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DEATH OF JIMMY HUTTON (article first published : 2007-08-26)

Jimmy Hutton, a great friend of the music and fashion / photographic community will be sadly missed as he passed away on August 24 as a result of complications caused by a massive stroke.

Jimmy was born in Cairo, Egypt, in the 1920s, where he grew up during a fascinating time in history. He completed his schooling in Egypt where he was tutored in Arabic and French with English as a second language.

He was quite famous as chief photographer for some of the leading newspapers in the country and could be seen scurrying around with an assortment of cameras and flash units dangling from their straps around his neck. His distinctive bald patch and trademark glasses could be seen from virtually anywhere in the Kings-Park grandstand as he ran around the perimeter of the playing-field looking for the perfect camera opportunity.

Jimmy was a legendary wedding photographer, whose career spanned generations. Its one thing to have photographed the parents' wedding and then years later the children's weddings, but Jimmy had instances where he photographed the grandchildren's weddings as well.

Fashion and glamour were his special talent, and walking though the city of Durban I often heard him say. "That girl has perfect legs for a photographic model" and he arguably held the record for discovering / mentoring / photographing the largest number of Miss South Africa winners. For many years the beauties on the back page of the Sunday Times were local girls, who were spotted by Jimmy whilst going about his daily duties.

Jimmy Hutton was a very keen musician who entered the Yamaha Organ festival Housewives Section year after year. Many of the people in the audience thought that he was the comedy act, when he unfolded his sheet music that was pasted together and proceeded to stretch it from one side of the giant organ right across the top, and to the other side. The fact that the entire audience was roaring with laughter, did not deter him at all, he just laughed back and proceeded with his very own "French colonial charm".

As a member of the Hutton extended family, we were fortunate to have this "Nutty Professor" character in our lives, who always exhibited impeccable manners and huge kindness to all of his family and friends and his beloved orchids.

He is sadly missed by his wife Maria and three daughters, three grandchildren and extended family. As his first language was French, one thing we will never know is whether he really didn't catch the English jokes we were trying to explain to him all of these years, or whether he was having a joke on us. - Tim Pullen




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