am deeply saddened to report the passing of
"Photo courtesy Magicana"
am deeply saddened to report that Burns died at Christchurch
hospital today at 11.00am (Sunday 9th April). The cause of
death was lung cancer, after a short bout with pneumonia.
details will follow soon on his funeral arrangement.
Burns made a major contribution to New Zealand magic over
many years as the articles below show....
following message was published in Magic New Zealand, Sunday
22nd September 2002, Issue Number: #139, which I sure will
be of interest
Master of Magic - Burns "DeLarno" Scandrett
Message from Geoff Diggs - President Canterbury Society of
1969 the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians (Incorporated)
established an award, "The Grand Master of Magic",
honouring New Zealand Magicians who are acknowledged by their
peers as having made an outstanding contribution to the art
of magical entertainment over a period spanning many years.
Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians has decided to bestow the
award again this year and have selected for this unique honour
a man who has devoted a considerable part of his life to all
facets of the magic scene.
Canterbury Society of Magicians (Incorporated) is extremely
proud to have supported the selection of their member Burns
"DeLarno" Scandrett as a distinguished master of
the art and craft of magic.
is widely known that for many years Burns owned and operated
a focal point of magic - DeLarno's Magic Shop - in Chancery
Lane, Christchurch. At a later time he was also involved (along
with Alfred Hayes) in operating DeLarno's Magic Shop in Sydney,
is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star (London,
England), Past President of New Zealand Assembly 250 of the
Society of American Magicians and Past Territorial Representative
of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (USA).
his forty-seven years as a member (now life member) of the
Canterbury Society of Magicians he has served in virtually
every capacity, including nine terms as President. Burns has
always willingly shared his vast knowledge with all magicians,
from those starting out to the more experienced.
is a national and international entertainer having travelled
the world making guest appearances on live shows and approximately
200 television appearances in many countries. His talent and
vast experience has enabled him to perform in all venues from
Department Stores and Shopping Malls to Trade Fairs and Overseas
Cruise Ships, from Restaurants and Cabarets to Magicians'
Conventions and Touring Variety Shows.
award follows a Citizens Award bestowed on Burns in 2001 by
the Mayor of the City of Christchurch, in recognition of his
outstanding contribution to charity. This related mainly to
his work in helping to form the Variety Club of New Zealand
(South Island) and Camp Quality - a Lions project for Children
with life-threatening health problems. He also served several
years as Entertainment Director for Camp Quality and as Organiser
of the Annual Variety Club Children's Christmas party.
is very apparent that Burns "DeLarno" Scandrett
is a very worthy recipient of this exclusive award and fully
deserves to join the Roll of Honour as Grand Master of Magic.
presentation of this inscribed medallion, by and on behalf
of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians (Incorporated) and
the Canterbury Society of Magicians (Incorporated) to Burns
Scandrett signifies that he is indeed a Grand Master of Magic.
Bart Whaley's "Who's Who In
Magic" listing on Burns Scandrett
(New Zealand: fl.1950s-90s) Stage name of Robert Burns Scandrett,
known as "Burns". Learned around age 7. Pro dealer
(DeLarno's Magic Centre) 1956-1996.. His main shop was in
Christchurch, New Zealand, with a branch (owned by Alf Hayes)
in Sydney, Australia, since 1966. Was one of largest magic
dealerships in South Pacific.
done cruise-ship magic and performed in Britain, USA, Australia,
& Japan. Over 200 TV appearances in 4 countries, including
own TV show in New Zealand. Pet effect: The Sawing. Made MIMC
in 1989, making him the only magician of that rank in New
Zealand at that time.
in Genii & MUM.
published in Magic New Zealand
Sunday 11th November 2001, Issue Number: #96
Civic Award from the Mayor of Christchurch
Message from Burns Scandrett
weeks ago, I received a letter from the Christchurch City
Council to say that I was being presented with a Civic Award
from the Mayor of Christchurch, Gary Moore, in the form of
a medal and scroll for charitable work.
night, 6 November I went to the City Council buildings for
cocktails and food, then into the Council Chambers with other
recipients, the Town Clerk read out the citations, how I was
well known for performing and supporting people with disabilities,
how I was a founder member of The Variety Club (South Island),
founder member of Lion's Camp Quality (S.I) (for children
with life threatening diseases) plus a pile of other stuff,
worked for the Child Welfare Dept., Japanese Government doing
orphanages in Tokyo, etc.
did a great lot of research on me. The Mayor shook my hand
then placed a large bronze medal on a blue ribbon around my
neck and presented with a framed scroll.
Message published in Magic New Zealand
Sunday 23rd December 2001, Issue Number: #102
Life In Delarno's Magic Centres
Message from Burns Scandrett
have been asked many times over the recent years, about the
history of DeLarno's Magic Centre, especially how I first
started. After leaving high school, I worked for two years
at Canterbury University as a technician in the Chemistry
Department, with the idea of making chemistry my profession.
I was also performing magic on a semi professional basis.
