Pictured with a Michael Peterson surfboard to raise money for Aussies for Orphans, are from left, co-owner of Woodys Surf Shack in Byron Loren Nowland, Steve Lewis from Aussies for Orphans, surfboard shaper Simon Jones and co-owner of Woodys Caitlin Leiweke .
Pictured with a Michael Peterson surfboard to raise money for Aussies for Orphans, are from left, co-owner of Woodys Surf Shack in Byron Loren Nowland, Steve Lewis from Aussies for Orphans, surfboard shaper Simon Jones and co-owner of Woodys Caitlin Leiweke . Cathy Adams

Surfing legend on board

ONE of the pioneers of competitive surfing has given his support to a Lennox Head charity by signing a replica board from the cult surf movie Morning of the Earth.

Michael Peterson, who now lives quietly at Tweed Heads, was Australia’s most famous surfer in the 1970s.

He won every major surf contest held in Australia by 1975 and placed seventh at the World Cup in 1974.

But Peterson did not cope well with the fame, and his professional surfing career was cut short.

These days he’s a “bit of a recluse” – that’s why local charity Aussies for Orphans was so excited to have him sign an exact replica of the board he used while being filmed for Morning of the Earth.

The charity’s founder, Steve Lewis, said it was “very exciting”.

“Peterson is an absolute legend in the surf world,” he said.

“Getting him to sign anything is like gold.”

The replica board was made by shaper Simon Jones from Woody’s Surf Shack, Byron Bay.

It has been donated to Aussies for Orphans and will be auctioned off at a benefit night, Black White and Bling, to be held on Saturday at the Ballina RSL.

Mr Lewis said he phoned Woody’s Surf Shack and asked them to donate a surfboard to a “really good cause”.

“They checked out our charity and said they would do it,” he said.

“Then they said, ‘What if we could get Michael Peterson to sign it?’.

“And he did, which is just so great.

“Now we need as many people as possible to come along to the fundraising night.

“There are a lot of surfers around here and we thought that having a prize like this would get some of them along.”

Having such a valuable piece of surfing memorabilia up for grabs is particularly meaningful for Mr Lewis because it was a surfing trip to Sri Lanka that first inspired him and his wife, Sue, to start the charity.

They have since helped fund more than seven projects in developing countries.

To book for Black White and Bling or to register your bid for the Peterson signature surfboard, contact Aussies for Orphans on 6687 6004 or visit Aussies For Orphans.



'Consider your fire plan': residents told to be prepared

'Consider your fire plan': residents told to be prepared

A total of 79 bush and grass fires burn across the state

Local Partners