DIGBY, Spencer Harry Gilbee

Spencer Digby
Prudential Buildings

     Spencer Harry Gilbee Digby  
born 26 June 1901
died circa 1995, reg. 1995/45348  

Peggy O'Neill of Wanganui by Spencer Digby

Ison's Portraits

Ison's Portraits
 748 Colombo Street, Christchurch
Arnold Edward Ison
born 11 March 1909, Tamworth, New South Wales
reg. 19396/1909, Tamworth, New South Wales
died circa 1983, reg. 1983/48955, New Zealand 

An experienced portrait salesman is required for a leading New Zealand studio to travel. The successful applicant must be capable of handling and training other salesman. Car, transport from Australia, and excellent remuneration will be supplied. Apart from Sales Manager's position, other applications would also be considered. Principal will be in Sydney from February 1. Write immediately to
Ison's Portraits.
748 Colombo St., Christchurch, N.Z.  
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) Friday 6 January 1950 page 11

An unidentified man by Ison's Portraits.

1955 - Canterbury Provincial Trades Directory
Ison's Photographic Salon (A. E. Ison), 748a Colombo Street, C.1.

1957 - Wise's New Zealand Post Office Directory, vol. 3: Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland
Ison A.E., 748b Colombo Street, Christchurch

1962 - New Zealand Post Office, Telephone Directory Christchurch and District
Ison’s for Colour, 748 Colombo Street 88 607: Phone: 88 607

1970 - Christchurch Telephone Directory
Ison's Portrait Photographers, 748 Colombo Street 1, 50288

1975 - UBD - Canterbury Provincial Business & Trade Directory
Ison's Portraits, 750 Colombo Street, City

Dimond and Hart

Dimond and Hart
 Joseph Davis Dimond and Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart died 16 August 1909 at Karori aged 54 years
Joseph Davis Dimond died 27 September 1902 Sydenham

Dimond and Hart (Joseph Davis Dimond and Stephen Hart), Photo Enlargers and Importers, 49 Tory Street, Wellington. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residences: Mr. Dimond, Christchurch; Mr. Hart, Tasman Street, Wellington. 

The business was originally established as Dimond Brothers in Melbourne in 1886. In 1891 Mr. J. D. Dimond opened a branch of the business in Adelaide, South Australia, which he subsequently took over on his own account and conducted personally for two years. He came to New Zealand in 1893, and was joined by Mr. Hart, establishing the present firm. The Adelaide business, Mr. Dimond has since sold to Messrs. Dimond Bros, of Melbourne. Messrs. Dimond and Hart transact business throughout the entire Colony, being represented by responsible agents.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District] 1897.
© 2013 Victoria University of Wellington 

Sudden Death. Mr Joseph Davis Dimond, a photographic enlarger, died very suddenly at his residence, Strickland Street, Sydenham, on Saturday afternoon. Mr Dimond was returning home driving a horse and cart about 4 p.m., and just when inside his own gate the horse shied at something, and Mr Dimond fell from his seat into the bottom of the cart and did not move. He was got inside the house, and Dr Diamond, who was passing, was called in, but could only pronounce life to be extinct. The deceased had been attended by Dr R. M. Anderson for some time, and as he was prepared to give a certificate to the effect that death was due to heart disease, an inquest will not be necessary. Mr Dimond, who was fifty years of age, leaves a widow and five children.
Lyttelton Times, Volume CVIII, Issue 12933, 29 September 1902

Stephen Hart, of the firm of Dimond and Hart, who has been confined to his home for the past twelve months, died last evening at his residence in Karori. The deceased gentleman has resided in Wellington ever since his arrival in New Zealand some eighteen years ago [about 1891] when he (in conjunction with the late Mr. Dimond) established the business which bears their name. Mr. Hart leaves six children, Messrs. Henry S. and F., 0. Hart, Misses Marion, Olive, Elsie, and Mona Hart. Mrs. Hart predeceased her husband some , five and a half years ago.
Dominion, Volume 2, Issue 588, 17 August 1909

 unnamed women
photograph coloured by Diamond and Hart.
reverse inscription:
S. ang 3"
portrait probaby trimmed down from original size
20.3cm x 25 cm [8 x 10 inches]
purchased June 2020

 above - the reverse of this wedding photograph hand coloured by Dimond and Hart is inscribed "128/196 Perham N Beach." This is likely to show Mr and Mrs Perham of North Beach, New Brighton, Christchurch.

above - instructions for Dimond and Hart to colour and frame the photograph shown below of George Victor Gudsell and family.

George Victor Gudsell with his wife Lily Louisa Gudsell and their children Vera and Joyce Gudsell.
A photograph dating from 1916 or early 1917 by James Alfred Willoughby, Geraldine.

