Peter Johnson makes 17 year volunteer contribution through PJ’s Happenings

Dedication: Peter Johnson said he has always been a ‘bit of a nosy bugger’ and always loves to have a chat with people.
Dedication: Peter Johnson said he has always been a ‘bit of a nosy bugger’ and always loves to have a chat with people.

For the last 17 years Dunbogan resident Peter Johnson has dedicated his time to the Camden Haven community through compiling a column for the Camden Haven Courier. 

On November 1, 2017 PJ’s Happenings ran for the last time in the paper. 

PJ’s started as an entry of 12 community notices (about an eighth of a page) and over time the column grew to a half page. 

“Over the years the print size reduced to fit more in (community notices),” Peter said. 

Peter’s friends in the Streets Ahead committee roped him into starting the column as a way to publicise events for visitors to the area.

“It started off as a bit of a joke as I was the only one who had a computer,” he said. 

The column quickly became the number one source to bring groups and events together, give publicity and encourage people to get involved.

Peter said he has always been a ‘bit of a nosy bugger’ and loves to have a chat with people. 

“I’m a big believer that if you can do something to help the community then you should do it,” he said. 

Peter is now 82-years-old and he said it is astonishing for a community of the Camden Haven size to have so many different groups. 

Peter arrived in Australia in 1955 with just over 12 pounds in his pocket. 

“I was going to go to Canada but I didn’t think 12 quid was going to get me across there,” he said.

Peter entered the world of television when it arrived in Australia in 1956. 

 The station was not accepting senior floor personnel due to the cost to employ them.

As Peter was 23-years-old at the time he lied about his age and joined Channel Seven as a 17-year-old on paper in 1956. 

From a junior stage hand he worked his way up to station coordinator and worked with the likes of Johnny O’Keefe on “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Pick-aBox” with Bob Dyer. During this time he met his wife Jill, who also worked at Channel Seven. 

In 1962 with a wealth of experience of the production scene behind him, Peter made the move to a Sydney advertising company where he worked on campaigns for Coca-Cola and Cleopatra soap.

In between his stints in the advertising world, Peter worked for Film Australia producing documentaries for the government.

Peter made around 125 documentaries with Film Australia. The high pressure advertising industry took its toll on Peter and after 36 years in the industry he had suffered four heart attacks and underwent bypass surgery. 

Peter and Jill moved to the Camden Haven in 1998. Since then Peter has not suffered any other problems with his heart. 

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