Reproduced from an Afrikaans article published in Keur magazine, 20 January 1995 (South Africa)
|The Men From The Ministry became familiar in most SA homes, but on 26 February (1995) the popular series will be heard for the last time on Radio South Africa.|
|Translated from the original text of LIEZL-MONIQUE STRYDOM||
en route to the Seychelles Islands. Tom's faithful cast consisted of John Simpson,
Tom Meehan played the part of Sir Gregory Pitkin, die Permanent Under Secretary to
Frank Graham played Mathews (the terminal asthmatic who sounded if
was great sadness when one of Radio South Africa's popular programmes
officially "retires" after 27 years on the South African airwaves.
The last recording of "The Men From The Ministry" was held in
the Drostdy Loft Theatre in Durban. Many people grew up with and came
to love the colourful characters in the program. Die program was originally
broadcast on Springbok Radio until the station closed on the 31st December
Service, Maureen Adair,Tommy Read and Pat Simpson. After Pat's death in
1972 Frank Graham took over his characters. Tom's son Barry joined the
team under the pseudonym Brian Squires so as not to cause any confusion.
Prime Minister at the time, such as Callaghan, Thatcher and Major.
played characters that varied from a tiny baby to a decrepit old hags.
Her main role was as secretary Mildred Murfin, and Lol (Lolita) - wife
of Humbert Snetherswaite. Tommy Read was Humbert, die gallant philosopher
who produced a comical soaking splash with every word with an "s"
every breath would be his last), a character he brought to the show. Other characters were the mad Italian opera singer and occasionally a very "quaint" fellow who would appear saying "well hello-hello-hello".
The BBC scripts soon ran out so Tom and Barry wrote the rest of the scripts themselves. The programme was recorded before audiences at the SABC studios in Durban, but Radio South Africa decided to take the show out and record at other venues around Durban.
Sadly, from the 26th of February 1995 South Africans will no longer hear the well known line: "Join the whole mad bunch at the same time next week for the same romp down the corridors of power with "The Men From The Ministry."
Lol Snetherswaite and the "Men" in action