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A Celebration of John Clarke

Read Monday, 10 Jul 2017

On Sunday 2 July, crowds filled the Melbourne Town Hall to pay tribute – and share in the humour of – the late satirist John Clarke. Here, we’re sharing photos and a full audio recording of the event, as well as a rundown of the evening’s programme.

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Photo of John Clarke in character as Fred Dagg
John Clarke as Fred Dagg


The programme

Aunty Carolyn Briggs
Welcome to Country.

Bryan Dawe
A few words on John.

Photo of Brian Dawe
Brian Dawe

Lorin Clarke
Thank you, welcome, and a little bit about the programme for the evening.

Photo of Lorin Clarke
Lorin Clarke

Mary Kenneally
Seamus Heaney’s ‘Post Script’.

Judy Horacek
An excerpt from ‘Quiz Answers’, a series printed in the Age and on John’s website.

Richard Keddie
On working with John Clarke.

Michael Heyward
On working with John as an editor. Ended with John reading from The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse (CD).

Wendy Harmer
Reading from John’s latest collection of little stories, ‘Commonplace’, in Meanjin.

Martin Flanagan
Reading from John’s book, The Tournament.

Photo of Wendy Harmer
Wendy Harmer
Photo of Martin Flanagan
Martin Flanagan

Gina Riley
Reading her own poem, ‘John John Morrison Morrison’, heavily influenced by A. A. Milne, whom John believed to be heavily influenced by Australian poet RACV Milne (and whose work, discovered by John, is here).

Shane Maloney
On John and golf, frisbee, diving, and Shane’s cameo role in Stiff and The Brush Off.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe
Reading Part III of Auden’s ‘In Memory of W.B. Yeats’.

Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda Bull, Paul Dempsey, and Jeremy Smith
Singing Meet Me in the Middle of the Air, by Paul Kelly.

Andrew Denton
Reading Anthony Cronin’s ‘For a Father’.

Photo of Andrew Denton
Andrew Denton

Fahey Scott-Younger
Reading ‘Frustration’ and ‘Comment’ by Dorothy Parker.

Geoffrey Rush
Reading ‘A Child’s Christmas in Warrnambool’ from John’s book, The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse.

Rod Quantock
Reading extracts from Flann O’Brien’s column in The Irish Times.

John Wolseley
On bird-watching. Ended with Callimachus’s poem, ‘Heraclitus‘.

Photo of John Wolseley
John Wolseley
Photo of Kaz Cooke
Kaz Cooke

Related reading

Kaz Cooke
On emailing, including a version of this story about driving delivery vans in London.

Michael Leunig
On reading a poem together.

Amanda Smith
On John and sport, and Wednesdays at the ABC. The sporting documentary project Amanda and John worked on together was Sporting Nation.

Barry Jones
On John’s passion for music. Reading A.D. Hope’s ‘Death of a Bird’.

Affinity Collective: Kristian Winther and Mee Na Lojewski
Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello (1920-22) II Très vif.

David Wenham
Reading ‘The Resolution of Conflict (concerning the Federated Under Tens’ Association and The Massed Five Year Olds)’ from John’s book, A Complete Dagg.

Ginette McDonald
On John in New Zealand and London.

Photo of Ginette McDonald
Ginette McDonald
Photo of Colin Lane and Frank Woodley
Colin Lane and Frank Woodley

Colin Lane and Frank Woodley
A tribute to Clarke and Dawe.

Mac Gudgeon
Reading Gerard Manley Hopkins’s ‘The Windhover‘.

Sam Neill
On John being an outsider. Reading Michael Leunig’s cartoon in honour of John.

Photo of Sam Neill
Sam Neill

Matthew Saville
Telling a story about John going body surfing.

Paul KellyVika and Linda BullPaul Dempsey and Jeremy Smith with Melbourne Indie Voices (choir)
Performing ‘The Parting Glass’ (Scottish/Irish traditional song).

Photo of Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda Bull, Paul Dempsey and Jeremy Smith with Melbourne Indie Voices
Paul Kelly, Vika and Linda Bull, Paul Dempsey and Jeremy Smith with Melbourne Indie Voices

The Clarke family are encouraging those who feel moved to make a charitable contribution in John’s memory to donate (in Australia) to Trust for Nature and (in New Zealand) to Forest and Bird. (You can actually donate to either charity from anywhere in the world).

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