summer holiday and spend every sunlit hour of it on Bondi
The young holding hands furtively beneath an "igloo" or a
The swaggering, American-looking teenagers, with their
Pompadour haircuts and their blue denim trousers rolled up.
And up and down the promenade will be endlessly strolling the
pretty little chicks who look as if they've been poured into
their satin lastex moulds before leaving' home.
They'll be walking in a certain way, with a certain expression
in their eyes.
They'll be playing the oldest game in the world— a game as old
as Eve, and in a costume scarcely more substantial.
Bondi, for all that any body says, still has a curious habit
of always being itself.
They've got everything at Bondi — sun,
water, sand, youth, beauty, glowing health.
West, Norma Henderson, Jody Worrad find life good on
1950 'Any hot
weekend, Bondi Beach attracts more than Miami', The Sun (Sydney,
NSW : 1910 - 1954), 6 January, p. 10. (LATE FINAL EXTRA), viewed
01 Jan 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230702064
Melbourne, Wednesday 11 January 1950, page
BACK the surfboard, with two pretty assistants, at
How to claim awards
award of £5 will be made to the person nominated in
"The Picture of the Day"
an award of £2 will be made to all other persons
whose heads are circled.
'HAPPY PEOPLE HAVE FUN ON HOLIDAYS.', The Argus
(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), 11 January, p. 5,
viewed 7 April, 2013,
Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday 1 February 1950, page 5.
ACTION BY SURFERS
Curlewis said last night that the N.S.W. Surf Life-saving
Association would not tolerate "larrikinism or abuse of
officials at surf carnivals."
Curlewis, as chairman of the N.S.W.SLL.S.A., was commenting
on the suspension of four surfers by the executive of the
Sydney branch of the S.L.S.A.
Denman (Bronte Club) was suspended until the end of the
season for misconduct.
alleged Denman had thrown watermelons indiscriminately
during the carnival.
Australian champion surfboard rider Keith Hurst (North
Bondi) was suspended until January 31 next year for abusing
officials and insisting upon competing in an event when he
was told he was not entered.
junior membet, Trevor Horton, was charged for
misrepresentation when he reported to the judges that his
name was J. Lawrence, after the novice surf race at
Freshwater on Monday.
man was B. Lake, of Bondi, who had been charged with
disregarding officials and not leaving the swimming area
with his surfboard during the Manly carnival last Saturday.
suspended until January next year and Lake until September
30 this year.
1950 'ACTION BY
SURFERS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 1
February, p. 5, viewed 6 April, 2013,
The Daily Telegraph
1 March 1950, page 6.
MICHAEL WILDING'S ... life story, Part 4.
was fascinating, especially the surf.
ANTHONY PELISSIER suggested that I should join him and his
mother, Fay Compton, on their stage tour of Australia and New
Always in love with swimming,- I found the surf bathing
marvellous and like a fool I went way out to sea with the best
bathers, who were body-surfing and disdained a surfboard.
Timing one of these breakers was a tricky thing to do and
as I missed five out of six of them I ran a double risk
from the sharks.
1950 'MICHAEL WILDING'S life story...4', The Daily Telegraph
(Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), 1 March, p. 6. , viewed 12 Sep
Melbourne, Thursday 16 March 1950. page 3.
Jet board to speed surf saves.
A. Dubbo man,
Mr. Edward Wansey, has designed a jet-propelled surfboard for
life savers to use in surf rescues.
said today that compressed air bottles would power the board.
Curlewis, president of the Surf Life-saving Association, said
tonight that the association was willing to test Mr. Wansey's
"Quite often seconds are the difference between life and death
in surf rescues.
mechanically propelled board could be rushed to a man
threatened by sharks or in difficulties, the time saved would
1950 'Jet board
to speed surf saves.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 -
1956), 16 March, p. 3, viewed 6 April, 2013,
The South Coast Express
Surfers Paradise, Queensland, 31 March 1950, page 7.