The New Zealand Photographic Company

(opposite the Establishment of Mr Hague Smith)

New Zealand Herald, Volume III, Issue 687, 26 January 1866, Page 1

New Zealand Herald, Volume III, Issue 688, 27 January 1866, Page 1
(this notice continued in the Daily Southern Cross until 20 February 1866)

The New Zealand Photographic Company, Queen Street, Auckland

TURNER, Nicholas

Nicholas Turner
 Methodist Minister, Photographer

born 22 February 1862 New Wharf, Tonbridge, Kent, England, reg. Mar 1862, Tunbridge (or Tonbridge) vol. 2a page 455, the son of Nicholas Turner (a fruiterer) and Matilda Jupp, arrived Wellington, New Zealand on the "Helen Denny", sailed Gravesend 9 August 1873 arrived 21 November 1873, died 19 February 1930 at his residence 6 Dampier Street, Woolston, Christchurch aged 67 years, reg. 1930/11374, buried Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, block 31, plot 323, married Emily Emma Davies nee Millar, born circa 1862, died 27 February 1949 aged 87 years, reg. 1949/17980, buried Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch block 31, plot 323.

 The Rev. Nicholas Turner
courtesy of Alan Turner

also see Alva Studio

At the Druids' Hall, Worcester Street, this evening, Mr Nicholas Turner will give a lecture, entitled "Through Beautiful Australasia." The lecture will be illustrated with lantern views.
Star, Issue 7251, 12 November 1901, Page 3


Missioner Nicholas Turner, who has been prominently before Wellingtonians recently as the promoter of the Prisoners' Aid Society, and the organiser of the movement which has resulted in the establishment of the Home of Hope for discharged prisoners at Makara, is well-known not only in Wellington, but in Christchurch and Melbourne.

He had much experience in social reform work as an officer of the Salvation Army. He has been of late years an active worker in religious circles in Wellington as the head of the Central Mission, is a member of the Ministers' Association, and acting-secretary of the Council of Churches.

Mr. Turner has been a photographic enthusiast for some twenty years, and for some time prior to coming to Wellington toured the South Island with his camera on behalf of the "Canterbury Times."

Free Lance, Volume V, Issue 224, 15 October 1904, Page 3

Mr. Nicholas Turner, late director of the Central Mission, who has been filling the pastorate of the Methodist Church at Rangiora recently, returned to Wellington this morning. Mr. Turner has been asked to continue in charge of the Rangiora Church until November next, and has accepted the offer. He leaves for the South again, accompanied by Mrs. Turner and their family, next Thursday.
Evening Post, Volume LXX, Issue 81, 3 October 1905, Page 5

Star, Issue 9812, 2 April 1910, Page 11

New Zealand Herald, Volume L, Issue 15355, 17 July 1913, Page 2

Clutha Leader, Volume XLI, Issue 86, 18 May 1915, Page 4

  Press, Volume LIII, Issue 15822, 10 February 1917, Page 1

Wanganui Chronicle, Volume LXVI, Issue 17290, 17 May 1918, Page 7

The above is the title of the lantern lecture to be given in aid of the "Soldiers' Mothers' Day effort," this evening, in the Opera House, by the Rev Nicholas Turner, who, four years ago, made an extensive tour throughout this land, covering practically all the places traversed and occupied by our troops.

The Napier, Auckland and Christchurch papers, in commenting upon the lecture, spoke highly of the information and pleasure afforded to those who had interest in the movements of our troops there, for many New Zealand homes are well represented in this "New Crusade," and further paid the compliment that "Mr Turner not only made slides, but every slide was a picture, ably and racily described by the lecturer." One hundred and thirty slides in all will be screened, 60 of which will show the actual scenes of our military movements. The object is in furtherance of the Soldiers, Club movement, and a good house is assured. The chair will be taken by his Worship the Mayor (Mr C. E. Mackay).

Wanganui Chronicle, Volume LXVI, Issue 17294, 22 May 1918, Page 6

The Rev. Nicholas Turner will conduct his farewell services to-morrow. 11 a.m. at Aramoho, 7 p.m., Dublin Street. Mr. and Mrs. Turner purpose leaving on Wednesday morning next for Christchurch, in which city he will seek rest until health is restored. Mr. Turner hopes to secure at the coming conference twelve months leave without pastoral charge.
Wanganui Chronicle, Volume LXVI, Issue 17498, 15 February 1919, Page 4

Corporal W. A. Turner, son of the Rev. Nicholas Turner, Lichfield street, returned with the Waimana's draft after an absence of nearly four years. Corporal Turner was engaged for several years on the staff of W. Suckling and Co., photographic dealers in this city [Christchurch] and Auckland.
Press, Volume LV, Issue 16560, 27 June 1919, Page 8 

