Anyone well worth remembering is worth remember well. Such is the case of John Bain (1943-2016).
June 2016, my blog post Remembering John Bain had a far reaching effect fetching comments with an outpouring of love for John threaded through great stories and fond memories. Additionally, Squire Martin Wilkinson felt strongly that there should be an exhibition of John’s iconic paintings of surfers and others who were fortunate to have been painted by him.
Gony Zubizaretta with his portrait by John Bain
Fast forward to September 2023, Cascais, Portugal.
This is where I turn this over to a dear friend Faith Milnes. John and Faith were of the same mind, world travelers, highly creative souls who shared a wicked sense of humor. They surfed, laughed, ate, drank, and cared deeply for each together. Faith was with John through the end, and instrumental in making this tribute and exhibition of John Bain come to fruition.
Selected portraits by John Bain installed at the Hotel Oitavos, Cascais, Portugal
“Thank you all for coming to this celebration of John Bain and his connection to surfing and Portugal.
I should start by saying that I met John shortly after we had both moved to the North Shore in 1973. We were both artists, both had come to Hawaii from the New York City area and both had traveled. I should also add that we both had an appreciation of the absurdity of life. As soon as I met John I recognized that loony sense of humor.
I would often be summoned to that beautiful front yard with “I’ve got a bottle of Bubbly!”. One time when I arrived he introduced me to two newly met fellows: Perry St. Germans, the Earl of Cornwall, and Squire Martin Wilkinson. John and Perry became very close friends and when Perry was able to get the lease for that wonderful front house, it was helpful to John in terms of a secure situation and Perry’s support and whole hearted embrace of the North Shore scene. I remember one year when the Eddie was on and I went by to visit and watch. John and Perry were both in their element, elated by the guests and the action and I think some of you were there.
Even before that I met Joao Barbosa, Tiago Pires, Tó Gama, José Seabra. John was the Portuguese Connection to the North Shore surf scene.
I would like to thank the people who made this exhibition possible and made it happen.
The exhibition also moved up the coast to Boardriders, Ericeira, Portugal. Faith is second from left- and also on John’s lap from a vintage photo shown on screen behind them!
Thank you to Rodrigo Champalimaud and his family for the gracious offer of the hotel for the start of the exhibit. That got things going.
Thank you to the Ericeira Boardriders for also hosting the exhibition and introducing Johns work to some of the up and coming surfers.
Sara Sanz Pinto who has been a ROCKSTAR on this end. I’m not sure if it was my idea or hers or perhaps what the French call a: Folie a Deux, two people with a crazy idea. This would not have happened without Sara making this a truly professional show.
Sara has found us :
Joao Vaz de Oliveira who has designed the amazing graphics and directed the video you’re about to watch.
Catarina de Oliveira to design the installation of the work.
Thanks to:Celma Ribeiro who got the go ahead from the Portuguese Consulate in San Francisco. And worked so hard on the Hawaii end to make it happen.
Dylan Aoki who brought all the work over in two big board bags.
Jim Mensching, we have been biting our nails through the whole year.
Jim Mensching and his girlfriend Sandra
Theresa van Gruenen who has written the biography of John and also done publicity on the Hawaii end.
Jason for his slide show and support.
All of Johns friends on both sides of the world who loved the man and knew him have made this come about. You know who you are and thank you.”–Faith Milnes
Faith Miles (in white) with friends