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Coralie Condon’s Post TVW Reunion Get Together

Posted by ken On November - 2 - 2009

It started off as small tea party for Coralie Condon and Pixi Burke (nee Hale) to reminisce about the theatre, the performing arts and everything in general.

Pam Leuba, Coralie Condon, Audrey Long and Pixi Burke

Once word got out, it soon turned into a great post TVW reunion get together.

Two people who missed out on the TVW reunion on Sunday October 18, 2009 were Pam Nielson (nee Leuba) and Russell Sage. Pam will be remembered as WA’s first woman newsreader and Russell for being a top studio and OB cameraman in the first decade of TVW Channel 7. Pam is in Perth for a short time visiting friends, including her St Hilda school chums.

Pam Leuba, Russell Sage, Coralie Condon and Audrey Long

TVW’s first News Editor Darcy Farrell took this opportunity to catch up with Pam, in a day filled with anecdotes and good humour.

Coralie Condon, Pam Leuba and Darcy Farrell

Coralie’s theatrical heritage is never far from the surface, with Pixie Hale and Rick Hearder present.

Pixi Burke and Rick Hearder

Pixi is fondly remembered as a talented singer, dancer and actress, having a close working relationship with many of Coralie and Frank Baden-Powell’s productions, when they owned and ran the Hole in the Wall, Old Time Music Hall, Dirty Dick’s, Island Trader, Diamond Lill’s, and many more venues and shows. Rick is a well known actor in Perth theatrical circles and has appeared in many ABC radio plays. He also appeared on Children’s Channel Seven when Rolf Harris was doing the show. Rick and veteran TVW floor manager John Easton were Playhouse thespians and part of a travelling players group before John joined Seven full time. Talk about six degrees of separation. Perth really was a small place in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

On the subject of history, Pam brought along her close friend Lennie McCall, a delightful lady steeped in all matters heritage. Lennie has held many leadership positions under the Library Board of Western Australia until her retirement in 1998. Since her retirement she has remained a member of the Management Committee of the Friends of the Battye Library. Her activities spread to non-library fields such as the National Trust and involvement with the Royal Western Australian Historical Society where she is the Chairman of Council.

Gordon McColl, Audrey Long, Pam Leuba and Lennie McCall

Coralie’s long time friend Audrey Long was also there. Audrey is a constant help for Coralie, as her eye sight fades. Audrey will be fondly remembered for her many appearances on the Today and Televist programs on TVW. Audrey also came up with the popular Shopping Guide concept, which she regularly hosted in the early years. Audrey’s repartee with advertisers resulted in many friendships and long working relationships with various Perth sponsors.

Gordon McColl is remembered as a television veteran, firstly as one of the first two studio cameramen. Richard Ashton was the other, who presently is in Canberra with a fellowship at the National Film and Sound Archive. Both gentlemen went on to studio directing, whilst Richard also worked in the special events unit, publicity and as Manager of Group Color.

Gordon McColl and Pam Leuba

Russell Sage

Pam Leuba, Coralie Condon and Pixi Burke after they discover that the still camera they were posing for was in fact a movie camera


One Response to “Coralie Condon’s Post TVW Reunion Get Together”

  1. ROBIN TIFFEN says:

    Dear Coralie,
    I am wondering whether you were a girlhood friend of my mother Dorothy(Truda) Harris (nee Peters). I was recently sorting through some books which had been important to her, (she died in 1997) and I came across a small book by J.B.Priestly, “Essays of Today and Yesterday”, with the inscription ‘Best wishes from Coralie, Xmas ’34’. I remember Mother talking fondly of Coralie all her life and her sadness at having lost touch as she and her family moved around Australia with DCA promotions of my father. By chance, I looked “Coralie Condon” up on the internet and found the story of what was a grand reunion.
    I like to think that you and she had been friends.
    Robin Tiffen

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