A perfect adios for Aido

Surfers paddle out for Aido, Tea Tree, Friday afternoon.

Surfers paddle out beyond the break and form a circle for several reasons: it can be to seek blessing for an event, to protest an action that may damage our revered coastline, or to celebrate the life of a surfer who has passed.

Occasionally it can be all three at once. Such was the case when more than 100 Noosa surfers of all ages gathered at Tea Tree Bay last Friday in perfect weather to give a surfer’s farewell to Adrian “Aido” Spelt.

The day before it had been the turn of the musician tribe and the general community when more than 300 gathered riverside on another perfect Noosa winter day to celebrate in song the life of a man who touched so many lives in his 73 years. The A-list of local musos, including several iterations of Aido’s band The SandFlys, The Freddies, the Charles-Camilleri Connection, Harii Bandhu and folkie Brendan Dowd, played a magnificent two-hour set, culminating in the whole lineup joining in a rousing Stand By Me.

Local music guru Barry Charles posted: “I’ll never forget this morning. What a beautiful but sad experience it was for me and I’m sure for many others. To lose such a very special person who meant so much to many in our community, I felt his spirit while I was singing, and the emotion was overwhelming at times.”

Emotions were still running high when the surfing community gathered at Tea Tree (Aido’s favourite point break) the next day. For participants and observers it was another happy/sad occasion. We were there to bless Aido for a life well lived, and to bless his family in their grief; we were there to protest him going too soon; and we were there to celebrate every moment we got to share with him.

Vale Aido. – Phil J

All paddle-out photos courtesy of Melissa Hoareau Photography.