VALE JOHN HAMBLIN
My favourite Play School presenter is gone
A post I wrote below back in 2012 to John
DEAR JOHN HAMBLIN
MAY 17, 2012
I saw your book in the store a long time ago, I thought I must read that book, but it disappeared from the shelf and unfortunately I haven’t read it till now.
I am halfway through your story and what an interesting life you have lead. I only know you from Play School, so to read about all your earlier endeavours is wonderful. I am loving the book so far.
When I saw Play School was bringing out a 45 year anniversary DVD I knew I had to have it. I needed to introduce my kids to the fantastic funny John I remember as a kid, and let me tell you they loved it.
I listened as the presenters talked on ABC radio about their job, and especially listening for Benita, talk about her wonderful time with you.
When I went to our local bookstore to buy the DVD the older gentleman behind the counter fondly recalled he had a big crush on Benita, and I told him I was buying the DVD because I loved John.
My Nan’s fondest memory of me as a child is singing “Open Wide, come inside, it’s Play School”. It also runs in the family, all my children have loved Play School and I was lucky enough to go to a Play School concert when Benita was still doing them.
Just last year I gave my daughter the day off school just to go watch a playschool concert (her last show) before she grows out of the Play School stage.
My third child who is almost two also loves Play School, and the first thing he does in the morning, after eating of course, is bring me the remote and ask for “Cool Cool”.
I can’t help but compare every new presenter to you. I look at the new ones, judging their awkwardness, (they usually settle down after a couple of years) but no one has yet lived up to you or the likes of Noni, Benita, George and Don.
So why am I sharing all this with you? I am not sure, I am reading your life story and perhaps wanted to share a piece of mine, perhaps it’s the re living the childhood memories, making me feel young again. Those blissful moments of being a child without a care in the world.
I hear you live in Tasmania now, and are an artist. I also live in Tasmania, and if I ever get the chance I would love to meet you, and see some of your wonderful art work.
I read in your book that you still get fan mail as the ABC still pass them on to you, so I hope this letter finds you well.
Sad I never got to meet you!
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