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SPEAKYS CELEBRATES: 1969-2009

Terry and staff at SpeakysAmong the names of Brian Singer, Wayne Lynch, Maurice Cole and Dave Warbrick – another name that resonates in that famous Bells Beach pack of the 50s and 60s is Terry ‘Speaky’ Lyons.

Lyons was given the nick name ‘Speaky’ from a surfing friend called ‘Long John’ who thought he didn’t talk a lot. Friends soon began to call him by the name that he would soon use for his well known Surf n’ Sport Store.

The Torquay resident is celebrating 40 years of successfully running his Speakys
Surf n’ Sports Store.

He opened his first store at the age of 21 on Gilbert Street in Torquay where the Hayden Real Estate Offices now are situated.

“We were originally a very small shop. When Rip Curl first launched we only had a limited number of wetsuits and Quiksilver only had boardshorts,” said Lyons.  

“Now there is not a clothing accessory the surf companies don’t make and as they’ve grown and expanded, we have too.”

Lyons then left the Torquay location to start stores in Geelong one at 64-66  Malop Street and the other at 114 Little Malop Street. He also has another store called Off Piste at Mt.Buller that specialises in snow gear. Apart from surfing, Lyons is passionate about skiing and has been a ski patroller at Mt Buller during winter for the past 20 years.

At 61, Lyons ensures that he still works in the store on daily basis and has managed the store with his son Nathan for the past 20 years. He also claims that through the years almost every famous surfer has come through the stores doors.

Lyons attributes the success of Speakys to good staff and personal service,

“You can’t operate for 40 years without good and loyal staff.”

“People like to come in to the store and speak to the person who runs it. They like the old fashioned service.”

“A lot of the other big stores are just surfing supermarket – you are treated like a number, not a customer.”

As recognition of his 40 years, he is putting on a 40% off sale for his customers.

 

Words by Sarah Lawrence

Courtesy of Surf Coast Times
August 2009

 

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