The Star: June 22, 2017


6 Thursday June 22 2017

Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi

The Star


Cameraman Ron Madden’s colourful

• By Gabrielle Stuart

RON MADDEN, a colourful

TVNZ cameraman who worked

for more than 40 years covering

stories from conflicts in South

Africa to the Canterbury

earthquakes, died last week after

a battle with cancer.

Mr Madden, 64, began writing

his own eulogy soon after he was

diagnosed with cancer early last

year, saying: “I would rather tell

my own lies”. He began it with a

paraphrase of comedian Spike

Mulligan’s infamous epitaph:

“See, I told you I was bloody


Friends and workmates of

Mr Madden said that described

his attitude to life – fun, witty,

forthright and irreverent.

But they also described him as

someone who was dependable,

a great friend, and gave a huge

amount of time and passion to

helping others.

He grew up in Christchurch

and went to St Bede’s College.

In his eulogy, which he worked

on for months while receiving

treatment, Mr Madden said the

highlight was starting a gun

club at school, and the worst day

was getting “six of the best” for

ACTION: Ron Madden filming on Manchester St the day of the

February 22, 2011, earthquake.

cheating in Latin class.

He worked in several jobs before

starting at TVNZ, including

as an NZ Forest Service ranger,

tour driver, deer shooter and

concrete truck driver.

As a cameraman he was able

to do a lot of travelling, including

to Antarctica, which he

described as “the most boring

place in the world”, and to South

Africa, where he remembered

riding with armed soldiers,

filming young boys playing in a

rubbish dump.

TVNZ South Island news

operations manager Mike

Fitzgerald said he had worked

with Mr Madden since the early


He said Mr Madden was a

fantastic cameraman, with a

passion for the job, a wonderful

eye for a frame and an ability to

engage with people.



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