Ted Reynolds, the inspiration for this lunch group, can be summed up by that very word, ‘inspiration’.
Ted was a people person; considerate of others before himself; ever willing to share his knowledge and experience; a champion of the underdog. He was a remarkably uncomplicated mix of fresh-faced country boy and gritty merchant seaman; of down to earth Aussie and articulate philosopher; of opening bat for Condobolin and cohort of test cricket champions. He could charm an imperious actor on set or mix it with the boys at the club, though he wasn’t one to linger at the bar – he would rather have his head in a good book, or be devouring the financial pages, or listening to his favourite piece by Sibelius.
Ted was brought up on a property near Condobolin in western NSW and taught by his mother through the correspondence school. He was an avid reader who developed an interest in history and geography and that gave him the drive to abandon the farming life, to run away to sea and see the world. He gained his marine radio ‘ticket’ at the Marconi School in Sydney at the age of 19, and served as radio officer on merchant ships plying the Australian coast. It wasn’t long before he was travelling the world from the west coast of America to Japan, China and the subcontinent with the W R Carpenter Shipping Company.
He arrived in London in 1954 just as the commercial television company Granada was starting up in Manchester and Ted was successful in getting work there with the lighting department.
He eventually arrived back in Australia in 1959 and joined the ABC as a maintenance technician. They didn’t seem to want a lighting director with Granada TV experience!
He didn’t last long there and by November he was the lighting director for the opening of Brisbane ABC-TV.
Eight years later he moved to ABC-TV with us here in Sydney as a TP and lighting director until his retirement in 1986.
As described elsewhere on this site, Ted was the catalyst for the monthly get together at the Mosman Returned Servicemen’s Club and after he died on the 20th February 2010, it continued in his honour as Ted’s Lunch.
The lunch attracts ABC retirees from a wide range of specialities, held together by the charisma, enthusiasm and love of life of this special man.
Without him we would probably not have got together for these monthly lunches, and that would have been a tragedy.
Ted Reynolds will always stay alive in the fond memories of those lucky enough to have shared a part of his life.