HISTORY OF THE ‘PA’ & ‘MA’ BENDALL MEMORIAL CONTEST
In 1974 the inaugural ‘Pa’ Bendall Memorial Contest was organised as a mark of respect for the Charles Ben (Pa) Bendall.
‘Pa’ is the grandad of surfing in Queensland. He and his wife Marjory (Ma) settled in Caloundra in the 1950’s.There were only a handful of other surfers living locally at the time, and Ma & Pa became the mother & father of surfing on the Sunshine Coast.
Pa formed the invitational “Moffateers’ in 1966 as a club to promote integrity and sportsmanship in the sport of surfing. He encouraged the surfing youth of the sunshine coast to maintain their good character by offering them free membership to the club.
Using the club contests as training and conditioning for more challenging contests; Pa encouraged the young Moffateers to compete in regional, state and national championships.
In 1973 Pa passed away and his funeral service was conducted overlooking his beloved Moffat waves and his ashes were scattered from a plane over the water.
In August 1973 a memorial plaque was unveiled; in what is know as the Pa Bendall Park, on Moffat Headland over looking the surf.
The contest is a memorial to Pa’s enthusiasm for surfing and his efforts in promoting the sport and encouraging the young surfers of Caloundra and surfers worldwide.
The first Pa Bendall Memorial contest was held at Moffat Beach on the 2nd and 3rd Of February 1974 in 3- 4 foot surf. First prize was $1500, the largest prise offered for any Australian surfing contest at the time. The competition attracted every professional surfer in the country including Wayne (Rabbit) Bartholomew, Simon Anderson and Hawaiian legend Gerry Lopez as well as hot local talent.
Since its inception the contest has been held for 37 consecutive years (9 as the Ma & Pa Bendall) and has been a spring board for many young surfers moving into the professional ranks with past winners including Australian and World champions and legends. It has also made a significant contribution to the community fabric of Caloundra and helped raise the profile of the region through international publicity created by the contest.