New museum board member plans surf hall of fame

by Shannon Rae Gentry
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

The Wrightsville Beach Museum of History Board of Directors has elected John Sideris to the board.

On June 10, the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History Board of Directors elected John D. Sideris to fill the unexpired seat of Blayne Joyner, who has relocated to Raleigh, N.C.

Sideris is a retired air traffic controller with the Federal Aviation Administration and said in an interview on Thursday, June 20 that now he has time to do the things he cares about like spending time with his family, surfing and giving back to his community.

Sideris has served as vice president of the Wrightsville Beach Longboard Association for more than three years, and even before his first museum board meeting, he said the wheels of ideas have been turning to highlight Wrightsville Beach’s rich history in water sports. 

“Surfing is not new to this community [and] I’d love to keep that archive of history going. It’s so important because in today’s technological world, people bypass looking at where we’ve been,” he said.

Sideris said he and museum board president Haywood Newkirk have discussed Sideris’ experience in fundraising and love of the ocean, and how they could play a role in the museum’s growth.

“[Newkirk] and I have talked about the growth of the Wrightsville Beach Museum and the possibility of adding on a surfing hall of fame, since we have such of rich history here in Wrightsville Beach,” Sideris said.

Sideris said Wrightsville Beach has been home of many surfing greats and pioneers, including Bill Curry, who founded the Wrightsville Beach Longboard Association in 1999. 

“We’ve also got some outstanding artisans in the surfing community who build surfboards and shape them … and a lot of these guys are still in the community making surfboards today with several decades of experience,” he said.

Among the several others, Sideris said names like Will Allison, who founded Allison Surfboards in 1977 and co-founded the Wrightsville Originals in 1996, would be among the ideal candidates to honor in the museum.

While there are some preliminary short-term goals, Sideris said he hopes this project will get off the ground by 2014, with the support of the community and other surfing enthusiasts.

“We’ve already gotten several people who’ve caught wind of what we’re thinking about doing and they’re willing to donate some vintage surfboards and surfing paraphernalia,” he said.

For more information about the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, visit


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