Oamaru Mail, Volume XLIX, Issue 13891, 20 October 1919, Page 3

Evening Post, Volume C, Issue 149, 21 December 1920, Page 1

Press, Volume LVIII, Issue 17531, 12 August 1922, Page 18

Miss Lucy E. Turner, who is retiring from the Alva Studio, Colombo street, prior to her marriage on the 27th inst., was entertained by the staff of the Studio on Friday. Expressions of regret at her leaving, except for the very happy reason, and kindly wishes for her future were voiced. Mr N. Turner, proprietor, on behalf of all concerned, made Miss Turner a very handsome presentation.
Press, Volume LIX, Issue 17798, 25 June 1923, Page 2

 Press, Volume LIX, Issue 17899, 20 October 1923, Page 2

 Press, Volume LIX, Issue 17908, 31 October 1923, Page 2

Press, Volume LX, Issue 17960, 2 January 1924, Page 2 


Press, Volume LXV, Issue 19754, 19 October 1929


Rev. Nathaniel (sic) Turner
(By Telegraph.—Press Association.) Christchurch, this day.

The Rev. Nathaniel (sic) Turner, a well-known minister of the Methodist Church, has died at the age of 70 years.

Mr. Turner was an officer in the Salvation Army before he joined the ministry of the Methodist Church. He was for three years in charge of the East Street Mission in Auckland. When the Chapman Alexander Mission visited this city Mr. Turner was appointed organising secretary, and did his work so well that the evangelists took him for twelve months to perform similar duties during the tour of America.

Returning to New Zealand, Mr. Turner was appointed to the Methodist Church at Gore, but later resigned in order to go into business in Christchurch as a photographer. Mr. Turner was a married man with several children.

Auckland Star, Volume LXI, Issue 43, 20 February 1930, Page 10

High tribute to the valuable services given to the Methodist Church by the late Mr. Nicholas Turner, of Christchurch, was paid last night by the president of the Methodist Conference (the Rev. A. N. Scotter, B.A.), and the Conference passed in silence a resolution of sympathy and condolence with his relatives. Mr. Turner was for some years in charge of the High street Mission, Christchurch, and when the Chapman Alexander Mission left New Zealand, he went Home with Dr. Chapman as his secretary. He afterwards returned to New Zealand and took up a business career.
Evening Post, Volume CIX, Issue 44, 21 February 1930, Page 11

Alva Studios
Rev. Nicholas Turner
 by Alan Turner

he Rev Nicholas Turner was born on February 22, 1862, at New Wharf, Tonbridge, Kent, England. His parents were Nicholas Turner (a fruiterer) and Matilda Jupp both of London. The family migrated to New Zealand on the vessel "Helen Denny", arriving in Wellington in 1873.


"Helen Denny" painted by W Edgar. Layton, Frederick G, d 1923 : Shipping photographs. Ref: 1/4-009632-F. 
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.  
also see "Helen Denny" by William Clark - National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. 

In 1879, aged only 17, Nicholas began active church work as a Methodist Preacher.  He had gained a very good education in both lay and theological subjects and was described as “a good looking, well read, young Englishman”.  He conducted himself with dignity, spoke well and showed considerable skill as a preacher”.  He became particularly interested in the welfare work of the Salvation Army.

It is not known when or where he met his wife Emily Emma who had previously been married to Henry Walter Davies.  It is recorded that Nicholas arrived in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia in 1883 from New Zealand.  This is the suburb of Melbourne where Emily spent much of her young life and was a member of the Salvation Army. Emily was posted to Launceston, Tasmania in November 1883 and Nicholas to Castlemaine about the same time.

They married in 1884 on August 12. 

Promotion within the Army took Nicholas from Lieutenant to Captain and Major and there were a series of postings around Australia.

There were 12 children, two of whom died in infancy. Nicholas Charles Marten Turner, their eldest son, founded the Christchurch office products, printing and furniture company, Turners Ltd which was carried on by his four sons until the 1970’s when grandchildren took over the management of the business.

The family was very interested in music.  Emily had a good voice; Nicholas played the Organ and the Coronet.  Nicholas jnr. played the trombone, Fred the soprano Coronet, Henry the euphonium, Vic the triangle and percussion, Lucy the organ and Eva an outstanding soprano.  All were better than average musicians.