He Makes Surf Boards For The Champions
George Conway, of Severn Street, Maroubra Bay, who is visiting
Coolangatta for the Australian Surf Lifesaving championships,
made most of the surf boards that will be used by visiting and
local champions in the surf board races at Easter.
George, who is a duco sprayer by trade, said yesterday that he
began making surf boards as a hobby ten years ago.
Now lie is recognised as possibly the best constructor of
boards in Australia.
He made the double board that Cartaar and Palmer used when
they won the Branch championship for Greenmount recently.
He also delivered boards to Bob Barrett and Ritchie Johnson of
Greenmount Club a few weeks ago.
He said yesterday that it took him three weeks to make a
double surf ski, working only in his spare time.
He made two boards in a week, also only by spare time work.
The boards are made of coachwood and waterproof ply.
They have spruce or maple sides.
George and his wife drove to Greenmount in their Ford de Luxe
utility, which George with his genius for woodwork has
converted into a station waggon.
1950 'He Makes Surf Boards For The Champions', The South Coast
Express (Surfers Paradise, Qld. : 1949 - 1951), 31 March, p. 7.
, viewed 29 May 2019,
Sydney, 6 May 1950, page 30.
"I say, old man,
you'll have to take that into the surfboard area!"
1950 'No title', Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 -
1950), 6 May, p. 30. , viewed 12 Sep 2019,
Sydney, 6 August 1950, page 59.
Summer fun takes toll of film stars
SUMMER weekend sporting activities of the stars have been
causing a heavy toll of accidents.
Peter Lawford was tossed off a surfboard riding the waves at
He reported on the Royal Wedding set at MGM on Monday taped
from the shoulders to the hips.
1950 'Summer fun takes toll of film stars', The Sun (Sydney,
NSW : 1910 - 1954), 6 August, p. 59. , viewed 20 Nov 2016,
7 August 1950, page 7.
Bob Tonsen tried
out his new surfboard at Newcastle Beach.
He found the water 'extra cold.'
1950 'WINTER CONTRASTS', The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918
- 1954), 7 August, p. 7. , viewed 20 Nov 2016,
Perth, Tuesday 5 September 1950, page 5.
Kangaroo Star Will
HOLLYWOOD, Mon (AAP) :
Film actor Peter Lawford (pictured
below) said today that he was looking forward to 'one of the
best times of my life' on his forthcoming trip to Australia to
star in the Twentieth Century Fox production Kangaroo.
The 26-year-old British-born
actor said one reason why he
was relishing the visit was
that he had lived in Sydney for
nearly a year when a boy and
had kept in touch with many
The lean six-footer, who is a surfing
fanatic, will take a couple of surfboards with him.
Lawford said he planned a month's
holiday in Australia after the film was completed.
Shooting is scheduled to start in the
middle of October and will take about four months.
1950 'Kangaroo Star Will Bring His Surfboards.', The Daily News
(Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), 5 September, p. 5 Edition: FINAL,
viewed 6 April, 2013,
Sydney, 9 September 1950, page 30.
Lest we forget
A dead airman's surfboard will hang in Manly Surf
Club as a memorial to former club members who lost their lives
during the war.
The board was owned by Geoff. Cohen, who was killed in a
flight over Europe.
It was presented to the club by his parents.
On the board the names of members of the club killed
in action have been inscribed.
The board, one of the most unique honor rolls in any
sporting club, was designed by club member Fred
1950 'SPORT - and those who make it', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910
- 1954), 19 September, p. 30. (LATE FINAL EXTRA), viewed 20 Nov
Sunday 24 September 1950, page 5.
Schenken, of Killara, and Peter Wakefield, of North Bondi,
took advantage of yesterday's sunshine to "shoot" a few waves
at Bondi Beach on a surf-board.
But soon after
this picture was taken a storm drove everybody from the beach.
25 September 1950, page 9.
The roof of North Bondi Lifesaving Club was a busy
spot yesterday morning as members prepared equipment for
the surfing season.