My father owned a Gun & Sporting shop at 16 Chancery Lane,
a small lane running off Cathedral Square in the heart of
Christchurch, and told me that a shop was becoming vacant
at number 3, and it would be an ideal situation for a magic
that time, operating a magic shop was not in my plans. After
some thought, I decided that there was merit in the idea,
even though there was a 'part-time' magic shop operating (Friday
nights and Saturday mornings) on the outskirts of the City,
I grew to like the idea, so leased the small shop for five
years. DeLarno's opened late February 1954. In the week that
I was setting up the shop, people kept knocking on the window
to ask if I would open and sell them a mask or some other
tricks, as a magic shop was a real novelty to Christchurch.
found that I had to educate customers as they would enter
and say that they wanted to buy magic. I demonstrated the
Egg Bag, Six Card Repeat and others. They said, "No,
not that sort of magic" "What sort?" "Magic
ink that you squirted people, or Magic cigarette loads that
blew the cigarette to pieces, etc." Then I began to ask
customers to give me an example, so solved that problem. I
had to get most of the better quality magic manufactured,
e.g. Water Lotas, Dove Pans, Ghost Tubes, Genii Tubes and
production boxes. Many are still in existence and performing
the famous Indian magician, P.C.Sorcar played a week in the
Theatre Royal, Christchurch, in November, 1957, he did a "Publicity
Walk" from the Theatre to my shop with his party of twelve
assistants, all magnificently dressed in colourful costumes
of Royalty. This was fantastic publicity for both Sorcar and
my shop. He gave me a large autographed photo and wrote on
it, "I was certainly very much impressed with the quality
of the magic props in the Magic Centre - they are all tested,
dependable and nicely finished. I like every bit of this."
Some five years later, I was his invited houseguest in Calcutta,
India where he was a perfect host.
small shop at number 3 did not have sufficient showroom space,
so when a much larger shop at number 16 became available three
years later, I purchased the lease and continued in Chancery
Lane for a total of forty two years.
the years, I purchased and took over stock holdings of many
magic shops, either which had closed, or in the process of
closing. The first, shortly after I opened my shop, was a
mail order magic business in Wellington, operated by JOHN
BRENNAN. After that came "PROFESSOR WOOFLEDUST MAGIC"
(Wilf. Truman, Hamilton); HUGH RAY (Auckland); previously
manager of Stewart's Studio of Magic in Wellington ANDRADE
- ALLAN'S Shop, 276 Collins St, Melbourne; J.ABERT BRIGGS,
Mascot, Sydney; GREEN FROG MAGIC (Jim Flemming), 27 Enmore
Rd. Newtown, Sydney. MAX HOWARD ENTERPRISES (Max Andrews,
who operated Vampire Magic Studios, 10 / 11 Archer St. London
W.1. before immigrating to New Zealand); NZEDDA MAGIC STUDIO
(Richard Walls, Dunedin, which also included Stewart's Studio
of Magic, (Wellington), Don's Magic Shop, (Christchurch) and
Lindbergh Studio, (Hamilton).
final stock acquisition was, perhaps, the most significant.
It was from WEIRDO'S MAGIC SHOP, Piccadilly Arcade, Sydney.
As a youth I purchased magic by mail from Weirdo's, owned
and operated by Scotsman, Steve McKechnie. Like most youngsters,
I waited eagerly each day for the postman hoping he would
bring a parcel of goodies for me. I was never disappointed.
I was not to know that many years later we would become very
firm friends and fellow merchants.
he passed away, his son Bruce headed the operation, disposed
of the Piccadilly Arcade shop and extended operations to gift
and tourist shops throughout the Southern Pacific area. The
magic sat in Weirdo's massive warehouse for some years before
I bought it and shipped it back to New Zealand.
lifelong friend and colleague, Alfred Hayes, opened DeLarno's
International Centre in the shopping heart of downtown Sydney,
late April 1966. Opening and continuing stock was strongly
supported from Christchurch. A second Sydney magic 'studio'
was opened in Chinatown on the first day of 1970. DeLARNO'S
DEN was exclusively designed for magicians only, being equipped
with the latest video recording facility for teaching purposes.
Many overseas magicians lectured there and a "junior
club" was also hosted at the 'Den' for several years.
It operated as a 'private magic place' for a little over a
decade. The City Centre closed mid-1988, due pending demolition
and a new style studio theatrette, again exclusive to magicians,
opened and continued for almost ten years, ending DeLarno's
name in the Australian magic scene.
the assistance of my good friend, Ted Regan, DeLarno's opened
in Auckland on Karanghape Road, early December 1977. It was
managed by local personality Roger Jackman. However, due to
being located in a reasonably high rent area, lack of parking
spaces, heavy freight costs, and the desertion of city shoppers
to suburban Malls, we disappeared some two years later.
brings changes, and as the last century began to slip away,
so many life-style changes came about - not to mention the
thought of part-time retirement after countless enjoyable,
but demanding years. With the expiry of the lease for 16 Chancery
Lane on 17 February, 1996, after 42 years trading, the door
at the portal, where so many had passed through into DeLarno's
Magic Centre, was sealed - and the spell of those two magic
words, "Open Sesame" - forever gone. Perhaps more
correctly, gone, but not forgotten. The closure, being something
out of the ordinary, was very well covered by national and
local television stations, newspapers and radio news.
Scandrett (a.k.a. DeLarno)