BEKEN, Charles John

Charles John Beken
Charles John Beken son of Thomas Beken and Eleanor Hurst born 11 September 1859 [1] on board the immigrant ship "Zealandia" sailed London 11 August 1859 - arrived Lyttelton 12 November 1859, birth reg. 1859/10014 New Zealand, died 1 December 1944 aged 85 years, reg. 1944/30222, buried block 33, plot 178 Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch, married 11 March 1882, reg. 1882/592, Frances Agnes Emma Smart born 23 August 1860 Christchurch, New Zealand, reg. 1860/10294, daughter of Sarah Jane and Edmund Smart, baptised on 16 September 1860 at St Peters Church, Riccarton, Christchurch, died 19 January 1946 aged 85 years, reg. 1946/19247,buried block 33, plot 178 Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch

They had four children:
1. Ellenor Beken born circa 1882, reg. 1882/15954, married circa 1907, reg. 1907/3707, Edwin Bollington  

2. Albert Charles Beken born circa 1884, reg. 1884/20165, married circa 1912, reg. 1912/2903, Clara Alice Barnard, she died 13 June 1919 at Waimate Hospital, he married secondly 10 November 1920 St Mary's Church, Heathcote, Olive Harriet Annie Meek (the artist Olive Beken) [2] daughter of John and Annie Meek, born 11 July 1897 - died 4 December 1982 Nelson. 

3.  Henry Beken born circa 1886, reg. 1886/7743        

4. Lucy Beken born circa 1891, reg. 1891/6052, married circa 1921, reg. 1921/8415, Joseph William Wilson.   

The family connection, if any, with the marine photographers Beken & Son of Cowes, has not been established.

Industrial Exhibition 1895
... Mr Charles Beken shows some exceedingly nice work, one of the most attractive specimens of which is No. 78, an enlarged portrait of a child, charming in its delicacy and softness...
Star, Issue 5371, 24 September 1895, Page 4

"Millbrook Reserve - an open air fernery on the Avon riverside, Christchurch"
blind stamped "C. Beken - Chch"
protected C. Beken 25/5/2- 

reverse inscribed
"Please return R. B. Owen, 751 Colombo St"
 [Richard Bedward Owen - see Rich Man, Poor Man, Environmentalist, Thief, Biographies of Canterbury personalities written for the Millennium and for the 150th anniversary of the Canterbury Settlement by Richard L N Greenaway]

An unidentified bush scene by Charles Beken

" Sir, —I would like to ask your advice on the following matter: —Last October I did a lot of photographic work for the Government Tourist Department, for their exhibit in the Industrial Exhibition held here last November, and up to date have not been able to get payment for it. My account was rendered to the Tourist Department here, and the officer in charge informs me he "passed" it and forwarded it to the head office. He informs me he has written about it and other accounts for work done for tho same Exhibition, and that none have been paid yet (although it is now six months ago). I have also written myself about it, and was informed that my account had been passed, and that a cheque would reach me at an early date. But the early date does not come. When next I enquired, I was told that all accounts would be squared up before Mr Massey took charge of affairs, but as Mr Massey did not take charge of affairs my account has not been paid. The next time I enquired, it was All accounts would be paid by the end of March the end of the Government financial year. I would be glad if you could inform me what is the best thing to do in the matter. Can I place it in the hands of a solicitor to take proceedings, as the Department evidently does not intend to pay it unless something is done. I would like to state that the prices charged for the work done by me were the prices fixed by the Tourist Department, viz., for lantern slides, 1s each, and for 23in. x 17in. enlargements, 5s each (I would like to know how many firms would like to do work at those sweating prices), and the other work was done at the same ridiculously low rates, and then the Government do not pay for the work till months after. A great proportion of the money was paid out for materials, and as I am only a working man, working on my own account, it is too bad to be kept waiting all these months for my money.—Yours, etc., CHAS. BEKEN.

We trust that the publication of the above letter will have the result desired by our correspondent.—Ed. "The Press.

Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 14331, 17 April 1912, Page 7

Diamond Wedding
Mr and Mrs Beken
Mr and Mrs Charles Beken, who celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary this week, have lived all their married life in their present residence in Rossall street. Both are holders of the prized Centennial red ribbon given to residents more than 80 years of age. Mr Beken, who is in his eighty-third year, was born on the Zealandia on its second trip to New Zealand in 1859. The boat took 108 days on the journey. Mrs Beken, who is 82 years of age, was born in Templeton, and is a daughter of the late Mr Edmund Smart, who arrived in Canterbury on the Randolph, one of the First Four Ships. Mr Beken is probably the oldest photographer in Christchurch, and in his photographs taken over a period of 60 years, may be seen the gradual development of the city from the time when there were only a few houses in a swamp where the Cathedral now stands.

From pictures taken on tiny wetplate negatives by Dr, Barker, Christchurch’s first photographer, Mr Beken has produced enlargements as clear, as present-day photographs. The old colonists’ illustrations in the museum are largely his work. At the time of the Scott Expedition he was commissioned to develop many of the plates taken in the south, and he has an interesting record of the expedition. A photograph which he prizes is one showing the turning of the first sod of the Midland Railway in 1887. Mr Beken, who was then a cabinetmaker in the employ of A. J. White, Ltd., made the barrow which appears in the foreground of the picture. Mr White brought the first cinema projector to Christchurch, and Mr Beken, in association with Messrs Burmister and Lowe, gave the first cinema entertainment in the Opera House where St. James’s Theatre now stands. Mr Beken, who was a pioneer cyclist, still uses his bicycle as his principal means of transport. His first “high bike.” a wooden-wheeled one, is now in the Christchurch museum.
Press, Volume LXXVIII, Issue 23586, 13 March 1942, Page 2
Early Photographic Records One of the most important collections recently received by the Canterbury Museum is 160 boxes of negatives and slides presented by Mr A. C. Beken. They are the work of his father. The subjects include Antarctica, early Canterbury, and natural history. Among the 2000 items are a large number of negatives copied from Dr. A. C. Barker’s early photographs when they were in first-class condition. They will fill many gaps in the museum’s collection of Dr. Barker’s original negatives of early Canterbury.
Press, Volume XCI, Issue 27687, 17 June 1955, Page 10

unknown children photographed by Charles John Beken
[purchased May 2022]
Six photographs by Charles John Beken were published in the book
New Zealand Memories by Brenda Guthrie, M.B.E.
Published - John Lane, The Bodley Head Limited, 1930.

Ti Tree, or Manuka"

Mt. Cook and Hooker Glacier shewing Mountain "Lillies"

"Bush" showing Birch trees and ferns

Ribbonwood, native of New Zealand

Mountain Daisies

Mountain Lillies which love the snow

Photographs by Charles Beken appeared in "The Flora of Mount Cook - A Handbook by Arnold Wall", The Lyttelton Times Co., Christchurch, 1925. 

A photograph of the Canterbury Museum by Charles Beken is shown in "Heritage New Zealand,"  Historic Places Trust, page 54, issue 130, Spring 2013.

Painting by
Olive Beken
Olive Harriet Annie Meek 

"The Road from Rotoiti, Nelson"
by Olive Beken (1897-1982)
oil on board, 61cm x 46cm
purchased September 2011

 BEKEN—MEEK. A pretty wedding was celebrated at St Mary's Church, Hcathcote. on November 10th, 1920, when Mr Albert C. Been, elder son of Mr and Mrs C. J. Beken, St. Albans, was married to Miss Olive Meek, only daughter of Mr and Mrs J. Meek, Heathcote. The Rev. J. Young officiated. The bride, who was given away by her brother, wore a gown of ivory crepe de chine, prettily embroidered. Her veil was arranged with the usual wreath of orange blossom, and she carried a sheaf of lilies. The bride was attended by Miss Elsie Beckingsale, who wore an apricot crepe de chine frock, with black and apricot hat. The little flower-girl, Miss Nancy Woodward, cousin of the bride, dressed in a dainty white frock and pink hat, carried a basket of pink roses. Mr Godfrey Chattaway attended the bridegroom as best man. After the ceremony a reception was held at the residence of the bride's parents, Mrs Meek receiving the guests in a navy sergo costume and becoming purple hat. Later, the happy couple left for their honeymoon.
Press, Volume LVI, Issue 16995, 18 November 1920, Page 2

