Clarence Valley Independent

Baddy lived the ‘simple’ life

Simon Allard’s frame grab, shot from his drone, highlights the breadth of respect much of the surfing fraternity holds for David ‘Baddy’ Treloar.

Geoff Helisma |

Perched in a tree at Green Point, looking southwards across the bay framed by Angourie and Spooky points, it felt like an invisible wave of emotion radiated from a ring of over 400 surfers, as they raised their linked arms, splashed the water and let out a cheer to celebrate the life of David ‘Baddy’ Treloar.

Out in the middle of the bay off Spooky Beach, Baddy’s boat had stood sentry-like overnight, anchored off the reef at the top of Spooky Point, as it awaited the gathering hoards of surfers, family and friends.

Baddy’s surfboard and two trolling rods were fixed to the boat to represent the lifestyle he had carved out at Angourie since he moved there in 1970.

It was a lifestyle – one that many surfers have dreamt of achieving – burnt into surfing folklore as a result of a seven-and-a-half minute segment in the iconic 1972 surfing film, Morning of the Earth.

Cut to John J Francis’s song, Simple Ben, the sequence depicts Baddy making a surfboard and surfing it at Angourie Point.

Once the circle was fully formed, Kendall O’Brien and his father, Ray, piloted the boat to the centre of the circle.

“We were asked by Laurie [Towner, Baddy’s stepson] to get on the boat and get everyone organised into the circle,” says Ray.

“Once all the family members got into the centre, we called for minute’s silence … which was broken when Kendall blew the [Hawaiian] conch shell to signal for all to splash the water to celebrate Baddy’s life and to show their respect.”

A flare was lit to mark the occasion, too.

Simple Ben: “He said his name was Simple Ben but not what I’d believe / Christened by the way he thought and not the way he lived / I’ve seen the best and worst that we have here on our earth / And finally decided on the things that I get worth.

“Just give me sunshine through the autumn, sweet snow to the spring / Corn by the water of an old mill stream, and you give me all, you give me all.”

RIP David ‘Baddy’ Treloar.

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