The 87-year-old has been the compére of the family show for more than half a century.
“I obviously enjoy what I do and I do it enthusiastically, and I haven’t lost my fervour,” says John.
It’s a big job, which involves long days over the full Easter period. John arrives at 7:30 each morning and works through announcing every event until it wraps up each night at 9:30. They’re long days but John loves every minute of it.
“It’s such a happy occasion, everyone jumps in with a smile and that lovely look of expectancy and it’s just a real pleasure to be able to give reports over the PA system,” says John. “There’s a great variety of things to talk about and get excited about and it’s a really natural feeling that I don’t think I’ve ever tired of.”
John, who lives at the Bupa’s Retirement Village in Whangaparaoa, stays in a motel, opposite the showgrounds in Greenlane, for the duration of the show.
Village Manager Peter Fields says he believes John’s involvement within the community helps to keep him ‘young’.
“John is a ‘household’ name in the older age group in New Zealand,” says Peter. “He works in a really fast paced environment to promote the show, and it brings him so much happiness to be a part of the community.”
I obviously enjoy what I do and I do it enthusiastically, and I haven’t lost my fervourJohn Maybury
But after 55-years comparing the Easter show, John believes the time has come to pass on the microphone. He’s hoping his son John junior will follow in his footsteps.
“I always said I was going to keep going as long as I could, it’s only that the physical part of the job of being mobile and looking like you’re lively is difficult at 87,” says John. “I’m not in pain or anything like that but you know you’re not like the way you were 20 years ago or even 5 years ago.”
“I had my son with me this year for the first time and he looked after the fast work and the long distance running,” says John. “Knowing my boy was there with me, that was a back up to say physically he could take over some of the role,” says John.
The Maybury men have a proud history behind the microphone. John had a long and exciting career in radio as an announcer and quiz man in both Australia and New Zealand, as did his father. John junior works in public relations, but also dabbles in radio and quizzes, just like his father and grandfather.
“I’m very proud,” says John. “He’s very loud, he’s got a strong voice, he’s very good on the microphone and he’s great with kids.”
While he might be retiring from his official comparing duties, John is very active in his community at the Bupa retirement village in Whangaparaoa.
Every Friday John runs a quiz for residents at the retirement village during Happy Hour.
“It’s my highlight of the week,” says John. “I spend every minute looking for questions that would be of interest to my friends, and it makes my day a super day.”
“This is by far the most popular event in the weekly calendar and John’s quiz is the highlight of happy hour,” says Peter. “He sources some excellent questions and puts a lot of fun and humour into the quiz”.
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