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Location: Central California

Vane Ivanovic--His spearfishing books & life

Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:45 pm

In preparation for a forthcoming book I have been reviewing the vintage diving books in my library related to spear fishing and the contributions specifically made by California Spear fishermen & women, which were and are monumental. Well known divers like the Bottom Scratchers, Wally Potts and Jack Prodanovich and lesser known and long disbanded Southern California Skin Diving club diver like Frank Rodecker were mentioned.

California specifically Southern California was and still is the fountain head of recreational diving not only in the United States but for the world .

Yesterday I was reviewing all the spear fishing books published in the US and great Britain by the late great Ivan S. Ivanovic aka Vane Ivanovic. They are as follows;

Sub-marine spearfishing by I.S Ivanovic, Nicolas Kaye, London, 1950;

Spearfishing (same book) A.S. Barnes, NYC, 1951 (see statement page 10)
(These two books are Very Rare, therefore very expensive to purchase IF they can be located)
Mr. Ivanovic then changed his name to "Vane Ivanovic"

Modern Spearfishing, was published by A.S. Barnes, NYC, 1955:

Modern Spear fishing, was his last and totally revised book. It was published by two companies;
Kaye-Ward, London, 1974
Henry Regnery &Co, NYC 1975.

LX; Memories of a Jugoslav was the last book authored by Vane Ivanovic, which was published in the US in 1977 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (HBJ). A 435 page autobiographical account of an amazing life of adventure which included at least three chapters related to diving; Spearfishing; page 329, Sharks; page 333, British Virgins Islands; page 349.

Vane who was born in Yugoslavia in 1913 passed to the big reef in the sky in 1998 in his adapted country of England.
Interesting side bar, Reg Valentine, the British diving author certified Vane as a diver several years before his death - seems he didn't have a "C" card and rules are rules especially in jolly old England. [i](YA think you have problems with vintage diving--he was a vintage diver!)

It should be noted that Vane Ivanovic and Bill Jovanovich both Yugoslavs and were known to be well acquainted.

In the 1970s under the leadership of Jovanovich as president of HBJ continued its diversification and acquired a number of interesting properties, including Sea World in San Diego and short time later Marineland of the Pacific, at Portuguese bend near San Pedro.

There was much controversy about the take over of Marineland which was aging-- it had been in existence since 1954 and was then 33 years old. The officials of HBJ assured the concerned populace all would remain the same.

With in days after acquiring title to the property the marine life was being shipped south to Sea World and six weeks later in 1987 the Marineland as so many knew it and enjoyed it was closed forever.

I always had a soft spot in my heart for Marineland.

Many of the early LA County instructors were employed there from the very top management to the medial entry level positions. I have had several personally conducted behind the scenes tours have dove in the huge fish tank numerous times as part of the LA Co UW instructor courses which I was a component.

The biggest thrill associated with Marineland was when my two young daughters Roni and Randi were "chosen" from the crowd to feed the captive killer Whale "Bubbles" ( later renamed "Shamu" when transferred to Sea World.) Roni's classic comment was "That fish has bad breathe" and Randi's was "Daddy that is a big fish!)

I also had a obtuse honor some what associated with Marineland. I was contacted by Dave Hanna, the son of one of the partners in Hana Barbera productions and owners at that time of Marineland, to privately teach him to dive at the families' home on the beach in Laguna Beach. He was a great gracious student and became a very good diver."

Now back to my research...

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