Australian surfers were always good at travelling and in 1962 a bunch of blokes all met up on the ship to Hawaii. They hadn’t planned it that way but all had the same idea to travel that year and ship was the best and cheapest way to get there back then.
Manly surfer Geoff Bull was one of those blokes and being a photographer with “The Sydney Morning Herald” he always had a camera. He also had a custom Bennett semi-gun made for the trip.
Geoff sent these photos to me some years ago and as we look back at our surf history it’s shots like these that become the real treasures of the past.
Here are the boys walking along a street in downtown Honolulu. Robert “Doc” Spence is on the left, eminent Sydney surgeon and future president of the Australian Surf-riders Association. Geoff is third from the right then Robert Conneeley and Ken Adler. The rest of the blokes names I’ve misplaced but Bob Boot was one and Norm Stamm another. Owen Pilon took the photo with Geoff’s camera.
This next photo shows “buying gas” for the old cars they bought to get around in. “Waipio Service” is on the sign, Waipio being not far from Pearl City on the way to the North Shore. Check out the classic cars and the big wave boards on the racks.
What a great time they must’ve had, no huge crowds in those days and the north shore would’ve been pretty laid back. The memories of that trip would last forever.
Endnote: Geoff Bull became an abalone diver in Tasmania and went on to become one of Australia’s iconic winemakers with his Freycinet Vineyard on Tasmania’s east coast.
Words by Bryan Hughes, photos © Geoff Bull.