Bobby Brown returns to his old stomping ground

September 14, 2011

The Bobby Brown Exhibition has toured Gold Coast, Noosa, Torquay, Cronulla and will have its final exhibition at Sandon Point, the spiritual surfing home of Bobby Brown in the last week of September.

The Bobby Brown Exhibition comemorates this iconic surfing legend from the sixties, who had his last stand at Sandon Point, his spiritual surfing home due to his love of the Point break and his fiance Lorraine McIntyre of Towradgi.

They met as teenagers at the Thirroul Surf Club stomp and became inseparable. Bobby was from Cronulla and was a carpentar and regarded as one of the best Australian surfers in the sixties featuring in World,
Nat and State finals. Lorraine and Bobby were engaged to be married and planned to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon at the end of 1967. They were also planning to open up a surf shop in Wollongong as Bobby was
quickly becoming a great shaper, they had it all infront of them but one Saturday night in August 1967 put an end to that golden dream when Bobby was fatally glassed in a Southside pub losing his life at only 20 the same age as Lorraine.

Three memorial events were held in Bobby’s honor from 1968, the first won by good friend Midget Farrelly, followed by childhood friend Frank Latta of Cronulla in 1969, and finally a 16 year old rookie from the Gold Coast called Andrew McKinnon won the final event in 1970, after which Bobby’s Mum Glady Brown asked for the event to be shelved.

41 years later Andrew McKinnon who has held onto the BB memorial perpetual trophy, modelled off a Jack Eden photo taken of Bobby at Sandon Point and decided to pay homage to Bobby with a touring exhibition.

This unique collection includes Bobby’s last board he rode at Sandon Point epitomised in the photo that the trophy was designed from, the Bobby Brown memorial trophy, Bobby’s personal trophies including his
first ever in 1961, at least 40 images taken from 6 photographers including local photographer Dave Milnes, a Gary Birdsall painting (Gary was a close friend) who lives at Bulli, and two epic 16mm surf movies
Bob Evans, The Young Wave Hunters and Paul Witzigs The Hot Generation recently re-released and dedicated to Bobby.

Bobby Browns short but spectacular life was well documented considering there was only limited media coverage of surfing in the sixties. He was the Southsides’ first surfing hero ranked amongst the top Australian surfers like Midget Farrelly, Nat Young and Peter Drouyn. Admired and respected by all as a humble, polite, stylish and yet a super progressive surfer, begging the question what if?

The Sandon Point boardriders club are running their annual Kerryn McCann Single fin event at Sandon Point on Saturday 24th of September, and will host a Paddle Out for Bobby in conjunction with their fundraiser event, which will include a shrine of memorabilia for Bobby set up on the Point, together with live music and BBQ.

On Saturday night the public are invited to join a dinner preso and movie night at the Heritage Hotel, Bulli and the BB Exhibition will be on show at the Heritage from Saturday 24th – Fri 30th of September.

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