TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide. Our…read more
Tributes paid to long-serving theatre professional Richard Sutherland
Hamilton City Council has announced the death of Richard Sutherland - a theatre technician and trained electrician who worked for its various theatres and event venues divisions over a career spanning four decades.
Sutherland, who died last week after a battle with cancer at the age of 64 worked for the Council for 34 years and engaged with the performing arts community for more than 45 years.
He was described by the Council as a “kind and intelligent man and consummate professional, who did everything possible to bring a diverse range performances and events to Hamilton”.
Sean Murray, H3 Executive Director, says Sutherland, regularly shared knowledge and wisdom and astute opinions and advice with colleagues, advising “the H3 staff held a great deal of love and respect for Richard, and we’re very saddened by his passing.
“Richard was very pragmatic, thoughtful and highly intelligent, and we relied on him to provide us with the insights and advice we needed to deliver for our clients - many of who had, over time, become his personal friends.
“He was a tremendous asset to our team and was a vital player in some very challenging work when we closed Founders in 2016 and had to rapidly rearrange dozens of shows and events. But he was never flustered or emotional - he just got on with the job and did what was needed.”
Sutherland’s initial involvement in theatre came through amateur drama in Cambridge, as an actor, although after joining the Council in April 1987 he never returned to perform on the stage and focussed on booking, production and delivery of shows for clients and community groups.
He was Hamilton’s connection to New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and some of Australasia’s most significant theatre and event promoters, nurturing those connections to ensure the city was always a stop on their nationwide tours.
His career in the theatre included a range of positions, covering event booking and delivery, mentoring and management of staff, technical aspects of show production and event promotion and publicity through various interviews and profiles published by local media outlets. He was influential in H3’s involvement with industry organisations such as the Events and Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) and New Zealand Events Association (NZEA).
Murray said Sutherland’s passion and commitment to his role extended far beyond what many would expect, and in some cases he took home theatre items to repair them personally, or loaned his own possessions to performances.
For a spoken word performance by English actor Sir Ian McKellen, Sutherland brought in a throne-like chair from his own home as the theatre did not have anything suitable.
His fondest memories included backstage discussions with Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, who spent several minutes observing the habits of New Zealand drivers, only to walk out on stage “and basically carry on the conversation we’d just been having, only with the audience, not me”.
Sutherland met his wife Lorraine through amateur theatre, and the couple worked together to plan a colourful wake for him before his passing.
The couple have two daughters, Kerryn and Lesley.
11th December 2020 - EVANZ looks back on challenges of 2020
23rd November 2020 - Hamilton residents favour creation of multi-purpose park on Founders Theatre site
31st October 2020 - Hamilton wins New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Large City award
4th October 2020 - EVANZ Chairman seconded to Americas Cup Events Limited
30th September 2020 - Hamilton lights up in support of the entertainment and events industry
14th September 2020 - Hamilton City Council to undertake further consultation on future of Founders Theatre
28th November 2019 - Hamilton’s H3 scoops two EVANZ industry awards
4th November 2019 - New Zealand Government provides $12 million for new theatre in Waikato
8th August 2019 - Hamilton’s Claudelands completes preparations for Disney on Ice
24th April 2018 - New concept designs for Waikato Regional Theatre include 200 more seats
5th February 2018 - Hamilton’s H3 renews Ticketek partnership
30th November 2015 - Vale: Peter McLeod, Head of Events and Venues Rotorua and NZ Warriors co-founder
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…read more
Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…read more
Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…read more
Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…read more
SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…read more
Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!