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Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris - 15 July 2012

Little Robyn 16 Jul 12 - 08:14 PM
Sandra in Sydney 16 Jul 12 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,CJB 17 Jul 12 - 04:46 AM
RTim 17 Jul 12 - 08:11 AM
Little Robyn 17 Jul 12 - 06:17 PM
Little Robyn 17 Jul 12 - 07:10 PM
Little Robyn 17 Jul 12 - 07:38 PM
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Subject: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris
From: Little Robyn
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 08:14 PM

John Philip, the father of Morris in NZ, died last night in Auckland.
I first met John at Wellington Folk Centre in the early 70s and he really was responsible for starting up the first Morris side in Wellington.

Dave Hart has posted a lovely obit on the NZ Folk site:


What a monumental figure was Jay Pee. An amazing mentor and a man who shared so much of his life with so many. A man of humble means, who always said: "I'm just a welder.", yet was so knowlegeable in his grasp of history and tradition. Never a "singer's singer", but he sure could deliver...he rejected the ideals of excess technology and was even known to hurl a stage mic over his shoulder, as he "didn't need this bloody thing".

He was a great raconteur, opinionated, as was his own right and didn't suffer fools (and many others) gladly. The only fool he ever suffered was himself, in the guise of the "Fool", or Jester figure in the Morris dance, along with his inflated rubber glove on a stick...his version of a pig's bladder. He sometimes danced opposite the "Man Woman" and occasionally with a "Maid" character, when the side had one. He would dance up between the lines of dancers during the hey, (or figure-of-eight) and when he could get away with it, he'd rain blows onto the heads of the dancers with his inflated glove, while his wife May would circle the dancers as the "Hobby Horse" character, doing the collect.

As the long time Squire of "The Pride Of holland Street', he was required to dance a solo jig. This was called "The Fool's Jig", to the tune of Roxborough Castle and involved the passing of a stick behind an uplifted leg, (fortunately his own) and the dance terminated when he'd throw his stick high into the air, as all the dancers ducked for cover...I think he was supposed to catch it...that never happened, to my knowledge.

John always said that he wanted two dances to be performed at his funeral: "Haste to the wedding" and "Getting upstairs", both from the village of Bampton In The Bush. Dance on, Jay Pee, wherever you may be...still a Lord Of The Dance, for me.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 11:52 PM

thanks for posting the obit, Robyn, he was a true character!

RIP John

sandra


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris - 15 July 2012
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 04:46 AM

Sad news indeed. At one time John was a busker, I think in Palmerston North. I heard that he had a great technique for maximising his 'earning.' He'd look at approaching passersby and assess what song or tune he thought that they'd like to hear, and then as they approached he started singing that song. Apparently it never failed. Good one John - RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris - 15 July 2012
From: RTim
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 08:11 AM

Sorry to hear of another influential Morris dancer leaving us, leaders are so important within our dancing community. RIP John.
I would point out however that both "Haste to the Wedding" and "Getting up Stairs" are both Headington, not Bampton dances.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris - 16 July 2012
From: Little Robyn
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 06:17 PM

NZ is a day ahead of Mudcat time so it was already 17th when I posted this - it's now just after 10am on 18th July here right now.
So John died on Tuesday night - 16 July, not 15th.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris - 17 July 2012
From: Little Robyn
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 07:10 PM

Correction: we've just heard from JP's son that his Dad actually died overnight, but in the early hours of Wednesday morning - on July 17th.
Could a Joe Clone please make the necessary changes in the subject title?
Thanks
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Philip - NZ Morris - 15 July 2012
From: Little Robyn
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 07:38 PM

That should read Tuesday 17th. I'm getting confused!

Another memory of JP from John Archer:

John Philip was a wonderful member of the Palmerston North Folk Club in the 1980s. "Turning Steel How Do You Feel" was just another song to me, but John told of a first week in a factory. "There's a pile of steel billets lad. Cut them into six-inch lengths." At the end of the week they had been converted into thousands of short pieces. "All right lad, see that drill press. Drill a hole in the end of each piece." The tedium. Dancing and gardening were his escape from all that.

At the 1982 Palmerston North Square Edge folk festival, JP organized the final concert. He had no 30-minutes gigs by the "guest performers." Instead, JP simply got all his friends to perform two items each. He had lots of friends. Many, many friends. Every one of them was was cheered wildly at the end of their set, so JP got them to do an encore. The concert started at 8pm and went on until midnight, then it morphed into a jam session that went on until 4am.

Dressed up in rags and waving a rolled-up newspaper sword in a Morris dancers skit. But dressed for real battle when the Springboks came to Palmy. He told me how he had fought the fascists in riots in the north of England in his younger days, and twenty years on he was once again prepared to fight for his principles. God bless you JP.


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