[1] Lyttelton Times, Volume XII, Issue 733, 16 November 1859, Page 4
[2] Press, Volume LVI, Issue 16995, 18 November 1920, Page 2

COLLIS, William Andrews

William Andrews Collis

New Plymouth


son of William and Mary Collis and brother of the artist and photographer Emily May Collis, born circa 1853 Fiji, died 15 December 1920 at his residence 99 Vivian Street, New Plymouth aged 67 years, registered 1920/5439 [as William Andrew Collis], married 1 May 1878 at Winteringham Cottage, New Plymouth, reg. 1878/954, Lydia Naomi King, daughter of  Sarah Day and Wright Ruffler King.

Taranaki Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 2810, 4 May 1878, Page 2

1. Margaret May Collis born circa 1879, reg. 1879/4589        
2. Kathleen Mary King Collis born circa 1882, reg. 1882/5991         
3. Stanley William Max Collis born circa 1883, reg. 1883/6536       
4. Ethel Day Collis born circa 1885, reg. 1885/17789      
5. Nellie Bradley Collis born circa 1887, reg. 1887/5737     
6. Douglas Leopold Wright Collis born circa 1890 reg. 1890/9804      


Messrs. Williamson and Co.'s Photographic Views of the Province.— We inspected yesterday afternoon, at Messrs. Williamson and Co.'s photographic studio, a number of beautiful views taken recently in various parts of the Province. They are "plate" size, being ten inches by twelve inches. The views were taken by Mr. W. A. Collis, and are very excellent specimens of photographic art, comprising scenes at the Waitara, Urenui, and Pukearuhe. "A Bush Scene," taken from a gully at the back of the A.C. Camp, looking south-east, is really a very beautiful picture, and another looking to the north-east is equally effectively taken. The views at Pukearuhe also comprises the following scenes:-
"View of the A.C. Camp from the Sea,"
"View of the Camp from northeast side, showing the Cliffs,"
"View of the Camp from the Slaughter-house,"
"View of the Cliffs from the Sands."

At Urenui we see 

"Wilkinson's Hotel," 
"View of the Redoubt and Magazine" showing also several of the settlers' houses there; 
"A View of the Township and north side of the River," and 
"A View of the Urenui Bridge."

Our space to-day prevents us doing that justice to these views that we should like, and we shall on another occasion refer to the collection but we cannot conclude without recommending those who would wish their friends in England or elsewhere to have an idea of the Province, to purchase some of these photographs and forwarded them home, feeling sure it would tend more to create a desire to visit this spot than all the letters they could write on the subject. We may add that Messrs. Williamson and Co. have innumerable views taken about the town, also panoramas of New Plymouth, one taken from Marsland Hill, and the other from Fort Niger.

Taranaki Herald, Volume XXIV, Issue 2404, 22 April 1876, Page 2

Mr W. A. Collis has forwarded to us some specimens of his Christmas photograph cards, which are very artistically got up. The chief feature in the cards this year is the Jubilee gathering in the centre of the town in March last, although, of course considerably reduced, the figures are very distinct. The border of flowers around the picture is pretty, and adds to the attractiveness of the cards. Mr Collis has also views of a waterfall on the Waiwakaiho some of which have been artistically coloured by Miss E. Collis, and form a very pretty picture. On one of the boughs of a tree are the words "Compliments of the Season." There should be a large demand for these cards.
Taranaki Herald, Volume XL, Issue 9208, 20 October 1891, Page 2 

