22 November 2022

Interesting Jobs - Buddy the Penguin

By Sonia Hook Senior Marketing Executive

Hi Buddy, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, firstly would you mind telling us a little more about what your role is at HKJ?

I’m the face of HKJ so quite often I’m out on the road, attending events and greeting all my people. It’s my job to make sure everybody feels welcomed and to break the ice, so to speak. Although, I thrive on getting to spend time with all my fans, by the end of the day I’m usually pretty exhausted, so it’s not very ‘rock and herring roll’ but I like to rest my flippers, with a mackerel supper and one of my favourite horrors ‘The Blue Planet’.

What made you choose the marine industry as a career?

As a young nestling, I often dreamed of setting sail on epic adventures so being in this industry allows me to hang out with like-minded people, share sailing tips and helps me get my flippers on as many boats as I can.

How do you start your day?

I’m a member of the 5am club, so I like to crack my eyes open at the beginning of dawn but then I also remember that I am a member of the 90’s supermodel club and won’t get out of bed for less than 10,000 so quite often I never leave my nest at all.

When work does come calling, I start the day with a large hit of omega-3, it’s all quite LA, really but it gets those brain cells going. I sometimes look at a fish and think that’s the most beautiful thing ever.

As it’s that ‘time of year’, you must be incredibly busy right now?

Firstly, let me say Sonia that this is a popular misconception, that Christmas is a busy time of year, for us penguins. People imagine us sharing cups of mulled wine with the elves and lending our flippers to all that present labelling. This fallacy is really not helped by the misrepresentation of penguins on Christmas cards and other festive paraphernalia and is something I actively campaign against. As a proud native of the South Pole, Penguins are more than just for Christmas and as you can imagine we have quite a different sensibility from our northern counterparts and their flashy ways. They can also be quite intense at this time of year, so generally, we try and leave them to it!

Sorry Buddy we didn’t mean to misconstrue your homeland, it sounds like quite a fierce rivalry with the north – does that mean that you and the polar bears are not friends?

I feel there is just a lot of cultural misappropriation from everyone in the North, not just the bears, but as I’m quite an adventurous penguin, next year I have decided to undertake a pole-to-pole adventure to get a deeper understanding of its culture and why there is such a north/south divide in the poles. Luckily, there is an 88-day luxury cruise that will get me over to the North side and then I will need to undertake a 650-mile solo expedition across the ice to reach the pole.

That sounds like quite a trip, will you be taking a sabbatical from work (HR mentioned they have not received any requests from you yet?)

Ho Hum, yes well luckily we are now all used to hy-bird working.

So, is Christmas something that you do like to celebrate, and if so, where will you be spending it this year?

Oh absolutely, I’m not a bah hum-guin at all. As you can imagine, we have quite the family get together at Christmas, with more than ten thousand gathered together on the big day, it can get a bit raucous at times but despite the family arguments we all huddle along quite happily.

And, what do penguins eat on the big day?

We quite often start with a plateau of fruits de mer and then followed by a traditional three fish roast. It’s usually me, taking charge in the kitchen and Rick Stein’s Christmas Dinner Fish Main Course is one of my showstoppers. Lastly, dessert, and one that is a real tradition in the Buddy family, is that we always finish off our Christmas dinner with Jelly(fish).

Finally, what will you be hoping to find under the Christmas tree this year?

Well, I have been perusing your Christmas gift guides and though they all sound quite spectacular, I’m once again, just wishing for that perfect pebble to be placed under my tree.


All boat types HKJ

About Buddy McWaddle

Buddy joined the Haven KJ crew back in 1997 when, former founder, Chris Knox-Johnston, introduced Buddy as a blow up penguin at the Southampton Boat Show.

In time Haven KJ felt that they needed to share the Buddy love as he was always asked about when people approached the stand, so he then evolved into a cute hand size stress penguin.  At all the shows Haven KJ attended over 20 odd years, thousands of Buddy McWaddles were handed out to small and big humans where he eventually ended up travelling with his owners and creating his own facebook page for people to share their photos of Buddy on Tour.  From Las Vegas to the North Pole, Buddy was really enjoying life!

In 2020 Buddy took a step back and now loves appearing in all Haven KJ illustrations for his fans to find!  Can you spot him?



Other Interesting Jobs