With a unanimous vote, the Redondo Beach City Council approved Tuesday conceptual plans for a Meistrell memorial sculpture at the entrance to Seaside Lagoon and authorized city staff to negotiate an agreement for receipt of the donated sculpture.
The proposed life-sized bronze sculpture of Bob and Bill Meistrell—co-founders of Body Glove—and accompanying benches will be financed entirely through donations, according to Dinah Lary, a member of a committee formed to erect the sculpture. The project is expected to cost more than $130,000.
"I thought it would be great to have a life-sized statue (of the Meistrell twins) somewhere in the community so we could all put our arms around it," Lary said. "People can come here and know this is where all surfing really started, no matter what Huntington Beach says."
The fundraising for the statue, which will be spearheaded by the Meistrell family and the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce, will begin in earnest Sunday at the paddle-out to honor Bob Meistrell.
"The influence that Body Glove and Bob and Bill have made in the community is pretty remarkable," Lary told the council. "Its interesting for me to hear all these stories now that Bob has passed … People you had no clue who knew Bob considered him a friend."
Plans for the memorial call for the life-sized statue, which will be sculpted by former Body GLove surfer Chris Barela and based on the photograph of the twins as young men in their lifeguard gear, to be surrounded by three benches. Commemorative bricks will also be available for sale.
The council was enthusiastic about the idea of the memorial.
"This is a great thing you're doing, and this is a great location you have here," said Mayor Steve Aspel.
Councilman Bill Brand, who represents the harbor area as part of his District 2, said he "love(d) the idea."