Councillor William Andrews Collis was born in Fiji, South Sea Islands, in 1853, but arrived in Auckland at an early age, and was educated at Wesley College. The family settled in New Plymouth in 1872, and the subject of this sketch was brought up as a photographer with Mr. Hartley Webster. After some time he became manager of Messrs Williamson and Company's business, and commenced on his own account, in Brougham Street, in the year 1875. Mr. Collis was elected to the Borough Council, in 1889, for West Ward, but he has latterly represented Central Ward. He is a representative of the Council on the Board which controls the Recreation Grounds, and is the New Plymouth member of the Egmont National Park Board. Mr. Collis is chairman of the North Egmont Committee, in connection with the Park, and is secretary and treasurer of the local Scenery Preservation Society, the parent society of its kind in New Zealand. He has also been for several years chairman of the New Plymouth school committee. As a Forester, Mr. Collis is a trusted of Court Waireka, Ancient Order of Foresters; and he acts as trustee and secretary of three trusts in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Church in New Plymouth. He was married, in 1877, to a daughter of the late Mr. W. R. King, of New Plymouth, and has two sons and four daughters. Mr. Collis is further referred to in connection with his business as a photographer.


Collis, William Andrews, Photographer, Devon Street, New Plymouth. Mr. Collis began business in Brougham Street, in 1875, but in 1882 he built his studio in Devon Street. The building is of wood and iron, and two stories in height; it has a studio, waiting and dressing rooms on the upper floor; and the offices and work rooms are on the ground floor. Mr. Collis undertakes all kinds of photography, including landscape and portraiture. He is further referred to as a member of the New Plymouth Borough Council.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Victoria University of Wellington 





Henry Winkelmann
 born 26 September 1860 Bradford, Yorkshire, England
died 5 July 1931 Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand

The scow "Herald"
 The "Herald" was a wooden vessel of 73 tons register, built at Auckland in 1892, and owned by Mr. A. W. Bryant, coal, lime, cement, and shingle merchant.

The "Herald" struck on Canoe Rock, off Kawau Island, on July 14, 1928. After her crew had landed on the rock, the scow drifted away.

Photographs of Auckland. The Auckland City Council decided last evening to purchase for £100 a collection of 1700 photographic negatives depicting the city and suburbs in earlier days, particularly during the last 30 years. The collection was made by Mr. H. Winkelmann. The pictures are considered to be of topographical and historical value.
Auckland Star, Volume LIX, Issue 194, 17 August 1928, Page 6

Auckland Star, Volume LIX, Issue 236, 5 October 1928, Page 14

Mr. Henry Winkelmann.
Noted Photographer.

The death occurred on July 5 of Mr. Henry Winkelmann, aged 71 years. The son of the late Mr. Peter Winkelmann of Bradford, Yorkshire, he was born at Hollingsworth House, Gomersal, near Leeds, and was educated at Bradford and Neuwied, Germany. Some 50 years ago he arrived in New Zealand and joined the staff of the Bank of New Zealand. He was stationed at various branches in New Zealand and also spent several years in Fiji.

Upon returning to Auckland Mr. Winkelmann became secretary for the Coastal S.S. Company which ran several boats to ports in the Hauraki Gulf. The company eventually, merged with the Northern Company, and Mr. Winkelmann then devoted himself to photography, which for a number of years had been his hobby. He had a very complete technical knowledge, and his originality and daring in selecting new viewpoints gave his work a character that was unique at the time. 

He specialised in marine photography, and as he was also a keen yachtsman he made a collection of pictures that made, his name known not only throughout New Zealand but abroad, for his work was reproduced in many overseas journals. He was particularly good at taking panoramic views from difficult viewpoints that required climbing skill and a cool head. It was his ability as a photographer, combined with an interest in scientific research, that led to Mr. Winkelmann's inclusion in several important solar eclipse expeditions to different in the Pacific, including Flint Island, Tonga, and also to Port Davey, Tasmania. 

He was an excellent pianist and organist, and in his younger days frequently performed at concerts in Auckland and other centres. A prominent Freemason, he was a life-member of Lodge Te Awamutu, 2221, E.C., and for a considerable period he was organist to the lodge.

