Department Stores

Tea Shop

The interior of a tea shop about 1905

 unknown photographer
20.4cm x 15cm

unknown lady

unknown photographer
21.6cm x 15.6cm


The first piano manufactured in New Zealand

First piano manufactured in New Zealand
 unknown photographer
19.1cm x 14.5cm

This piano is inscribed:
left: The First Piano Manufactured in New Zealand. Exhibited at Dunedin Exhibition 1865.
centre: (made) by Charles Begg no. 21 and 21 Princes Street, Dunedin.
right: Presented to the Otago Early Settlers Association by Chas. Begg & Co. Ltd. 1904. 

Specimens of local industry, no matter in what branch, must be at all times interesting to those having the welfare of the province at heart, and we are happy to be able to record the initiation of another new industry, which shall be productive of profit to those engaged in it. We refer to the manufacture here of two pianofortes, two of which are now on view at the shop of Mr. Charles Begg, Princes-street. The pianofortes are of the land known as cottage 6⅞ octaves, and in neat rosewood cases, and altogether will compare favourably in tone and appearance with the importations of London makers.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXIII, Issue 132, 1 November 1864, Page 3

A relic of the early days: first piano manufactured in New Zealand. 
This instrument was made throughout in Dunedin by the late Mr Chas. Begg, founder of the firm of Chas. Begg and Co. (Limited), and was exhibited, with three similar pianos, by him at the Dunedin Exhibition in 1865. It recently came into the firm's possession, and they decided to give it to the Otago Early Settlers' Association. It is largely made of New Zealand woods, still possesses a really good tone, and is yet thoroughly sound in every respect, despite forty years of hard wear, and is excellent evidence of the hardihood of the "early settler." 
Otago Witness, Issue 2646, 30 November 1904, Page 41

also see:  
Piano; Charles Begg; Pre-1865; 1904/34/1 - Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.

Wedding Gifts

 Wedding Gifts

A large number of wedding gifts are displayed on this room.
 unknown photographer
20.5 cm x 14.1 cm

CROMBIE, George Pye

George Pye Crombie
member of the Dunedin Photographic Society

born 20 December 1882 Edinburgh, Scotland
killed in action in France or Belgium 13 June 1917.
no. 29744, