I was surfing at Bondi one day not too long after Bali and I thought, wouldn't it be nice if I could get a little painting of Chloe on the wall near the third ramp where I always park my car and where all the longboarders surf. I called the council and they gave me this chap’s phone number.
His name was Steve Ziergo, (Droogie) is his nick name, the artist at the Ways youth centre.
How do you do, my name is Dave. He said, I know who you are, your Chloe’s dad, I had a dream and in this dream I was asked to paint a portrait of Chloe. He said I’ve got it! I’ve got this, It’s not what you want, it has to be big.
All I said was hello. So I said, start again mate!
He said I had a dream about this, I dreamt about this phone call. I said you are kidding me and he said no.
We went down to the beach to the wall next to the third ramp, he said “I’ve got this spot up here, it is two slabs of wall, they are mine. The council gave it to me to paint and i’m going to do something really nice for you”.. And he did, he put this lovely mural and its been there for over 15 years now. It’s the most photographed part of the wall on the beach.
It is Chloe’s face with frangipani flowers around her, and there is the names of the Australians killed in the Bali bombings that year, including the 6 footballers from the Coogee dolphins. There are also 18 doves, which signifies the 18 people from this state who passed away in the bombing.
Laurie Wilson, the local tourist guy from the council, who knows Chloe’s story, takes groups of tourists to see it everyday. He explains the story behind the mural and they all take photos and all love it. Its really nice.
One day after a almighty storm, most of the sand from Bondi Beach ended up on the promenade. The promenade was completely covered in 6ft of sand, and it looked like there was no sand on the beach. They had to get the sand off the cars and the walk way where all the murals are, and to get it back into the ocean onto the beach. The whole promenade was buried in 6ft of sand except for Chloe’s painting, there was a big ditch, her painting was untouched.
I remember someone took a photo and sent it to me and said look even god wouldn’t dare cover her up. People were so nice in some of the things they say.
Dave Byron, lives in sydney and enjoys taking his granddaughters to the Bondi Beach. His family return to Bali for Holidays often.
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