He was connected with several social organisations in and was a member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the New Zealand Power Boat Association, and the Victoria Cruising Club. It is only a few years since he retired from business, on medical advice, but he continued to interest himself in photography.

He is survived by four sisters. Mrs. M. L. Fox, of Herne Bay, Auckland, Mrs. Sidney Springfield, of Swanson, Mrs. B. R. Palmer, of Narrabri, New South Wales, and Mrs. Harold Vogan, of Sydney.
Auckland Star, Volume LXII, Issue 157, 6 July 1931, Page 5

Scows, Auckland Harbour
by Henry Winkelmann

 Kahu, Zior & Reliance
by Henry Winkelmann

... He won among other trophies the grand prize at the Panama Exposition. His skill as a photographer, combined with an interest in scientific research, led to his taking part in several solar eclipse expeditions, including those to Flint Island, to the north-west of Tahiti, in 1908, Port Davey, Tasmania, in 1910, and Vavau, Tonga, in 1911. He also acted as official photographer during a Parliamentary tour of the Cook and other islands in 1903...
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20918, 7 July 1931, Page 12

A Life's Work. The hobby and life work of the late Mr. Henry Winkelmann is immortalised in his magnificent collection of shipping photographs which he bequeathed to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. There are some 6000 negatives in the series, depicting practically every ship of beauty that has entered the Auckland Harbour in the last half-century. They are mostly yachts, although larger sailing vessels are represented, taken in every imaginable way to emphasise their gracefulness and charm. Mr. Winkelmann was the real artist, and worked long hours and endured  hardship and discomfort to secure his pictures. On regatta days, or when a sailing ship was expected, he would hire a launch and spend long hours waiting for the one moment when his "subject" looked best. But it was worth the trouble.
Auckland Star, Volume LXV, Issue 205, 30 August 1934, Page 6


 James McDonald

"New Zealanders of the present and future," writes "Tangiwai" in the "New Zealand Railways Magazine," "should be grateful to those faithful recorders of its natural beauty and its Maori and pioneer life who have passed on after their strenuous and faithful work. Such artists as John Gully and Kennet Watkins, such landscape photographers as Josiah Martin and Henry Winkelmann did a vast amount in their day to make known the peculiar charm and wonder of our scenery and to preserve pictorial memories of remarkable phases of the Dominion's life and character. 

"Such vigorous veterans of the camera as we have with us still, such outstanding men as Leslie Hinge whose work for the Railways is before us every month in this magazine can speak of the difficulties and troubles they met a generation ago in the never-resting duty of photographing wild scenes and great events. It was not easy to get about New Zea and in their time when they penetrated all but unknown country in the search for something new. It is different now, with the aeroplane to conquer once inaccessible regions.

"Mr. James McDonald, who died at Tokaanu recently, at the age of seventy, was one of those who had done a vast amount of good photographic work to make New Zealand known in the outside world. For six years he was almost constantly in the field for the Government Department of Tourist and Health Resorts, in the pioneer days of that office under its very energetic head, Mr. T. E. Donne now living in London. Later he was artist and assistant director in the Dominion Museum.

"'Mac' was an all-round able man in the artistic side of our national advertisement work, before that much used term publicity had been coined. He was an artist with a special liking for Maori life as a subject for pencil and brush.

In his young days at the Melbourne Art Gallery McDonald studied under McCubbin, and he was contemporary there with Longstaff, John Roberts, and other Australian artists of note. In 1890 he married May Brabin, of Hawksburn, returned to his native Otago some twelve years later, and it was not long before the newly-established Tourist Department engaged him as the needful man for the picturemaking campaign that was to make the Dominion's scenery famous. He travelled from end to end of New Zealand, he illustrated the Department's books; he was a sculptor also and modelled the heroic Maori group that decorated the main hall, in the big exhibition in Christchurch in 1906.

"Mac was not only a good artist but a good sport, a capital travelling mate, always cheerful, resourceful in camp. I write with knowledge, and affection for 'Mac,' for we travelled some thousands of miles together and camped in all sorts of queer corners in those days. There was the faithful trio of us, with T. E. D. to boss the party in his genial capacity as official head.

