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The Bay Boys

Television (Full Length) – 1998

All around us a new city was rising. We were all part of a large, social experiment we didn't even know was going on.
– Presenter Gary McCormick looks back on his childhood in Titahi Bay in the fast growing northern Wellington suburb of Porirua
I'm 44 and should be forgetting about those things, but you know the damage was done...and it's your past and you can't let it go.
– George Harris can't ever forget the violence and abuse he endured while growing up in Porirua
Every failure of the heart, every debt was paid for, standing naked amongst the dunes, nothing of the boy remained, this is how we die. Let no one tell you death comes once, it comes a thousand times.
– Excerpt from a poem about childhood in Titahi Bay by Gary McCormick
Titahi Bay had a higher level of individual, private home ownership than did Porirua East at that time. There was a rivalry between the west of the city, Titahi Bay, Elsdon and Cannon's Creek...it was just that people in the East thought the people in Titahi Bay were 'up themselves'.
– Former Porirua Mayor John Burke on the social tension in Porirua in the 1960s and 70s
The subway beneath Porirua Railway Station was like Checkpoint Charlie. It was a crossing point between the warmth of hearth and home, and the beach and the Bay boys at Titahi Bay and Porirua East. And in Porirua East a whole new set of rules apply.
– Gary McCormick on the local hot spots for suburbian tensions in Porirua in the 1960s
Shit hits the fan in life, you can always go back down the beach and grab your board and take off.
– Titahi Bay's Laughlan 'Lockie' McNaught on his lifelong love of surfing
We never realised you were Pākehā, we never realised we were Māori...we were all surfers.
– Titahi Bay boy Grant Heazlewood looks back to his old friendships at Titahi Bay
I had one of those terrible styrofoam surboards — remember those? I surfed from 12 with my good mate Dave Timms. If I'm ever back in the Bay, I call Dave and tell him what the surf's like.
– Excerpt from an interview with Gary McCormick, The Kapi-Mana News, July 21 2015
It's probably my favourite bit of TV I've done. I looked at growing up in the Bay and the surfer mates I had. I used to organise dances in Porirua as a 17 or 18-year-old and some guys who came along were having a tough time. There wasn't a lot to do in Porirua in those days and we used to get 300 or 400 people in, including members of the Mongrel Mob. A Mob member told me once I was the reason for the gang coming together because the dances were where they met. At one dance, at the hall in Mungavin, it felt like every cop in the Wellington region was in attendance. One of the projects I have planned is to bring all these Bay boys back together, talk about growing up in Porirua and New Zealand at that time. I also want to have a panel discussion at [Porirua museum] Pataka about it.
– Gary McCormick on his 1998 documentary The Bay Boys, The Kapi-Mana News, July 21 2015