1883    Arrived in Australia from New Zealand
1884    Farewelled from Collingwood, Vic.  Opening of Castlemaine Corps, Vic. Transfer to Tasmania and Marriage
1885    Ballarat, Vic.  North Fitzroy, Vic
1886    Richmond, Vic
1887    As Captain to Ballarat Prison Gate Brigade Home, Vic
1888    To Prison Gate Brigade Home, Sydney, NSW
1890    To Samaritan and Enquiry Department, N.S.W. Prison Gate Work and Enquiry Dept, Melbourne, Vic
1893    Charge of Pakenham Farm, Victoria
1895    Light Brigade, NSW
1896    Western Division, NSW
1897    Promoted from Staff Captain to Major and to Colony Secretary in Victoria
1898    Division Officer, South Australia
1890    Command of Tasmanian Division (Jan 6 War Cry)
    Appointed to Sydney (NSW) Division (Feb 24 War Cry)

It is undoubted that this transient existence was difficult for both parents and children and young Henry recalled that he lost count of the schools he attended.  Both Henry and his eldest sister Emily were heavily committed to looking after the younger members of the family while Nicholas and Emily Emma attended to Army matters.  At that time the Army made an absolute first call on the time and finances of its officers and its soldiers.  Strict morality and devotion must apply to the family but the Army’s needs had to be put ahead of wife and children.  No officer received his modest salary until all Army commitments for hall rent, power supply and the like had been provided for.

The Turner family shared their parents enforced frugality.  Bread and dripping was often on the menu and clothing was often remade and remade.  As testimony to the scarcity of money in the household, son Henry wrote in later years to his son Winston that his wedding suit when he married was a Salvation Army uniform from which the braid and decoration had been removed.

In 1901 Major and Mrs Turner with their brood returned to New Zealand where Nicholas became the new Commander of the Christchurch Division. 

In March 1901 the Salvation Army Staff Councils were held in Melbourne, at that time the Army’s Australasian Headquarters.  The meetings were under the leadership of the Australasian Territorial Commandant, Herbert Booth, who for some time had been trying to persuade his father, General William Booth, to give him authority to make decisions for the Australasian area instead of referring matters to the International Headquarters in London.  Herbert Booth was finding it difficult to work under his brother Bramwell, who was the Army Chief of Staff.

Major Turner was a member of the New Zealand delegation to these councils and acted as secretary to Bramwell Booth during his term in Australia.  As Staff Captain and Colony Secretary at the Australasian Headquarters in Melbourne he had worked closely with Herbert Booth and the two had rapport.  It is no coincidence that about the time that Herbert Booth split with his father and brother and quit the Army to do evangelical work in the USA Major Turner also resigned to do Evangelical work in New Zealand the UK and USA. 

He returned to New Zealand from the Councils in early April 1901 and the last reference to him in the War Cry is dated April 27, reporting a meeting he led in Ashburton.  He must have left the Army very soon after.

Nicholas returned to the Social work that he most enjoyed and found most rewarding about June 1901 and was working for the Methodist Church in the active role of an evangelist and social worker from then.

Between 1906 and 1908 he conducted the Wellington Central Mission and he built the Wellington Central Mission Band into an outstanding group, which went on tour throughout New Zealand.  It was reported to have been the finest brass band possessed by any religious organisation in the Dominion at the time.  The Wellington City Council regarded it so highly that it was paid an annual subsidy in exchange for regular concerts at band rotundas at Newtown Park, Oriental Bay, and the Boulcott St Gardens and at Lyall Bay.  Rev Nicholas Turner became a well-known figure in the city, leading the band through the streets.

In 1909 Nicholas was accepted into the Methodist ministry of New Zealand and his first appointment at the Durham Street Methodist Church, Christchurch.

The East Street Mission had been opened in Auckland in 1904.  In 1913 Nicholas was sent there but it is recorded in the minutes of the mission that he was granted 10 months leave of absence to go abroad as the organising secretary of the Chapman-Alexander Mission to the British Isles.  Dr Chapman and Mr Alexander were prominent evangelists in the UK and the Rev Turner was to join their crusade.  He was to meet Dr Chapman in New York and after a conference would travel to London and then Glasgow. It is believed that he sailed from New Zealand on August 1, 1913 upon the Niagara, travelling via Suva and Honolulu to Canada.  The passenger list shows that he travelled “Second Saloon.” His route took him via Fiji, Hawaii, Vancouver, Canadian Rockies, Niagara, and various American cities to London.

Whilst in the USA he is understood to have preached at various venues at the invitation of Herbert Booth.

Two dates are recorded for his arrival in Glasgow to join the mission, Sept 5th, and September 20th, 1913; which is correct is unknown.

In Scotland Nicholas also preached with the Church of the Covenanters, a religious order allied to the Presbyterian Church and with a history going back to the time of Cromwell and Charles II.

Following the completion of his obligations to the mission, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, he returned to New Zealand after April 6th, travelling via London, Paris, Genoa, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Bethlehem, Jericho, Dead Sea, and Egypt. He joined the ship Otway at Port Said, Egypt on April 22, 1914, and visited Colombo during the final leg of his travels. He reached New Zealand about the end of May 1914 as newspapers record two evening talks given by him in Auckland on the 7th and 14th of June that year as well as “wireless messages” on those same Sunday mornings, so we can conclude that he had reassumed his normal pastoral obligations.

New Zealand Herald, Volume LI, Issue 15750, 27 October 1914, Page 8

During his travels he took many photographs and was able to use these and his experiences in his lectures and his preaching for the rest of his life.  He illustrated his lectures with pictures and slides that he had taken, and advertisements for his lectures report the showing of up to 200 slides. These photographs were known to remain with members of the family until at least the mid 1900’s but whether they still exist is quite unknown.

He returned to the Auckland Mission at the end of May 1914, only months before the outbreak of World War I.  Sons Fred and Vic both served in the medical corps. Vic was one of the final handful or men to leave Gallipoli being ready to provide medical care to the last boatload of evacuees.

In 1915 the Rev Nic was sent to Gore, returning to Christchurch the following year and then in 1918 moving to the North Island.  1919 saw him without “pastoral charge” but in 1920 he was pastor at Johnsonville. The following year he had moved to Woodville.  From newspaper clippings it is clear that he also preached in Dannevirke.

In 1923 with his health failing he retired from the ministry aged 61.

His later years were spent in the same financial situation as most of his life.  There was no pension in recognition of his long years of service.  He found it impossible to settle and moved with his devoted Emily from one member of his family to another. 

Finally Nicholas settled in Christchurch where he ran a photographic studio – Alva Studio.  Throughout his life he had been an expert in photography working in the earlier days with cumbersome wet plates.

The Rev. Nicholas Turner
courtesy of Alan Turner

In earlier years he was to put his photographic skills to use when the Salvation Army produced a remarkable film, “Soldiers of the Cross” which son Henry also claimed to have had a hand in.

The story of the making of this film is told in a book by Eric Reade, “the Australian Screen,” a pictorial history of Australian film making published by Landsdowne Press in 1975.  To quote:
“Joseph Perry was an adjutant in the Limelight Division of the Salvation Army in Melbourne (set up on June 11, 1892) and was keen to overcome the soulless magic lantern projecting static slides.”

“Born in Birmingham 1864, he went to New Zealand with his parents at the age of 11.  He became an officer of the Salvation Army in Dunedin, then came to Australia.  On June 11, 1892 he was appointed Officer in Charge.  With his wife he gave lectures with a magic lantern with a three-burner kerosene lamp.  At that time the Limelight Division had that one lantern, 300 slides and a staff of one, Perry”.  

“In 1896 Commander Herbert Booth, son of General Booth, was appointed to command the Australasian Territory.  He realised the potential of the French “Lumiere Cinematographe” and set Perry to study this new medium which added motion to pictures.  He filmed documentaries and films on the social work of the Army so successfully that Herbert Booth wrote a film play, “Soldiers of the Cross.”
The technology had been developed by the French Lumiere brothers a year earlier.
“It has been claimed that this was the first full length film in the World.  Various film historians have disagreed but no conclusive proof to the contrary has been supplied.”

What can be established is that in 1899, in a studio on the outskirts of Paris a ten-part version of the trial of French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was filmed and Cinderella (1900) in 20 scenes.  Most movies at this time were very short, one or two reels only.  It was not until 1912 that the first full length movies were made when independent producers in Europe and the United States formed their own production and exhibition companies and broke away from the Motion Picture Patents Company which was controlling the industry.  They exhibited full-length feature films such as Quo Vadis (1912) from Italy, and Queen Elizabeth (1912) from France.

“The film was presented to the Melbourne Town Hall on September 13, 1900.  It was a wet night but 4000 people attended and were enthralled with what they saw – martyrs sacrificed, thrown into burning lime, burned at the stake or fed to wild beasts.”

Henry Turner remembered details of the making of these scenes and the parts he took in them. According to the War Cry of September 22, the best part of “The Soldiers of the Cross” was the reproduction of events in the Coliseum. Undaunted Christians clustered together to pray, then fell back in terror as a ferocious lion was let loose on them. Remember that this picture by Perry was long before the days of Cecil B De Mille, and cost only $1,200 to produce.

“Most of “The Soldiers of the Cross” was filmed on the tennis court of Belgrave House, a Salvation Army home for girls at 1219 Dandenong Road, Melbourne, close to what is now Chadstone Shopping Centre.  Taken with a Lumiere Cinematographe that Perry had urged the Salvation Army to import direct from Paris, the finished film of 5,000 ft (1522 m) was projected on 60 foot (18m) spools. Vividly coloured slides gripped the attention of the audience while the spools were changed.”

