Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Ron Taylor  1965 world spearfishing champion and the Maori wrasse he speared.

 Ron Taylor - press conference Sydney airport.

 Wally surfacing after a scuba dive on the Birchgrove Park, a shipwreck in 160 feet of depth (or more) off the northern beaches of Sydney.  The jewfish (mulloway) are/were common visitors to the wreck.  Wally and a friend discovered the wreck's location with a borrow depth sounder, an incredible effort in the early 1960s.

Wally Gibbins at the annual divers convention held each November at Heron Island (southern Great Barrier Reef) - when attracting spearman was a worthwhile potential.  (A few years before the island installed a scuba compressor).  The giant Queensland groper would have been speared in 1962, the 11foot tiger shark the following year - although not at the island.  Wally found it at Sykes Reef and used a newly devised 10 gauge (bigger cartridge) shotgun powerhead to make it the largest shark taken by a diver, in Australia.  Towed it back to Heron for this stunning picture.
Wal's big shoulder gun (few could load it), collection from salvage work in The Solomon Islands, sea shells for sale at Coffs Harbour Jetty - Sunday market day.

Peter Kemp (Tahiti 1965) a few years earlier at Norah Head NSW (About 1961)

Peter Kemp with Venus Tusk Fish at Flinders Reef, Cape Moreton (Qld).  Peter was Wal's team mate in the world championships, Tahiti.

By the early 1960s Wal's boat was top of the line.  While scuba diving outside North Head, Sydney, the anchored boat, displaying a divers flag, was 'rescued' by the water police (assuming the owner had fallen overboard) who then managed to sink it by towing it rear first to safety.  The boat is shown in the travel documentary "Skindiving Paradise" at Heron Island 1963.  (Not yet available on You Tube).

John Sumner (not a world champion entrant) was Wal Gibbins partner in the final Solomon Islands salvage project

Popular cover picture
Brown spotted cod

Vic Ley (Cuba 1967) in practice a few years before.  Cook Island  NSW

Vic Ley during his first Barrier Reef trip , August 1963  (Photo by Valerie Heighes - soon to be Taylor)
Vic Ley and Ron Taylor (small picture) both went to Cuba in 1967

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