50 years of diving pictures by an Australian expert
Walter A. Starck, Vic Ley, Ron Taylor, Phil Eather,
Richard Weir, Wally Gibbins, Malcolm McLeod, Gai Girdlestone, John Harding.
Springvale Cemetary (Melbourne, Victoria)
Jewish Memorial Garden 2
Wally Muller, Van Laman-Cropp, Ben Cropp, Kathy Troutt, Lynn Roberts, John Michael Harding Senior, Bob Grounds, Dean Cropp – (a future Legend), Ron Taylor, Trevor Collins (with marlin), Valerie May Taylor, Henri J. Bource.
RON IBLE (White Water Wanderers club, Sydney) 30 April 2013 R.I.P. mate
Ron would not like a whole heap of pretty words – “a real good mate” would sum him up. Ron’s guidance and advice plus friendship to me, as a young starting-out aged 18 diver, set a course I’m forever thankful to him for. Although the following name won’t ring bells, Bill Colbourne introduced us when we all worked at the Sydney Markets. Ron Ible was a tough truck driver – as they all were then. Tough physical work that produced a physique similar to the axe-men at wood-chopping events. When Bill retired he went to live in the fishing village near Ron and his family. Two guys who gave me good advice at a time when kids like I was take things for granted. I recently thanked Ron – but regret not being able to do so for Bill who passed away soon after retiring.
The Australian Spear fishing Convention was held at Kangaroo Island, South Australia in December 1963 and was well attended by divers from the east coast. We enjoyed the opportunity in those days to explore Australia.
I got a lift down with Ben Cropp and stayed in his tent with new wife Van Laman, returning later with Bob Grounds and John Barlow.
Bob, John and I and were not impressed with the southern weed inhabiting species, as compared with the big pelagic on the east coast.
The lobsters were plentiful, far more so than the east coast. This was a bonus.
Standard dive gear is shown in this vintage picture. Tarzan brand mask and snorkel from Franc.
(updated 5 September 2010)
(Top)Bob Grounds and Jack Evans, Editor Australian Skindivers Magazine
(Below)John Barlow, John Harding, Bob Grounds
We called at Tathra on the way back from South Australia. Bob Grounds noticed all the abalone and soon found a buyer in Sydney, and so began the commercial industry that exists today.
Had the weather been more favorable we would have explored Gabo Island in Victoria where the ‘abs’ were even more plentiful and larger – but that is not the way it happened. Gabo Island was ‘discovered’ by ab-divers a couple of years later.