Club captain H. D. Murphy (right) is holding a
belt and line as it is reeled in by K. Richards.
In the background G. Turnbull paints another reel
while F. Pike spins the drum for him.
1950 'LIFESAVERS MAKE READY', The Sydney Morning
Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 25 September, p. 9. ,
viewed 19 Nov 2016,
Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday 2 November 1950, page 1.
Actor Arrives To Shouts Of "Isn't He
"bobby soxers" cheered and mobbed Peter Lawford, the Hollywood
actor, when he arrived by air from the United States last
to play the
leading role in the 20th Century Fox film "Kangaroo."
teenage girls waved frantically as Lawford, wearing a full
beard, walked down the gangway from a B.C.P.A. airliner and
into the Customs room.
brought a light surf board, which he hopes to use at Bondi
before going to South Australia, where the film will be made.
He expects to
stay three or four months in Australia.
["I do a lot
of board riding in California, and I've heard it's quite a big
sport here," he said.
Broken Hill, Friday 3 November 1950, page 2]
Arrives To Shouts Of "Isn't He Lovely".', The Sydney Morning
Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 2 November, p. 1, viewed 28 March,
Sydney, 2 November 1950, page 9.
SIDEBURNS STEAL THE SHOW
Hollywood actor, Richard Boone, 33, looking villainous in side-burn whiskers, which
stretched from behind his ears to a heavy moustache,
stole the show from
visiting film star Peter
27, at a Press
Mr. Boone was
surrounded by admiring
women reporters, impressed by his quiet charm.
Both actors arrived
from the USA last night
by plane to play in the 20th Century-Fox production Kangaroo, which will be
filmed in South
Both men said they had been at a party last night, Lawford sipped milk.
"I had a heavy, night,"
After a quick
breakfast of toast and
orange juice, the two
men shaved off their beards
later in the morning.
Australian film star
Chips Rafferty, who
will also play in
Kangaroo, produced a photograph
of the immense beard
and long locks he had
worn in Eureka Stockade.
"You blokes couldn't
do as good as that," he
Lawford then produced
a photo of himself
wearing an impressive
Lawford, who slipped
away from the party to
show a surfing
enthusiast his surf board, said, he will be surfing at Bondi "first thing" tomorrow morning.
"You got a guy here
called Bob Dyer,, who
is a champion big-game
fisherman?" he said.
"Guess I'll look him up too."
1950 'ACTOR'S SIDEBURNS STEAL THE SHOW', The Sun (Sydney, NSW
: 1910 - 1954), 2 November, p. 9. (LATE FINAL EXTRA), viewed
19 Nov 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230348633
Adelaide, Saturday 4 November 1950, page 2.
TEEN-AGERS WRITE TO STAR
Sydney, Saturday. —
Since Hollywood actor, Peter Lowford, arrived in Australia three days ago he has
had more than 3,000 letters
from teenage fans.
Lawford has been
mobbed by teenagers
every day since he arrived.
It has been estimated
more than 15.000 girls between the ages of 12 and 18
have made special trips to catch a glimpse of either him
or fellow actor Richard Boone, who arrived with Lawford.
Both actors have
received dozens of offers of marriage.
Lawford and Boone were bearded when they arrived by air
at Mascot, where they were mobbed for the first time.
They shaved off all
except their moustaches and side burns before their
press conference on Thursday.
'He's got a beard, but
I'd love him, anyway,'1 screamed one excited girl,-
nearly falling over the rails of the visitors'
enclosure, when Lawford first stepped from the plane at
The 27-year-old actor
will play the .role of an English villain, who goes to
an out back station and reforms, in the 20th Century-Pox
Boone will take the
part of a gambler.
Lawford said he had
been growing the beard
for two months and had
to shave it off a few
days before he left for
Australia, because MGM wanted to retake a portion of the film, 'Royal Wedding.'
