Vale Garry Sleeman, a multi-awarded creative and one of the great characters of the ad business
UPDATED - Garry's funeral will be held at the same place his dad was buried, The Hillside Chapel, Palmdale Lawn Cemetery & Memorial Park, Palmdale Road Palmdale, TOMORROW (Saturday) at 11.30am.
Following the formal proceedings, as per Gaz's wishes, everyone will be invited to the very informal proceedings at his digs in Woy Woy to share stories & a longneck or 2....
For those coming from out of town, or even those just planning to get really pissed (without a designated driver), Gaz's guests choose to stay at the Bayview Hotel Woy Woy.
A couple of Gaz's wishes:
Quote: "I don't want any of that black shit at my funeral!"
Politically Correct Interpretation: Gaz is being laid to rest in his favourite Hawaiian shirt, so he'd also like everyone to celebrate his colourful life with equal humour. So please, no mourning attire. Just wear something bright such as your best Hawaiian shirt. And no tissues. Strictly BYO Hanky.
Quote: "I want everyone to have a beer with me".
Politically Correct Interpretation: Due to Palmdale being considerable distance from the nearest pub, please bring your own longneck in an esky to salute Gaz at the cemetery.
Naturally, more refreshment will be available at Woy Woy.
Many in the
Australian ad industry will be saddened to hear of the passing of the
highly talented Sydney creative Garry Sleeman, one of the great
characters of the business.
Writes best friend Wayne Rowley, managing director of Hyperbole, Sydney in an email to all his many friends: "It is with a heavy heart & beer in hand that I have to inform everyone that my dear friend Gaz is no longer in any pain as he has finally gone to meet his maker. He died peacefully about an hour ago with his son and sister by his side."
The multi-awarded Sleeman, who died aged 64, was a
partner of Sleeman Whittaker Heckendorf + Potter, which was formed in
the late 80s and renamed Oddfellows in the 90s.
Sleeman, like many of his generation, was a great all-round creative, but was particularly talented as a radio writer.
Among the many awards he won, he created the hilarious AWARD Silver Pencil winning Tooheys campaign for Mojo in 1983. (See pages 128-29 of the 1983 AWARD Award Annual).
Sleeman gave a young Scott Whybin, now chairman of Whybin\TBWA Australia and NZ, his first break in advertising. Says Whybin: "In 1980, Garry pinned me against a pub wall in Newcastle and told me I was gutless if I didn't go to Sydney to try my luck. He let me stay at his house and set up all my interviews, to eventually get my first job in Sydney with Derek Hansen. I will always owe you Gaz, and always love you. Sleep well, mate."
Adds Rowley: "Not many people know it, but Garry was also an amazing artist. Right up until last weekend he kept working on his incredibly intricate pen and ink drawings. His sense of character in his art was even sharper than in his advertising (if that's possible).
"A recent exhibition of his work featured a series on Central Coast Beergardens - classic Gaz observations that deserve to be in the National Gallery. RIP Gaz."
Rowley also found a sign (see bottom image) which another recently departed legend of the industry Ian Brown put together after Sleeman left SWH+P.
Says legendary adman Jim Walpole: "Garry Sleeman was a huge talent with a big heart.
"He could tolerate fools, but not bullshit artists and unlike some pretenders, he was never ashamed of the business he was in. It was called advertising and he loved it.
"Gaz was emotional and passionate and if you did not understand and believe as he did in his latest proposal, he could not hide his dismay and desolation.
"His life and works should be celebrated today. I for one can never forget the first time I saw his brilliant 'Hey this is our town' for Newcastle Permanent over thirty years ago, and it remains one of our country's truly great advertising campaigns.
"Gaz was Australian to the core - the ultimate Aussie Battler. Today you have to go far from the big cities to find the likes of him, although you can still find more than a hint of his pioneering, roguish spirit in a verse from Banjo Patterson...
The narrow ways of English folk
Are not for such as we;
They bear the long-accustomed yolk
Of staid conservancy;
But all our roads are new and strange,
And through our blood there runs
The vagabonding love of change
That drove us westward of the range
And westward of the suns.
"We love you Gaz. Rest in Peace.