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with friends like these ……..

On the right of this rambunctious trio is Mike Bennett, aka The Canadian Kook, called thusly on account of his long and distinguished record of serious maims and life-threatening injuries inflicted on all ages and sexes of the bathing population of South Bondi when his riderless board ploughed bounced and smashed its way through them. Again and again.

Carnage. Blood in the water. Broken bones and shattered teeth.

The three things that we, the younger of that outstanding mob of miscreants bludgers and no-hopers who loitered by the old shed took great efforts to avoid were (1) bluebottles (2) Aub Laidlaw and (3) The Kook’s loose board.

Mike’s nickname was well-earned. There was a ward named after him at St Vincents Private apparently and it’s common knowledge that at times a used plaster cast was hurled at him from the walkway above his sunbathing station at South Bondi.

Paul Lechner, Queensland surfer, Bondi boys, Mick McKelvey & Jimmy Robison, self, The Canadian kook.

This pic ^ arrived in the mail the other day from Mike. The other guys I don’t know but the shot proves that after surfing has faded all a man has left is a wardrobe of Hawaiian shirts, a Sheraton suntan and quality teeth implants. Plus they probably all play golf, or tennis.

This is another pic Mike sent over of the same four blokes back in the day. We’re looking at the early generation of surfers here.

Nobody was loose in those days. They all had short hair combed into a sharp part, wore hair oil, buttoned up their suits, wore thin ties and grooved outside the office in daytime to the Everly Brothers. Asamatteroffact they look like the Everly Brothers.

The only item that saves this ^ is the winkle-picker on Mike’s left foot. But what really hurts is that there are no babes in the shot.

Not one.

Hiya, big guy, we’re over here

Header pic is Neilson Park.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mike Bennett #

    Well Pete, what can I say about your defamation of The Canadian Kook?
    You may now have destroyed whatever is left of my infamous reputation! Your use of a photo from 1962 at Nielson’s Park going left and not using one of me locked in the tube at Pipeline is humiliating. Thank God I wasn’t riding my Mick Simmons Checkerboard “Sparklo” board. You would have had a field day with that one! And remember Pete, how courageous it was for me to enter the then shark infested waters of Sydney Harbor, what bravery that took!
    You also made fun of our dental implants, disgusting, how else could we continue to eat pies and sausage rolls. We had to get them! I’m surprised you didn’t mention our knee replacement and shoulder surgeries, you’re slipping mate. Knocking Aloha shirts, ties,suits, shoes, we looked great. Lack of girls in the picture, is nothing sacred to you? You should have seen who took the picture. She was beautiful, what a spunky!
    And finally what really upsets me are your accusations of maiming and injuring my fellow surfers. How else was I to learn? We had no leashes, not my fault, they should have got out of the way! Anyway I’m sure they had insurance, if not, the new wing in the hospital took care of them. Hope you’re nicer to me in the future Pete, the Canadian Kook is alive and well. Beware, he may return to your favorite surf spot riding a Goat Boat. Cowabunga, I’m stoked!

    April 3, 2018
  2. As long as you don’t send those ho-dads ….. goat boats I can deal with. And tell Andy to go easy on the chockkie chips.

    April 3, 2018
  3. The first one could be an album cover, the second one, just happy old men.

    April 3, 2018
  4. Mike Bennett #

    Careful Pete, those ho-dads might have goat boats too, we’ll have you surrounded mate. Regarding Andy, couple a pounds won’t hurt him, he still has his hair to get the gals.
    Shane, you’re right “happy old men,” and still talking about the old days, the surf and the shielas. Guess we’ll never grow up, anyway, who wants to…not me?

    April 4, 2018
  5. Russell Hill #

    Aub Laidlaw……… Thanks for the memories. I can smell the coppertone & feel the sand between my toes.

    April 5, 2018
  6. Hay …… Leave my big brother Michael alone ! Someone has to defend him …and by the way… His teeth look great 😀

    April 30, 2018
  7. Guy’s a spunk, Suzan, truly, but he’s South Bondi … and this is what we do.

    April 30, 2018
  8. Mike Bennett #

    Ahh, so nice to have a little sister that’s got my back. She’s a true blue fair dinkum Aussie mate!

    May 9, 2018

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