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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blog - Remembering Andrew ('The Bish') Bishop (Will Harvey)

Remembering Andrew ('The Bish') Bishop

Last updated 08:58 17/03/2011

Two crew members of Sumner Lifeboat - the voluntary maritime search and rescue organisation - were in Christchurch's CTV building on February 22. The funeral of one, Andrew Bishop, 33, was held on Wednesday. I'm also a crew member at Sumner Lifeboat and knew "The Bish" a little bit.

He was short and somewhat round and his facial hair ran to wispy, but he was a popular and funny guy. He was good with computers, gadgets, video cameras and boats. His partner Amber told the packed service at the Woolston Club that Andrew loved rugby, bourbon, Metallica, televised wrestling and sardines on toast. He had a son, Tyler, about four.

Andrew was born in Christchurch and left school at 15. He worked for some years at the Kmart in Riccarton Mall. In 1993, something about Canterbury Television - an independent regional broadcaster - caught Andrew's interest and he began volunteering there.

He was soon given a waged job and mastered the many behind-the-scenes tasks of television production: cameraman, soundman, graphic artist, director and producer. He was sometimes known as "The Fat Controller".

CTV always struggled financially and ownership changed hands several times. The new owners always kept Andrew on staff, colleagues said, because he knew more about how the place really worked than almost anyone else. He was present when CTV was the first to put Hayley Westenra on air.

Many of the speakers on Wednesday remembered Andrew's sense of humour. Once, while training a tender CTV recruit on televising rugby, he explained that penalty goals are worth three points if kicked into the wind and two points if kicked with the wind. That wisdom was almost transmitted.

Bishop and the other lads at CTV had a code for attractive women. If one walked past on the street, somebody would murmur "12 o'clock" to alert the others. Once at a meeting of some sort, Andrew issued the code and an unsuspecting female staff member looked at her watch and said, "No, it's only 11.15."

Andrew Bishop: Dec 16, 1977 - Feb 22, 2011.

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