“Painted scenery draped over the netting surrounding the tennis court provided the necessary backgrounds.  But it was the ingenuity of Joseph Perry that promotes admiration even today.  He covered huge crowd scenes with the dexterity of a seasoned producer.”

“The people were pelted with cloth stones; Christians who refused to renounce their faith were prodded with cardboard spears to force them to jump into a pit of burning lime.  Puffs of smoke rising from the pit were puffs of steam from a boiler forced though tubing.  When the martyrs jumped into the pit they landed on a mattress out of camera range.”

1901 was to see an unfortunate incident that was to take “Soldiers of the Cross” from its country of origin.  Herbert Booth resigned over a disagreement in policy and purchased the film outright for $600, half of what it cost.  When Herbert Booth left on the Orizaba on September 3 for New York the film left with him.  He later exhibited it throughout the USA but searches in recent years have failed to find the film.  The vividly coloured slides associated with the film were found in America and are now in the National Film Library in Canberra, Australia.

So much for “Soldiers of the Cross” a film which Major Turner had enthusiastically supported, and in which he had encouraged Herbert Booth with the benefit of his expert photographic knowledge.

Perry subsequently produced a number of films in a glass roofed studio at the rear of the Salvation Army headquarters at 169 Bourke St Melbourne, one being a film on coaching in New Zealand inspired by Nicholas Turner.

In 1906 the relationship between Nicholas Turner and Joseph Perry was renewed when the first talking pictures were made using the Cinephone.  Perry took moving pictures of the 1906 Christchurch Exhibition, including Fijians doing a war dance and Maoris doing haka and a poi dance and linked them to gramophone recordings.  This predates the first sound films made by Warner Bros 20 years later in 1926 using the Vitaphone process which recorded music and spoken passages on large discs which were synchronised with the action on screen.  The first sound film released for public exhibition was the Jazz Singer in 1927.

Nicholas also concocted a publicity stunt giving a recital by his Wellington Mission Brass Band to bed-ridden patients over the telephone in the same year.

Nicholas continued to operate the Alva Photographic Studio in Victoria Square until his health deteriorated to the point where he could no longer work.  The children banded together and helped to provide for their parents.  Nicholas spent his last days with Emily at a small cottage at 6 Dampier Street, Woolston, Christchurch, just off Ferry Road where he died aged 68 on February 19, 1930.

Pallbearers at his funeral were members of the Orange Lodge which he had been a member of since the age of 17.  He was a past Grand Master of the Lodge and whilst a young Salvation Army Officer had become involved in the dissension between Irish Catholics and Protestants in Victoria, Australia.

Late Rev. N. Turner.

The Funeral. The funeral of the late Rev. N. Turner left his late residence, 6 Dampier street, Woolston, for the Bromley Cemetery on Saturday afternoon.

The chief mourners were the widow, Messrs N. C. M. Turner, F. Turner, and Herbert Turner (Christchurch), Mrs H. Fulton and Mr S. Turner (Dunedin), Mrs S. Hildreth and Mr H. Turner (Wellington), Mrs W. Parker and Messrs V. Turner and A. Turner (Auckland). Mr Turner had been a member of an Orange Lodge since he was 17, and was a Past Grand Master of No. 3 Lodge, and the pall-bearers were members of his Lodge and of No. 5 District Lodge (Canterbury).

The Rev. B. Metson conducted the service at the house and at the graveside. Bro. E. Hudson, chaplain of No. 3 Orange Lodge, conducted an Orange service at the graveside. Amongst those who attended were members of the Orange Lodges, the Rev. J. Melbourne Stewart (Tennyson street Congregational Church), the Rev. J. Guy,  Brigadier A. J. Marshall and Adjutant H Goffin (Salvation Army), and Mr J. Patten (Wellington).

Wreaths were sent by the following. His loving wife, Herb and Win, Mrs Busing, Mr and Mrs Turnbull, Fred and May, Mr W. Britten, Vic and Grace, Harry and Annie (Brisbane), Mr and Mrs A. Britten, Olive Smith, Nick and Maud, Mr and Mrs H. A. Sutcliffe, Hugh and G. K. Neil, Mr and Mrs Hildreth (Wellington), Eva and Harry, Stan and Vic Art and Mavis, Lucy and Wilf, Em and Stan, Mr and Mrs Andrews, Mrs Parsons, Orange Lodge No. 3, Orange Lodge No. 5, Royal Black Preceptory, and the Woolston Band.

Press, Volume LXVI, Issue 19861, 24 February 1930


The Rev. N. Turner. 
The death occurred on Wednesday evening last of the Rev. Nicholas Turner, a Christchurch Methodist minister. Mr Turner was a native of Tonbridge Wells, England, coming to New Zealand with his parents as a boy in the ship Helen Denny, receiving his early education here. From the age of 17 he was a local preacher in the Methodist Church. As a young man he went over to Victoria and joined the Salvation Army, rapidly rising to the rank of major. He at various times held important territorial commands in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.

