Tributes flow after death of beloved ‘Mr Wategos’
A BELOVED surfer who was born at Wategos and surfed there almost daily has passed away.
Johnny Keevers, 72, was often called Mr Wategos, and apart from his surfing prowess, was known for his wicked sense of humour, kindness and as a generous spirit.
The Byron Bay Malibu Club posted on its Facebook page the news of his death.
"The Malibu Club is very saddened to hear about the sudden passing of John Keevers," they wrote.
"We send our heartfelt condolences to Possum and all the Keevers / Watego family.
"John was a life member of the club and a remarkable surfer.
"He will be greatly missed by all the regulars down at Wategos.
"Early morning surfs won't be quite the same. Rest in peace."
Member Jim Rogers posted: "Johnny was Wategos. Born and grew up there. Surfing early nearly every day and still ripping at 72. He was my mate ‒ we'll all miss him in the water and at the Table of Knowledge. It won't be the same."
John Giles posted: "Very sad news. A lovely bloke in the nicest way. Early morning charger and as layback as they come. We'll miss you in the line-up but you'll still be there. Condolences to the very extensive Keevers family. RIP JK."
From New Zealand a heartfelt posting: "AAAAUUUUEEEEE. Our good friend and great personality BIG JOHNNY from Wategos has caught the wave of the day … to Eternity.
"A member of The Australian chapter of The Moananui, he visited and surfed in Aotearoa with The famous Byron Bay Malibu Club in years past.
"A maestro dancing on board or dance floor, he was renown and respected far and wide for his tremendous community character and solid as rock family man.
"They don't cut a " Man out of Granite " like that anymore. Oh the times we all shared and the magic of our era.
"Surf on Big Johnny, surf on upon our tears of love as we remember you."
Guy Midford posted: "Johnny was a big man in so many ways. A very sad day. Truly a giant totara has fallen. Arohanui."