A Life In Cars

The life story of Dickie Sutherland


Surfing in the 60’s – a moment of reflection

Surfing Refections

The 1960s Surfing a moment of reflection.

Surfing a new craze had become a way of life for our generation, with the freedom of the car, Surf-chaser, mates would pile into their cars and head off down the coast surfing for the weekend.  With the enthusiasm of youth, there was much fun to be had, but there were risks one such incident on the October long weekend in 1966, a cousin of one of our Group, along with his four mates were killed in a road crash when returning from surfing. 

It’s over 50 years ago since five surfer mates were killed when their car with a collided train at Middleton

Jill Pengelley, Sunday Mail (SA)

October 8, 2016, 10:00pm


It’s 50 years ago this month since five surfer mates were killed when their car and a train collided at Middleton

FIVE young mates strapped their Malibu boards to the roof of an FB Holden, piled in and drove off into the sunset. It was the end of the October long weekend in 1966.

Behind them was a popular surfing spot near Middleton – ahead lay parents in Adelaide, waiting to feed their sandy, sunburnt boys.

They would have had the radio on and probably were singing along to The Beach Boys or The Beatles, says friend Greg Habib, who was in Moana, waiting for them to pick him up.

He started to worry when his ride back to Somerton Park didn’t show.

Police believe Michael Laver, 18, may have been blinded by the sun low in the sky as he entered a level crossing on the Goolwa-to-Port Elliot road at 5.39pm.  His car struck a passenger train, which dragged the car 20 metres, crushing all its occupants. They were Michael, who mates called “Spider”, his cousin, Greg Rodda, 18, John Martin, 19, Chris Toms, 19, and John Reordan, 17.

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