Later he was transferred to the Christchurch Division, from which he resigned his commission and re-entered the Methodist Church. For many years he laboured in the Durham Street Circuit, and he had been stationed in many circuits throughout New Zealand, including Gore and Oamaru, while he had on occasions occupied the pulpit of the various Methodist churches in Dunedin. Mr Turner was responsible for the formation of the Wellington Central Mission about 25 years ago, an organisation that had by repute the finest brass band possessed by any religious organisation in the Dominion at that time, and he was a familiar figure marching at head of his band through the Wellington streets each Sunday evening.

He removed to Auckland, and while in charge of the Methodist Central Mission he was chosen as organising secretary for the Chapman-Alexandra Mission in the British Isles, and while on that tour had the distinction of preaching in the Church of the Covenanters in Scotland. He had also preached in many churches in the United States. On the completion of the tour he returned to New Zealand, and continued in his pastoral work until ill-health compelled him to retire from regular church work.

Mr Turner has held many high offices in the Loyal Orange Lodge of Christchurch, of which he has been a prominent member for many years. He is survived by his widow and a large family comprising Messrs N. C. M., F. J., and Herbert Turner (Christchurch), Mrs W. Parker, and Messrs H. V. and A. W. Turner (Auckland), Mrs S. Hildreth and Mr H. Turner (Wellington), and Mrs H. Fulton and Mr Stan Turner (Dunedin).

 Entry in Christchurch Telephone Directory 1922


Nicholas Turner married 12 August 1884 at the Parsonage, Christian Mission Church, Launceston, Tasmania, Emily Emma Davies nee Millar, widow of Henry Walter Davies aged 23 years, born 21 November 1861, Mount Blackwood, Victoria, Australia, died 27 February 1949, Christchurch

1. Henry Walter Davies Turner (stepson of Nicholas) born 1880 or 30 September 1881, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, reg. 21618/1880, died 25 April 1959 Victoria, Australia, reg. 8792/1959 married 6 September 1905 at Wesley Church, Wellington or Taranaki Street Methodist Church, Wellington by the Rev. H. Blamires assisted by Mr. Nicholas Turner, reg. 1905/1912, Annie Elizabeth Hildreth eldest daughter of Elizabeth and William Thomas Hildreth, Mayor of Karori. 

2. Nicholas Charles Marten Turner (printer) born 1885, Ballarat, Australia, died 28 September 1939 at his residence 163 Barrington Street, Christchurch aged 54 years, reg. 1939/22600, buried Bromley Cemetery, block 15 plot 379, married 28 March 1910 at the Sydenham Methodist Church, Christchurch by the Rev. Nicholas Turner, reg. 1910/1515, Maud Parsons only daughter of John Parsons, Opawa, died 25 June 1963 aged 73 years, buried Bromley Cemetery, block 15 plot 379. 

3. Frederick James Turner [sometimes Frederic James Turner] (printer) born 29 May 1886 Ballarat, died 22 February 1965 aged 78 years, reg. 1965/24762, buried Bromley Cemetery block 31, plot 323 (with his parents), married 19 September 1908 at the Methodist Church, High Street, Christchurch by his father Nicholas Turner, reg. 1908/7108, Bertha May Wheeler, eldest daughter of Elizabeth [relict of the late Henry Taylor] and George Walter Wheeler of Wellington, born 2 May 1886, reg. 1886/6383 [twin with George Frederick Wheeler], died 16 August 1983 aged 97 years, buried Bromley Cemetery block 31, plot 323.

4. William Arthur Turner, Corporal NZ Medical Corp, WWI, born 30 May 1894 Pakenham, Melbourne, Australia, reg. 10989/1894, died 15 February 1939 at a private hospital, Auckland aged 44 years, buried Waikumete Soldiers Cemetery, area D, row 3, plot 48, married 29 January 1921 at the Trinity Church, Dunedin by the Rev. Nicholas Turner,
reg. 1921/8739 and 1921/10898, Margaret Neville Way White "Mavis", born 9 April 1897, reg. 1897/4280, died 1979, reg. 1979/30714, third daughter of Thomas Samuel Way White and Jessie Neville of Auckland (children of Beverley and Warwick).

