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Peter Troy Farewell

[ From: Peter Troy farewell | thedaily.com.au, 8 October 2008 ]


There were two Peter Troys.

There was Peter Troy the fabled adventurer, someone who pioneered surfing around the globe and whose idea of a good time was crossing the Atlantic with no navigational equipment and limited sailing experience.

Then there was the chartered accountant, a meticulous man who assembled a lauded stamp collection.

The Australian Surfing Hall of Fame inductee’s family and friends remembered “both men” when they gathered in Nambour yesterday to celebrate his extraordinary life.

Mr Troy died last Tuesday from a blood clot on the lung.

He was 69.

As per his family’s request, many guests at the funeral wore loud shirts in honour of a colourful life.

Two surfboards were erected on either side of the coffin, which was drapped in a Surfing Australia flag, as a projector flashed images of Mr Troy’s adventures to the sounds of the ’60s.

Good friend Phil Jarratt told the audience how, like numerous people, he grew up worshipping the Australian surfing representative.

“He became the template for my life,” he said.

Mr Jarratt said his friend was one of the first people to surf the world-famous Bells Beach break in Victoria, introduced surfing in Brazil and hitch-hiked between the South Pole and North Pole.

“At the time of his death he was planning a trip to Antarctica,” he recalled.

Mr Jarratt said the Order of Australia medal recipient, who is survived by his wife Libby and stepchildren Lisa and Andrew, was totally committed to the surfing culture.

“Many thousands of surfers’ lives were changed by the idea of Peter Troy.’’

Another close friend of the legendary surfer, International Surfing Association vice-president Alan Atkins, described him as a “fountain of knowledge” and an expert on a 16-foot toothpick surfboard.

He said Mr Troy bridged the age gap by pushing the boundaries and possessed a contagious enthusiasm.

There was always a bit of excitement when he was around. “We all saw him as the master adventurer,” he said.

Mr Atkins said his friend thought it was important the history of surfing was kept alive.

Given Mr Troy is an integral part of that history, keeping the origins of the sport alive will, in essence, keep him alive. “Peter’s legacy is with us all,” Mr Atkins said.

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