IRVIN ROCKMAN & HENRI BOURCE – CLOSE DIVING FRIENDS

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(The late) Irvin Rockman CBE (high profile underwater photographer) and his friend, celebrity shark bite victim and musician (also the late) Henri Bource, both of Victoria where Irvin Rockman was a former Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne and Henri Bource was a founding member and saxophonist  with The Thunderbirds.

Both were members of the Victorian Aqualung Club and both are talented performers, especially when they were in each others presence.

A white pointer shark took Henri’s leg whilst he was snorkel diving with sea lions (seals) at the Lady Julia Percy Islands near Warnambool, Victoria.

Henri produced and appeared in a documentary feature length film Savage Shadows.

Irvin Rockman was a Melbourne businessman,  hotel owner and IT innovator, photographer of Underwater Australia.

(updated 5 September 2010)

FRIEND IN HAND HOTEL

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John Harding Snr. (front right) outside his Sydney Hotel about 1971. Patrons were a colorful mix of \wharfies\, fruit barrow men, greyhound dog trainers and petty criminals.

The second eldest of twelve children, my father apparently chose to have a very small family of his own. ME.

I always had the safety net of working in Dad’s pub if all else failed. I did a little part-time work in exchange for my \board\ – this allowed me an experiment at making a living out of underwater photography sales.

We had two boats parked in our garage. One mine and one for Dad. The car lived on the street outside.

My first big gamble was promoting and presenting Ron Taylor’s underwater film shows. With no cash in the bank I printed 10,000 \**Shark Fighters**\ programmes (16 pages each A4), 4000 posters in two colors, and rented a cinema for a month. I was then aged 23.

I styled the shark films around surf film show presentations – using the same venues and advertising. Even the same disc jockey.

I guess **Paul Witzig** (Surfing Promotions and \The Endless Summer\ film) was inspiring me.

The cellar below which held a couple of dozen 18 gallon kegs of beer was also my photographic darkroom. It was pitch black.

Often I go down into the cellar late at night to print black and white photographs from medium format negatives.

I might quit early the next morning, sometimes as late as 3am. The wet prints would then be laid on the dining room carpet upstairs to dry.

I guess Dad was proud of my work. He never said anything but must have been impressed, especially when some of the pictures made front page stories on Sydney tabloid evening newspapers.

Footnote: The owner of the hotel today is Peter Byrne