"I see them now, 'Mac' jogging along on his horse with a brace of cameras slung over his shoulders; far down the bush tracks of Westland — we had a wild week of it there once, a hundred and fifty miles from the Franz Josef Glacier over the Haast Pass and out to civilisation again at Lake Wanaka.

"Rough country! There was only one bridge in all that journey, and there was a swift alpine river to ford every few miles. All the better for picture making, was 'Mac's' point of view. There was a whole bookful of adventures on those backblocks horseback cruises — and in our Tongariro National Park climbs, long before a Chateau was dreamed of.

"Depicting Maori types and Maori tattooing, carving and all manner of native artistry was quite a passion with, James McDonald. When he retired from the Museum's service he settled at Tokaanu, as a suitable place for pursuing his Maori work, and he was a greatly popular character with the Native folk all about the Taupo shores."
Evening Post, Volume CXIX, Issue 152, 29 June 1935, Page 29

MARSH, Robert George

  Robert George Marsh
 born circa 1862 England
son of George and Rosetta Marsh
arrived Lyttelton 5th May 1874 on the Apelles
died August 1940 Rotorua, New Zealand aged 78

married circa 1887, reg. 1887/3307    
Mary Ann Thomas
died 3 January 1927 at her residence Pukaki Street, Rotorua in her 61st year

1. Ruby Gladys Marsh born circa 1888, reg.  1888/13257   
2. Robert George Stanley Marsh born circa 1895, reg. 1895/16294         
3. Charles Thomas Austin Marsh born circa 1895, reg. 1895/16295, died 13 August 1895, reg. 1895/4305 aged 7 weeks, buried Waihi Cemetery, South Taranaki.

Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5680, 1 December 1883, Page 1

In 1887 he patented an improved folding attachment for printing machines, he was then a printer in Wellington.
Evening Post, Volume XXXIV, Issue 114, 11 November 1887, Page 2

Mr R. G. Marsh is about building a four roomed house on his sections situate on Wall's Court Place, which when finished will greatly add to the appearance of our township. We want a few more with the ready to come and do likewise.
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXXI, Issue 3153, 26 October 1895, Page 2

We hear that Mr R. G. Marsh, of Normanby, intends to erect a large two storied shop on the corner section in High-street adjoining Mr Jenkins' cabinetmaker's shop.

Mr C. E. Major reports having negotiated the lease of the business site at the corner of High and Victoria streets from Mrs Espagne to Mr R. G. Marsh, of Normanby.
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXXI, Issue 3207, 6 January 1896, Page 2

Our township is still progressing, and I am informed that Mr R. G. Marsh intends shifting his store to Hawera. Is it that the ready is such a scarce' commodity amongst us that even our keenest business men are bound to fling up the sponge or what?
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXXII, Issue 3215, 15 January 1896, Page 2

The tender of Mr John Ryan, of Otakeho, has been accepted for the erection of business premises for Mr R. G. Marsh, at Hawera.
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXXII, Issue 3222, 23 January 1896, Page 2

Mr R. G. Marsh has sold out his grocery business to Mr W. Quin, who takes possession immediately.
Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXXII, Issue 3263, 2 June 1896, Page 2

New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXVII, Issue 23747, 29 August 1940, Page 12
[The immigrant ship was named Apelles]

This postcard is post-marked Christchurch, 12 August 1908.

 Te Wairoa no. 8 
11 April 1917
March Photo
[purchased March 2023]

 Wairoa Falls no. 6
 11 April 1917
March Photo
[purchased March 2023]

A Souvenir of the Round Trip

Nineteen Views
Waimangu, Before and After the Eruption.
Published by The Brett Printing Co. Ltd. no 23600.

Album of 12 postcards by R G Marsh of Rotorua, showing the Waimangu eruption of 1 April 1917, the accommodation house before and after the eruption, the hot lake at Waimangu, Frying Pan Flat before and after the eruption, Lake Rotomahana, Guide McCormick, and general views of the thermal district.