Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Farewell John Nieuwenhuizen

I was saddened to read in Booksellers News of John's death at age 45. He was a former editor of Australian Bookseller and Publisher, director of the Sydney Writers Festival and was working at the time of his death,(by heart attack), in the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Melbourne.

John came from a distinguished literary family.His father, also John, is a renowned translator and author, and his mother, Agnes, was the long time Manager of the Centre for Youth Literature in Melbourne until her retirement last November. She was, in my view,Australia's most passionate advocate of reading for young people and no one I have met did more for literature and literacy.
She also did much to promote NZ children's books in Australia.

I extend my deepest sympathy to John's widow and three young sons, and to his Mum and Dad.A memorial service for John is being held at Melbourne University today,(31 October 2006).

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