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Jim Atkinson Tribute

Posted by ken On March - 28 - 2009

Friends of the late Jim Atkinson pay tribute to a much loved friend, colleague and entertainer.

Audrey Long (nee Barnaby) and Coralie Condon advised that Jim Atkinson started in Albany Radio 6VA and later moved to Perth Radio 6PR, and also played in a band, whilst both Gordon McColl and Colm O’Doherty mentioned that Jim had been a police patrol officer in New Guinea.Carolyn Tannock (nee Noble) reported that Jim started with Seven after Rolf Harris left, joining Carolyn Noble and Judy Lee on Children’s Channel Seven.

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Carolyn Noble with Jim Atkinson

Jim worked with Seven from 1960 till the end of 1967.

Richard Ashton pointed out that during his early years at Seven, Jim lived on a property where he kept horses, very close to where the Innaloo Shopping Centre in now located.

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Jim provides Carolyn Noble with a few equine pointers

Audrey Barnaby said that Jim taught her son Marc to ride, and then tutored Audrey in the skill.

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During the Christmas break of 1961, Jim participated in an outback expedition with Harry Butler, Mark De Graff, Gerry Roberts, Roulien Schroeder and Gordon McColl.

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Jim explained to Peter Harries that in the early days, Harry Butler had a lot to do with Children’s Channel 7. The West Australian Museum subsidised Harry to go out and bring back stuff, pictures of snakes and lizards and scorpions and so on.

By the time Trina Williams (nee Brown) was hostess of Children’s Channel 7, Jim Atkinson had the on-air persona of Captain Jim and performed along with good friend Colm O’Doherty (as Seaman O’Doherty). Taffy the Lion (John Cousins) was also an integral part of the program.

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Taffy, Colm and Jim in Make-Up Room

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Seaman O’Doherty, Captain Jim, Trina Brown and Taffy the Lion

In 1999, Jim was telling Peter Harries about Captain Jim’s boat, “That boat. It was a magnificent thing and it allowed us to do things like jumping overboard, to splash water and all sorts of things. That was the only thing, everything that went on, the content of the show was all left to us.”

Peter asked, “Now, how much time do you recall did you do for rehearsing? For the children’s show?”

Jim replied, “None! Honest to goodness none. Seaman Colm O’Dougherty and Taffy [the Lion] would come in. We’d make up what we had to do while we were being made up. We’d talk about it in the make-up room. There was very little preparation at all…” “…mind you Colm and myself we used sort of meet away from Channel Seven, and we’d talk every time we met, ‘Oh, I think this week we’ll do a little bit of this and next week we’ll do a little bit of that.”

Colm said that by late 1969 – early 1970, their characters were replaced by Percy Penguin, and later Fatcat.

Veronica Low (nee Overton) points out that Jim was a good water colours artist, and an avid collector of old 75, 45 and LP music recordings and radio programs.

Jim presented the Old Time Radio & Glee Club at Curtin Radio for many years, then was a presenter with Capitol Community Radio at Wireless Hill, where he was a Life Member along with his wife Miriam.

Audrey (who worked with Jim at both radio stations and TVW) said that with failing health, his broadcasting was eventually restricted to recording his music shows from home, for broadcast on Ellenbrooke Community radio.

Jim passed away at 6.30am on the morning of Friday March 27th, 2009.

He is remembered as a good hearted and kind workmate who was devoted to his children and wife Miriam.

A friend of Colm O’Doherty, Audrey Barnaby, Coralie Condon, Carolyn Noble, Trina Brown, Veronica Low (nee Overton) and many, many more.

Jim Atkinson Picture Gallery

One Response to “Jim Atkinson Tribute”

  1. Gerry Atkinson says:

    I remember Jim very well and we spent quite a time together singing folk songs. Remarkable thing was that there were two Atkinsons on TV at the same time. Whilst Jim was with Seven I was presenting ABC’s ‘Partyland’ on TV! Later I met Jim when he and Miriam lived in the hills out of Adelaide. I was in a play for the Adelaide Festival and they made me so welcome and later I visited Jim when he was in hospital – the last time I spent time with this gentle, fine man.

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