Broken Wand - Louis Martelle (1927-2008)

Message from Paul Zenner

Thursday July 10th, 2008, was another sad day for magic. Louis Martelle passed away in the early hours of the morning at the age of 81.

Past President of IBM British Ring 25 and one time winner of the British Ring Shield, past Chairman of the South Yorkshire Branch of Equity, Louis was one of the 'Grand Old Men of Magic'. As a boy, he sold newspapers on Sheffield Railway Station and was selected to
present a bouquet of flowers to Mae West when she arrived in that city. He received a kiss from said lady and was proud to relate the incident.

After working as an assistant for Murray, the Australian Escapologist, he turned professional as 'The French Canadian Humorist'. As a Bevan Boy, down a coal mine, he wore gloves to protect his hands for when he returned to his beloved magic. After the war he went into lecturing and that led on to a career as a college lecturer and eventual Head of the Department of Business Studies, at a college in Sheffield. He was known to them as John Llewellyn Cooper, M.A., but the magic world has always known him as Louis Martelle -- he has always been that to his closest of friends, even his wife of 60 years!

A staunch supporter of the IBM and the Northern Magic Circle, he was a regular frequenter of their conventions, along with his wife, Joan, and Marion and Hamilton Kaye. Louis hadn't enjoyed the best of health over the last few years and the loss of Ron Kaye, about 18 months ago, hit him very hard. We feel sure that he would have soldiered on for a few more years had it not been for that.

I can imagine that Ron and Louis are now once again putting the magic world to rights. We shall miss our regular sessions.

The funeral will be at the Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium on Thursday, July 17th, at 12.00 midday. If any of you would like to send a card to Joan, I am sure that she would love to hear from you. The address is 'Magic View', 10 Arnold Avenue, Gleadless, Sheffield, S12 3JB.

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