5. Emily Matilda Turner born 31 July 1890, reg. 25669/1890 Newtown, NSW, died 18 December 1951, Christchurch,  married 30 December 1914 at East Street Methodist Mission, James Henry Stanley Hildreth second son of Elizabeth and William Thomas Hildreth, Mayor of Karori, reg. 1914/4371, died 25 September 1931 Wellington, buried Karori Cemetery, Wellington, plot 31R, she married 2ndly 1936, reg. 1936/3794 Thomas Loftus Jones

6. Horace Victor Turner “Vic” (linotype operator, Sun Publishing Co., Christchurch) born 17 May 1892 Richmond, Victoria, Australia, died 17 June 1984 Wellington, reg. 1984/33287, married firstly circa 1920, reg. 1920/2904, Grace Merle Britten born 4 February 1895, German Bay, reg. 1895/3826 daughter of Catherine Louisa Pidgeon and George Britten, died 18 April 1938 Hastings aged 43 years, he married secondly 11 October 1941 at St Francis, Woodford House, Havelock North, Ruth Margaret Small, daughter of Hugh Small of Hastings.

7. Eva Coraline Turner [Eva Caroline] born 3 June 1896 Orange, NSW, reg. 24243/1896 Orange, married December 1920 Johnsonville, Wellington, Harry Fulton, divorced 1922, [remarried 1922, reg. 1922/5687 Harry Fulton?]

8. Lucy Edith Turner born 25 June 1898 Adelaide, died 15 April 1940 Wellington aged 42 years, married 27 June 1923, Durham Street Methodist Church, Christchurch by Rev. J. Harris, Wilfred Parker son of Nimrod Parker of Lyttelton.

9. Herbert Turner born 8 October 1900, possibly at Forester Lodge, Sydney, Australia, reg. 31359/1900 Glebe, died 26 Match 1971 Johnsonville, Wellington, married Winifred Richardson or Winnifred Edith Richardson 13 January 1927, reg. 1927/6999 [Johnsonville, Wellington?]

10. Stanley Gladstone Turner [photographer 1928-1938 later clerk], born 13 January 1904, Wellington, reg. 1904/5900, died 1 December 1979, Hastings, reg. 1979/46962, married 2 October 1929, reg. 1929/6129, Violet Anthony Dixon born 1 July 1909, reg. 1909/7486 daughter of Arnold Dixon and Clara Margaret May Dixon.

11 and 12 - two others William and Arthur who both died in infancy.

 The Rev. Nicholas Turner and family

 standing at back - 1. Frederick James Turner; 2. Henry Walter Davies; 3. Nicholas Charles Marten Turner.
front - 4. Arthur Turner; 5. Stanley Gladstone Turner; 6. Emily Emma Turner; 7. Lucy Edith Turner; 8. Emily Matilda Turner; 9. Herbert Turner; 10. Rev Nicholas Turner; 11. Eva Coraline Turner 12. Horace Victor Turner.
 photograph courtesy of Alan Turner

Nicholas Charles Marten Turner 

Press, Volume LXXV, Issue 22828, 29 September 1939

Evening Post, Volume CXXIX, Issue 90, 16 April 1940, Page 1

Mr. Henry W. Turner, eldest son of Mr. Nicholas Turner, of the Central Mission, was married at the Taranaki street Methodist Church yesterday afternoon by the Rev. H. L. Blamires, assisted by Mr. Turner, to Miss Annie Hildreth, eldest daughter of Mr. Wm. Hildreth. The bride was attended by Misses J. and N. Hildreth and Eva and Lucy Turner, and Messrs. N. and F. Turner assisted the bridegroom at the marriage service.

The wedding breakfast, which was partaken of by some 160 guests, was held in the Masonic Hall, and numerous toasts were proposed and responded to. In the evening a social gathering was held. Amongst the many presents received was one given to the bride by Mr. Hildreth's employees, and the firm and staff of Messrs. H. O. Hewitt and Co. presented the bridegroom, who is attached to the firm's Masterton agency, with a Wertheim sewing machine, bearing a plate suitably inscribed.
Evening Post, Volume LXX, Issue 59, 7 September 1905, Page 4

Nicholas Charles Marten Turner - by Alan Turner
Before coming to New Zealand, Nic gained experience in the printing industry through working with F. Burmeister and Co. Adelaide and at William Brooks Ltd, Sydney. His first work in New Zealand was with the Government Printing Office and later in Christchurch he joined the staff of Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd.  On leaving there he joined the jobbing department of the Lyttelton Times.

In 1918 Nic went into business on his own, selling his home to raise the necessary funds, and purchased the business of the late Mr Theo Cox located at 625 Colombo St, which he soon expanded and he moved to the corner of Tuam and Colombo Streets where the Turners Ltd business continued to grow over many years, expanding to cover retail and wholesale commercial stationery, office furniture (manufactured by Lomak Furniture, a company acquired in 1932), and office machine sales and service in addition to printing.  His four sons Basil, Noel, Desmond and Laurie all joined the business and subsequently 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.  The business was sold in 1995.