Vale George Jukes
Vale George Jukes, 1919 – 2021
State Theatre Company South Australia pays tribute to George Jukes, former tailor and Company legend, who passed away in early December 2021, aged 102.
From former Production Manager, Peter Kelly:
“The esteemed tailor George Jukes made a huge contribution in the life of State Theatre Company South Australia for over a quarter of the 102 years that he lived through. A wise and gentle soul, George became the Company’s tailor in 1982 when he was a youthful and energetic retiree after selling his menswear business in Port Lincoln and moving back to Adelaide with his wife Jean.
Employed by the Company for about 18 years, followed by many years of voluntary service, George created the finest menswear for a multitude of productions – Pal Joey, Private Lives and A Winters Tale to name but a few. The Company’s costume storage racks are full of George’s work – brilliantly cut and fitted contemporary and period suits finished to the highest standards. This collection of bespoke jackets, trousers, overcoats and waistcoats are still in active use for the Company’s productions, and hired by the many school and community theatre companies that use the Company’s costumes.
Arguably George’s greatest legacy is in the tuition and mentoring he gave to the younger wardrobe department staff from the 1980’s to the 2000’s. He was a patient and positive teacher sharing both the nuances of his craft, and the wisdom of his life, with subsequent generations of costumiers that followed in his footsteps.”
From Artistic Director, Mitchell Butel:
“He was such a lovely man who made such a huge contribution to the Company.
I still have the jacket he made for me for Unidentified Human Remains which I bought after the season and still love it.”
From Costume Maker, Martine Micklem:
“A true gentleman indeed.
George had officially retired before I started at State, but used to regularly pop in to wardrobe for a chat- always with a packet of biscuits in hand (so you knew it was time to put the kettle on!).
George was our encyclopaedia of all things tailoring and would happily offer advice and tips. I still often refer to my notes from George, and treat them as gospel!”
Pictured: George Jukes and State Theatre Company South Australia staff at George’s 100th birthday celebration in May 2019 and an image courtesy of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs featuring George in his later years and as a young man in uniform.