Vale Ian Jones, man of many tal­ents

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By MARK STEPHENS

BEECH­WORTH’S own Ian Jones passed away last Fri­day in Mel­bourne aged 86.

A lo­cal iden­tity, he was an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed film di­rec­tor, writer, pro­ducer, his­to­rian, jour­nal­ist and pioneer of Aus­tralian Tele­vi­sion and on top of that a good friend to many.

Through­out his in­cred­i­bly busy life he would al­ways re­turn to the North East for peace and in­spi­ra­tion and he re­traced ev­ery step of the Kelly story as if he was a fifth mem­ber of the gang.

Seven years ago I called into his beau­ti­ful cot­tage in Last Street and found him pound­ing away at his an­cient type­writer – he never liked com­put­ers.

Af­ter a fair bit of con­vinc­ing and a glass of red he fi­nally agreed to an in­ter­view for the Ovens and Mur­ray Ad­ver­tiser.

Lit­tle did we know that it would be part of this farewell to­day.

Ian was born in New­cas­tle, and when seven years old his fam­ily moved to Mel­bourne where his fa­ther worked at BHP head of­fice.

He was ed­u­cated at Carey Gram­mar School and Mel­bourne Univer­sity and in 1953 be­came a sec­ond year cadet at the Sun.

“My first big op­por­tu­nity came when I was given the job of ed­i­tor of The Young Sun – a po­si­tion which al­lowed me to write plenty of his­tor­i­cal ar­ti­cles, and I played an im­por­tant role in sav­ing ‘Puff­ing Billy’ by or­gan­is­ing farewell tours,” he said.

“I soon be­came fea­ture ed­i­tor at the Sun but when the time came to take some leave, I was of­fered a job as a di­rec­tor at HSV Chan­nel Seven and I helped to bring the first shows to air in 1956.

“It was so ex­cit­ing in those early days of tele­vi­sion.”

He pre­pared shows such as Zig and Zag, the Judy Jack Show, Meet the Press, and The Hit Pa­rade.

By 1963 he wanted to get into the film in­dus­try, so took up a job at Craw­ford Pro­duc- tions where he made film se­ries in­clud­ing Con­sider Your Ver­dict, and Homi­cide - a show which took up 48 weeks of the year with high en­ergy film making.

“I was at Craw­ford’s for 13 years and I cre­ated well-known shows such as Hunter, Divi­sion Four, Mat­lock Po­lice, The Box, and The Sul­li­vans,” Ian said.

By 1977 Ian de­cided to set up his own film com­pany and with Bron­wyn Binns they made great films such as Against the Wind, and The Light Horse­men.

In 1990 he be­came a full-time author and wrote books in­clud­ing Ned Kelly A Short Life, and The Fa­tal Friend­ship.

Ian said his great­est achieve­ments would have to in­clude Homi­cide, the Sul­li­vans, and The Last Out­law which all achieved top rat­ings and laid the foun­da­tions for a truly Aus­tralian film in­dus­try.

Ian, we thank you for all these won­der­ful gifts... our thoughts and prayers are with you, Nancy, the chil­dren and the grand­chil­dren.

PHOTO: Mark Stephens

IN­TER­NA­TION­ALLY AC­CLAIMED: Ian Jones, the Aus­tralia tele­vi­sion pioneer, jour­nal­ist, film di­rec­tor his­to­rian and Beech­worth iden­tity, passed away last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.