The Weekly Advertiser

Time off for family fill-in

NO SUBSTITUTE: Horsham''s Johns family - Stuart, David, Josephine, Tim, mother Jo, Andrew, Ian and father Don catch up at David''s business Horsham Doors and Glass this week.

For Horsham’s Johns family, a regular family get-together usually requires the use of a “substitute” brother.
But with the 50 Years of Wimmera Rock festival this weekend, the family of eight is together for just the fourth time in the past two decades.
The absent sibling is usually oldest brother Ian, who left our shores in 1990 to work in Europe and currently resides in England.
“When we have a family ‘do’ we’ve been known to use a subsitute brother for Ian,” sibling Stuart said.
“We’ve had Jason Merlo at a wedding and Ross Thomas at the Clipsal 500,” he said.
“We even take family photos with the fill-in brother and send them to Ian to show him what he’s missing,” he laughed.
But the lure of a one-off reunion with his musical mates from 70s and 80s rock band Rift proved too much for Ian, and the family fill-in has earned some time off.
“It’s great to be back in Horsham and we’re certainly doing plenty of catching up while I’m here,” Ian said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Rift back on stage and can’t wait for the reunion.”
Ian worked on lighting and sound with Rift for many years before leaving in 1986 to take on a similar role with tireless Sydney rockers The Delltones.
The move led to a career that took Ian all over Europe working with artists including The Proclaimers, Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge and Australia’s Jason Donovan.
The five brothers Ian, Andrew, Tim, Stuart and David and sister Josephine are the children of former Horsham mayor Don Johns and his wife Jo, who loves having her children all together for a rare celebration.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” she said.

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Posted on Nov 26 2009

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