(left) As it was. (right) Restored to her magnificence in 2014. That’s Midget reflected in the globe, shot by Mark Onorati - it ran full page in the mag. Midget emailed to say: “Mark’s photo is stunning”. The trophy’s looking a bit better than it had

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The trophy sat in his garage neglected from 1964 to 2014, used as a doorstop, it could seem that he didn't care a toss for it really.

A little background from three years ago, from PLB Vol. 17#5: 

"I ignored it for 50 years after the 'New Era Spoilers' talked the event down . . . keep in mind they controlled the surf media of the day and had a lot of people reading their nonsense," says Midget.

While Midget was a hero to most of us, a few were less impressed with the victory at Manly, even suggesting it was a "hometown" decision. The drop-in rule was at the heart of this, and at the time it had its grey areas. Two or more riders could surf the same wave but they weren't to impede each other. And in the final the sleek Hawaiian Joey Cabell certainly played it a shade too fine.

A section of the surf media picked up on this with the suggestion that Cabell's aggression had cost him a chance to finish better than his eventual third, and perhaps he could have even won the thing.

The maximum penalty for a drop-in at the time though was one point, and Midget had clearly won with 132 points from Mike Doyle on 126.4 and Cabell with 126. "When I saw the score sheets 10 years ago, a now deceased judge had given them to me, I realised it had been a good win, not a close one, or a 'hometown' decision as put forward by that small group," says Midget.

"And again I saw value when the (long lost) Rothmans footage of the final was shown at Phil Jarratt's re-enactment at the Noosa Festival in 1999. (Midget, Doyle, Cabell, LJ Richards and Mick Dooley duked it out again 45 years on in a peaky beachbreak at Castaways, with Midget again the winner.)

For many years though it seems the hometown suggestion had taken some shine off the win for him. It had definitely taken the shine off the trophy.

It's back in all its glory now though. Midget too seems to have found peace with the whole event, the aftermath, and his place in surf history. "The trophy is a triumph for Dawn and Jack Eden and the restorer Ross Humphries. I just can't thank Dawn and Jack enough for taking it upon themselves to do this . . . and for always keeping the real story intact."

Ross Humphries is a retired jeweler on Sydney's Southside, and he also recently restored Bob Pike's trophy from his victory in the 1962 Peru International as well as the 100-year-old Sheffield Shield. Midget and his wife Beverlie and the Edens are now looking for somewhere to house the Pike trophy, the Makaha and the Manly trophies for future Australians.

The Australian National Maritime Museum pays homage to King of the Surf Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly AM

Out of Hawaii – King of the Surf feature display:
53 years later the Australian National Maritime Museum pays homage to this 'king of the surf' in a special exhibit featuring his stunning trophies. The display features the carved timber trophy of a surfing warrior from the Makaha championships and the impressive silver plated world globe trophy from the senior men's title won at Manly.

In May 1964 Australian surfing legend Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly (1944 - 2016) put Australia firmly on the surfing map when he won two major international surfing events in the early 1960s. Both represent the holy grail of surfing – the famed Makaha contest in Hawaii – the unofficial world title which Farrelly won in January 1963; and the first World surfing titles in May 1964, held in Manly Australia.  Yesterday Farrelly was posthumously awarded an AM (Member of the general division of the Order of Australia) for significant service to surfing as a competitor and industry pioneer.

In Hawaii in January 1963 Farrelly, an outsider, beat the favoured surfers Hawaiian Joey Cabell and Californian Mike Doyle in the coveted tenth annual Makaha surfing contest, the first non-Hawaiian to do so. Later the following year all three surfers again faced off in an international field in Manly in front of 60,000 spectators. Both trophies have been generously gifted to the museum by Farrelly family.

According to contemporary press Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly possessed a 'superhuman elegance'. He was a dominant force in surfing – 'the King of the surf' at a time of rapid growth in the sportfrom the 1950s to the 60s. Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly was a star of TV and film, a surfing correspondent, an author and a designer of surf and skateboards.

In the past few years 2015 and in 2016 visiting Hawaiian delegations have met with Farrelly at Sydney's beaches - 100 years after Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku had visited Sydney and popularised surfing, to pay homage to the friendship between Hawaii and Australia born of the waves. On one occasion they paddled out from Sydney's Freshwater beach, The Makaha trophy is draped with seed offerings presented to him.

The display also features photos of Farrelly taken by Jack Eden, photographer for the popular Surfabout magazine in the 1960s. The selection is part of a recent collection of 100 of Jack Eden's surf culture photographs gifted to the museum by the Jack and Dawn Eden.

Kevin Sumption, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum said, "We are delighted that the museum can celebrate the life of one of our sporting greats, as well as significant time in our surfing and maritime history, by presenting this display. Our sincere thanks go to the Farrelly and Eden families for their generous gifts to the National Maritime Collection."

The family Farrelly said "We are pleased that by gifting the items to the museum and to the National Maritime Collection Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly's memory and achievements will live on and be shared with future generations and the thousands of visitors that visit the museum each year."
-    Jude Timms,
Communications Officer
Australian National Maritime Museum


Out of Hawaii – King of the Surf is now on display and is part of the museum's FREE galleries.

Darling Harbour, 
Wharf 7, 58 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont  NSW 

The 1962/63 Makaha trophy, also donated and on display. Farrelly rolled the champion surfers from Hawaii and US to win the famed Makaha Championship - the first non-Hawaiian to do so.


About Us >> Contact Us >> Terms & Conditions >> Unsubscribe >> Copyright Surf Media Pty Ltd