Vic Carroll – Supporter of Ocean Sports and Great Listener

Photo Above: Nick Carroll on the bench with a plaque honouring his father

When you’re at the surf club next checking out the surf, have a sit with Vic.  He’s there every day taking in the comings and goings of our community and visitors alike.

He’s a quiet sort of guy, but a good listener.  His son, Nick, tells us about his love of our community, the ocean and his understanding of life.

Vic and very small Nick at Bungan Beach, summer 1961
"Vic’s seat

My Dad, Victor Joseph Carroll, moved us to the Newport area from Queensland in 1961, when I was a year and a half old. I already had an older sister, Jo. Little brother Tom showed up about a year after the move.

Dad grew up in Mackay; he had no surf background but moved to Newport thinking it would be good for us to grow up in a natural coastal place, it would absorb our energies. It did that, but Dad also fell for the beach. His work kept him in town a lot but every morning without fail, for nearly two decades, he would run and swim from 6.30 to 7am. This was the 1970s, pre Knackers. Some of his fellow swimmers of the time included Malcolm Cooper, George Phelps, Terry Gorman, and occasionally Tim Bristow, then the Newport Arms bouncer.

We would go down, with him or maybe a bit before, running to the beach at dawn, with our Coolite foam surfboards, and he’d have to call us out to give us a ride home.

Dad was worried that surfing would turn out to be a distraction from the real business of life. I think he was quietly amused to see it actually turn into a life for his two sons. He came to realise just how much we learned from the experience, and how powerful it was. He was full of knowledge and wisdom, but he’d given us a chance to find our own kinds of knowledge. Once in 1990 he came to Hawaii and stayed with us in winter on the North Shore, watched us riding those astonishing waves, met some of our scary friends, and it changed his relationship with us somehow, he saw us then as fully grown people who’d carved our paths out of the raw material of the Newport sandbars.

He eventually moved away from Newport but stayed very interested in the suburb and the lives of its inhabitants. He was fascinated by the development of the Academy, and followed all the races of the Nutri-Grain series and the Aussies on TV, as much it was televised. 

Dad gave us a great gift by moving here to Newport. Having a seat flanking the club’s beach side door, with George Phelps’s seat flanking the other side, feels quite symmetrical, symbolically as well as physically. I sit on the bench every day and sometimes ask his advice on various subjects. "
Photo above: Carroll Clan – Tom, Nick and Jo on Newport Beach, 1967

Thanks to Nick Carroll for this great story.

If you would like to share any personal stories about our community or of locals present and past, please forward them with pictures to [email protected].  We’d love to hear from you!