Born: Established: 18 Mar 1888
Manuscripts, papers, correspondance, press cuttings, and newsletters relating to Pat Hanna are held in the Ian Hanna Collection, State Library of Victoria ['Papers' : Box 3639/4-9].
1. HISTORICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS:
1. The sketch performed by Hanna on The Passing Show (3AR radio broadcast) in 1954 is believed to have been an adaptation of poem (or poems) titled 'The Hero's Life / Daddy and the Great War / Any Soldier to His Son.' The Pat Hanna Collection (PACM) includes manuscript copies of both works, with handwritten additions and revisions presumably by Hanna.
2. Sorbie Tower, also known as Sorbie Castle, is situated on level ground about a mile east of the village of Sorbie and five miles south of Wigtown in Scotland. The Australian Dictionary of Biography entry on Hanna incorrectly names the Clan Hannay's ancestral home as 'Scorbie Tower.'
3. During his career in Australia, Pat Hanna was largely based out of Melbourne. His known places of abode, including England, were:
2. PAT HANNA'S PERFORMANCE STYLE:
1. Reviews of Pat Hanna in performance during his association with the Famous Diggers include the following:
2. 'The Gospel According to....' is known to have been staged as early 1921. An unidentified review from the Hastings (New Zealand) newspaper from that year indicates, for example, that he performed 'The Gospel of Hawke's Bay,' which included clever local points and introduced such topicalities as the names of local celebrities, the cost of living, the state of Havelock Road, and the depleted council exchequer. Another unidentified clipping from new Zealand in 1921 reports that Hanna performed the same 'Gospel' in Napier, this time with references to the Hastings street tram extension and the bus route to the hospital. Other reviews during the 1920s record :
3. In relation to Hanna's marionette act, the Argus reports in 1925 that 'a topical marionette specialty [by] Mr Hanna and Mr Gilbert introduced some up-to-date variations into the song, "Mr Gallagher and Mr Shean." The shipping strike and some characters associated with it form the basis of most of the variations.' A Brisbane Courier review the following year indicates that 'a new phase in the of the Hanna-Gilbert marionette show, which included a wealth of sly topical allusion, almost literally brought the house down' (15 May 1926, p.22).
4. Hanna's other popular songs and comedy routines include [dates provided are first known performance only]:
3. JESSIE MEADOWS - EARLY CAREER ENGAGEMENTS (incl. Hilda Meadows):
1915: 25 March ; Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne [Jessie] (ctd. Table Talk 25 March 1915, n. pag.) / 3 May ; 'Belgian Button Day' concert, Melbourne [Jessie] (ctd. Australian Musical News 1 July 1915, n. pag.).
1917: 15 November ; Melbourne Town Hall [Hilda] (ctd. Age 16 November 1917, n. pag.).
1918: February ; Hastings, Victoria [Jessie and Hilda, accompanied Rosa Alba] (ctd. Peninsula Post 15 February 1918, n. pag.)
According to Hanna, the game of Batinton came about in response to the need to provide physical recreation for the 30,000 New Zealand soldiers stationed in Germany. Among the other immediate problems he needed to overcome were expenditure and limited space. Hanna's ingenuity was to devise a game that not only required less area than a tennis court, was easy to learn, and could accommodate up to 48 players at a time, but also allowed for any player, whatever their size or ability. Another feature of the game was its speed.
Batminton resembles Badminton in that it is played with shuttlecocks on a marked-out rectangular court divided at its mid point by a net. The game was originally played using a cork bat (rather than a badminton racquet) and a hard shuttlecock made of feathers. The bat resembles a table-tennis paddle with an elongated handle. Although designed to played on a court 36 feet long and 12 feet wide, the width can be varied according to the available space. Despite its initial popularity, Batminton drifted into relative obscurity, largely because not enough shuttlecocks could not be manufactured to keep up with demand and the public lost interest. However, the game saw a resurgence in popularity during the Second World War, again due to its capacity for being played in limited spaces.
The game was introduced into Australia in 1940, but again the supply of shuttlecocks could not meet the demand and its popularity faltered. The eventual development of plastic shuttlecocks, however, meant that the game did not disappear altogether. The game has a cult following today, with the only two organisations known being the Whitwell Batinton Club in Derbyshire (England) and the Maryborough Social Batinton Club (Queensland, Australia).
Hanna's involvement in the creation and development of Batinton was not without difficulties, according to correspondence with Gerald Patterson of Spaldings. In a letter dated 8 November 1943, Hanna complains about the company's decision to pay him royalties on only one brand of shuttle and not all, a decision Hanna claims was not in the spirit of the agreement made on 15 February 1940. 'This is quite apart from the fact that I worked continuously from your office for several months and continuously throughout the war, without any pay or commission demonstrating this game to every branch of Defence. Thousands of Recreation and Physical Training offices and N. C. O.s from all the Central Training Schools saw the vital quality of the game and demanded Batinton' (ctd. Pat Hanna Collection). In the early 1950s, Hanna also considered suing several shuttlecock manufacturers in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and USA, but was advised against such action by a patent attorney (ctd. Pat Hanna Collection - letter dated 9 July 1951).
5. RECORDINGS: [The following recordings are available commercially and/or through various Australian libraries]
Original Vinyl Recordings:
Compilations (compact disks):
NB: Several agreements between Hanna and Columbia Gramophone (Australia) Pty Ltd are held in the Pat Hanna Collection. These include details regarding royalties. The letters are dated 8 January 1934 (re. 'Pat Hanna Discourses on Racing' and 'Cricketisms'), which records a 2d per record royalty offer, and a 1953 agreement (re. 'The Gospel According to Cricket' and 'The Gospel According to Racing') for a 5 percent royalty rate.