Passionate puppet-maker who created Ossie Ostrich. Article from the Age
Image: Axel Axelrad in his puppet workshop.
Our dad belonged to all creative adults and children. On December 13, 2018 he passed away at the Angliss Hospital, Ferntree Gully, Victoria.
He was 99 years old and had lived in the same beautiful house in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne since 1957.
As adults, my sister Christine and I can look back on a house often filled with famous and interesting people, helping make the puppets that would be presents for lucky children, and enjoying the wicked sense of humour of a loving dad.
He came to Australia in 1950, an aircraft engineer who had no difficulty obtaining work. My mother followed him to Australia six months later, and they married in South Yarra before moving to Olinda.
He was the designer of many famous TV and advertising puppets – Ossie Ostrich, the puppets on Adventure Island and Magic Circle Club (children's shows), the Tucker Bag and so many more.
He also won Australian Designer of the Year, Toy of the Year, Good Design Label for puppets and packaging, and represented Australia at many International Puppetry Conventions, and hosted many visiting puppeteers.
Dad was recognised for his ingenuity and creativity in the puppet world, making puppets commercially and exporting them to many countries. Lamont Puppets were a joy to own for many children.
He also sold them at the local Gembrook Market and at his workshop 'The Puppet House' he had a moving puppet display that was open to the public as well as selling the much-loved toys.
For many years, my father designed and made the displays on the Myer Christmas rooftop, and he had his own segment on the Happy Hammond Show.
Publicity shot from Nine's 'Hey Hey It's Saturday' showing host Daryl Somers and the much-loved puppet created by Axel Axelrad, Ossie Ostrich.
He visited schools to conduct workshops as well as lecturing at Swinburne College, and he held exhibitions all over the world and knew most of the famous puppeteers.
An amazing achievement for a migrant who proudly became an Australian citizen.
He enjoyed teaching his grandchildren James and Kathryn simple puppetry when they were small and was always interested in toy trends for children.