It is with sadness that we report that in the last few months two of the stalwarts of Playwrights Association of New Zealand have died.
Jean Dinnie was one of the very early members. Her forte was one act plays and she had success with many, and is mentioned in our book ‘Playwrights in New Zealand’. Read what she had to say in 1960. When the particular dramatic society which had agreed to present her one act play to the Theatre Federation Annual Festival, they said that Jean should have no contact with the play during rehearsals. Jean realised too late that PANZ would have given her advice. She was devastated that the competition adjudicator found flaws with the play, and each of those flaws was due entirely to the change in the original script. How things have changed! We’re all aware now that your play doesn’t get altered without your approval. Jean spent countless hours attending to PANZ business. Over the years she was secretary, competition registrar and editor of our newsletter for many years. Rest well, Jean.
The other sad loss has been S Campbell Smith. Campbell’s name possibly occurs more often than any other on the engraved prize winners’ trophy. He was an energetic and effervescent writer. He had several loves besides his sweet wife; they were wood engravings and the art world as a whole. Campbell was a PANZ committee member and gave many suggestions on how to include and encourage young writers. Because of his strong involvement in the Waikato Arts scene he was awarded several honours in his later years. In 2003 Campbell was awarded an MNZM, in 2013 was given an honorary PHD by University of Waikato, and in 2014 made a Freedom Holder of the City of Hamilton for outstanding services to the arts. We won’t forget you, Campbell.