It had just begun to
grow again when he
received a radio gram
to shave it off the day before
Lawford and Boone were met by the director of 'Kangaroo' (Lewis Milestone), the assistant producer (Robert Snody), and actor Chips Rafferty.
They attended a party
on Wednesday night and
both admitted next
morning they had had a
Lawford brought with
him from America a
10-ft. solid balsa surf board.
He said he intended to
try it out at Bondi.
'You got a guy here
called Bob Dyer, who is
a champion big-game
Guess I'll look him up. too,' he added.
The actors will be in
Sydney for a .month
before they go 'on location'
to Port Augusta.
Their stay in
Australia will probably
last three or four months.
When asked about
rumors suggesting a
romance with Sharman
Douglas, daughter of
the former US Ambassador to Britain, Lawford denied he had proposed to her.
He said: 'We are just
good friends. I've
known her family a long
1950 '3,000 TEEN-AGERS WRITE TO STAR', The Mail (Adelaide, SA
: 1912 - 1954), 4 November, p. 2. , viewed 19 May 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55852544
Wednesday 15 November 1950, page 5.
One large red Cedar Table, Kitchen Dresser, large rubber surf-o-plane, doll's
- Apply E. Parrish, Tullock's Farm, Phone Gerringong 56.
1950 'Advertising.', Kiama Independent (NSW : 1947 -
1954), 15 November, p. 5, viewed 7 December, 2013,
The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 13 November 1950, page 1.
SURF EXPERT MAKES THE SPORT LOOK EASY
inspector, John Carter, made surf-board riding look easy as he
rode a breaker at Bronte.
balance and steering were needed to guide the board to the
1950 'SURF EXPERT
MAKES THE SPORT LOOK EASY.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW :
1842 - 1954), 13 November, p. 1, viewed 6 April, 2013,
Perth, Saturday 25 November 1950, page 9.
'Don 't Want To Be That Poor Guy Flynn '
They say they're just pals — nothing more.
are Honolulu girl Jeanne McDonald and film star Peter Lawford
snapped in Sydney this week.
been showing the sights of the Bridge City to pretty,
vivacious Jeanne, who is a reporter on a Honolulu newspaper.
Jeanne has accompanied Lawford to night spots and to surfing
beaches but denied that she came to Australia specially to see
She says there
is no romantic link between them.
agrees, 'Jeanne is a wonderful girl and good company but we're
no more than good friends.
'I don't want
to be like that poor guy Flynn who gets tabbed every time he
takes a girl out,' added Lawford, who is in Australia to play
the male lead in the 20th Century-Fox film 'Kangaroo.'
1950 'Don't Want
To Be Like That Poor Guy Flynn'.', Mirror (Perth, WA : 1921 -
1956), 25 November, p. 9, viewed 6 April, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75614508
Saturday 25 November 1950, page 17.
Peter Lawford learns two-up for
very fit, with his dark hair streaked with gold,
Lawford said his favorite sport was surfing.
don't care what the local boys here say, I'm going to
give my balsa board a ride in your surf," he said.
been working so hard, I haven't had a chance yet.
only day we went to Bondi the sea was flat as a
said the night spots, beaches, and beautiful girls in
Sydney reminded him of America.
'Peter Lawford learns two-up for film role.', The
Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), 25 November, p.
17, viewed 6 April, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55191613
|The Australian Women's Weekly
Saturday 30 December 1950, pages 24-25.
At the Sea
BEACH WEAR brought back from abroad is worn by Mrs.
Ian Potter and her daughter snapped on beach near
Sandringham. Vic, when they come ashore from their
46ft. launch, Nordecia.
OF HOLIDAY at Honolulu are the colorful shirts worn by
Mr. and Mrs. John Carr (right), which they wear at
Ann Ingoldby (right [page 25]) with her
surfboard at Moana Beach, S.A.
has recently returned from trip to Europe and England.
the Sea.', The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982),
30 December, p. 24, viewed 6 April, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47806297
Geoff Cater (2011-2016) :
Newspapers : 1950.