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Max Pendergast

Max Pendergast
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The most common question asked of Max is “Have you lived in Byron Bay all your life?” His laconic reply “Not yet!” Born in the Bay in 1943, Max has been in or on the ocean from the age of eight, swimming, surfing. diving, sailing and fishing. You could call him a true waterman. These interests have enabled him to travel extensively throughout the Pacific and particularly to his beloved Hawaii, where 30 years ago his great friends Rell Sunn and Keoki Puaoi introduced him to the true Hawaiian way of life. Max and his wife Yvonne were the foundation members of the Byron Bay Malibu Club of which they are both life members. Although they both no longer surf competitively, for the past 22 years they have organised and conducted a surf contest in conjunction with the Byron Bay Malibu Classic called “The Future Legends” for kids under 12 years old. Each year Max writes and illustrates a colouring-in book for the contest, mainly aimed at water safety, surf etiquette and the ocean environment, to gently try to educate the kids about the ocean. Still surfing “when it pleases me“ Max admits he is a little slower getting to his feet these days but he is trialing a new board which is a radical version of the Hawaiian Paipo so he can “Lay down surf!” and be more relaxed about it. Likes: Hawaiian music (He has an extensive collection), surfing the Cape, or “Little Beach” as it was always known. Early morning walks on the beach, being with family. The description of “Island time”, “Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe not at all!” Dislikes: Crowds, People who take the ocean for granted, inexperienced people that put peoples lives at stake....There is a saying on one of the islands “A fool and the sea is soon drowned!" We are not fools and we are only drowned sometimes...

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THE NOT SO OLD MAN AND THE SEA Back in the early days in Byron Bay, none of us had much money. My workmate at...

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It's funny as you get older, we all seem to have a closer connection to the past. Recently we have posted a selection of...

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We were fortunate on a number of occasions to spend some time at Makaha in Hawaii with Rell Sunn “The Queen of Makaha”. Rell...

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The Byron Bay Jetty in 1950 The Byron Bay Jetty's Words and Photos by Max Pendergast There were actually two jetty’s built in Byron Bay, the first...

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A crowded day at The Pass My wife Von and I were sitting at the water’s edge at Wategos last week just enjoying being there,...

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Today, you wouldn't be able to rent a place at Watego's for a night for $200, but back in early days, Wategos Beach was...

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It doesn't take any words to be transported back to the 'hey day' surfing moments of the 60's, with these amazing images from Max...

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When people are asked; "What do you think is the most dangerous thing about surfing or ocean swimming?", their most common reply is “Sharks”,...

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Prior to 1979 all hotels in N.S.W. were closed on Sunday. If a number of the old hardened drinkers, (I wouldn’t say drunks, just...

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Photo: The Original Bridge During the early ‘60s the bridge was the surfing kindergarden for local Lismore and Ballina surfers. My wife Yvonne learned to surf...