Vale – Alan Samuels (30 May 1944 – 27 April 2016)

Alan & Trish Samuels

A tribute to Alan Samuels – by Emma Bowen (nee Samuels)

I can see Dad now, shaking his head as I write this.

‘Who is going to want to read about me? No one would even notice that I have gone’.

Since we lost dad on the 27th April, it has become very apparent that it is actually the complete opposite. Alan is very missed and he was loved and respected by many past and present friends and colleagues.

Alan was born in England on the 30th May 1944.
He worked for Movietone News in the UK as a cameraman.

In 1968, my mum (Trish) had been visiting the UK from Australia when she was set up on a blind date with him. When mum headed home a couple of years later, Dad couldn’t let her go and within a couple of months he had packed all his belongings and was headed for the northern beaches of Sydney.

Alan Samuels & Mike Bailey, ATN7

When he arrived in Australia, Dad started working for ATN7 as a cameraman for the news department, working alongside a very young Mike Bailey (who later became the ABC weather man).

This job took him to all sorts of places like India for Gandhi’s wife’s funeral and the America’s Cup.

The camera and its battery case in those days weighed an absolute ton but he would get out there for that perfect footage, even calmly hanging out of the news helicopter as it circled around the Sydney skyline. He was also one of the first to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge….lugging that camera the whole way up!

Alan covered the America’s Cup for 3 months in the US in 1977, Indira Ghandi’s funeral and many other big stories whilst working for Movietone UK and Channel 7 News.

‘He was one of a team that set the foundation for Seven News’ current success’. ‘A mentor to the next generation behind the camera.’ ‘A wonderful, kind and gentle soul, who had the admiration of so many people’.
~ Former colleagues

After his Channel 7 days he went on to create his own TV Production company where he went from filming Japanese Tourists, to commercials, to Kylie Minogue and the Dalai Lama! In 2000 he filmed some of the Sydney Olympics – which we all thought was hilarious due to his complete lack of interest in sport! This footage won him his own Emmy Award, which was then delivered to the Bowraville PO for collection.

I remember the first time mum and dad told us they were moving to Bowraville. “Where?” My sister and I said!
We soon realised the attraction. A beautiful historic town, and their new home was set amongst the rolling green hills with an overall sense of peace and quiet.

Alan helped to set up Verandah Post Films and got a grant for a camera for the Bowraville Theatre.

With his knowledge of the camera he was soon recruited for technical advice and became ‘Mr Fix it’ for the theatre.

He was President of the Arts Council and was in the office at least once a week.

Alongside Merron, he also had a go at playing Barrista for the café in the theatre foyer.

Alan was also involved with live shows. When the Bowraville Theatre started showcasing their productions dad would be there filming and then he would spend hours editing and creating copies of the production.

Throughout my whole life Dad has had a camera in his hand. Capturing all those special occasions…birthdays, school band performances, Christmas and his 4 grandchildren. Dad produced many home movies and lovingly signed off on them all with ‘Grandpa Productions’.

He was so proud of his family. We really couldn’t have asked for a better dad. We love and miss him so much.

~ Emma Bowen (nee Samuels)