Peter Hartland (1927-2014) Late of 1A Pembroke St, Bicton WA 6157.
Pioneering Western Australian Peter Hartland toured his marionette shows extensively throughout Australia – and on retirement passed the tradition, skill and puppets on to Leon Hendroff of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in Fremantle.
These words from Brian Muhling as he reflects on Peter’s life and family…….. I knew the Hartland family well through Terry the oldest of the four boys. I met Terry in 1954 when I wanted to buy an 8mm camera and he steered me in the right direction. We then became good friends and I made a point of having lunch with him most days because I worked just around the corner from him. As I entered the shop, he would get out his sandwich and a rule and measure the height of the sandwich and then say “Five eighth packing today” let’s eat. Those days he had his shop in James Street after first having a shop in Stirling Street. He then shifted over the road in James Street and then much later went to Stirling Street with the new up market Hartland Cinemex. Next stop was Brewer Street in East Perth and then to Brisbane Street. Terry was instrumental in being one of Perth’s first camera repair technicians and a very good one at that. His son Ray continued with the business in later years and also a very capable technician.
Terry’s brother Bernard was next oldest and was a very capable projector engineer having developed several different Geneva movements for extra illumination in 35/70mm projectors and also made water cooled gates for the very high powered drive-in theatres and a host of other fine inventions. He installed many new projectors in Western Australian theatres and Drive-Ins.
AMMPT’s film library has a 16 mm film record of Peter in action. Details are as follows:
Project Puppetry AMMPT 16mm film Library Cat No A6828 .20minutes, Colour and a Western Australian Educational (WAVE) production. This documentary opens with some rare scenes of Peter in action handling one of his many puppet creations to tell a good story and giving us an insight into his mastery of the medium
The body of the film is an excellent record of creative arts education and presents a marvellous project for young people to learn the art of puppetry. This film was made at Takari Primary School inPerth Western Australia where a class under the guidance of Peter Hartland and the teaching of John Lewis, has nine and ten year olds making papier mache glove puppets, researching and devising a script based on their social studies and finally presenting their creation to the rest of the school.
Peter Hartland LIFE AMONG THE LITTLE PEOPLE Australian Puppet Biography SC 1991. The author describes his life working with puppets. Publisher: Perth, W.A. : Pembroke, 1991 ISBN 0 646 04682 9. 1000 copies were printed.