New Zealand® is proudly sponsored
by International Entertainment
notice - Rene Johnston wife of Sid Lorraine
from Joan Caesar
was with great sadness that the magic world has lost another
icon. Rene Johnston, wife of Sid Lorraine, passed away late
Oct 31, 2009. She was born Irene Kathleen Annie Buttler on
March 26, 1911 in Leystonstone, England, a suburb of London,
England. From her earliest years she was interested in art.
In her late teens she, having moved to Canada as a child,
she began working as a commercial artist for Battens, a graphic
arts and lithography firm in Toronto, Ontario. It was there
she met Sid Johnston, the assistant art director of the company.
They begin dating after work, ant took art classes together.
They were married 3 years later on July 20, 1932.
Rene was aware of Sid's commitment to magic and that his stage
name was Sid Lorraine (names after the Alsace Lorraine battle
of World War 1)
During their early marriage, Rene became a freelance artist
for Chatelaine magazine, Better Homes and Gardens and drew
illustrations for Church of England publications.
During the 1938 IBM convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
she met the very young Jay Marshall and was enthralled with
his vent work even then. The couple often invited touring
magicians such as Harry Blackstone Sr. home for a meal and
Rene quickly became friends with magicians around the world.
When their two children, Ruth and Douglas began college, Rene
began accompanying Sid to magic conventions and quickly became
a great supporter of his love. "Sid was her best friend,
her hero, her lover, her mentor and her sole mate." wrote
her daughter, Ruth. For many years after Sid's death on Oct
15, 1989, Rene corresponded with magicians around the world.
She had candour, wit, talent, amazing memory and a lust for
life. She was loved by all who had the honour of knowing her
and will be sorely missed.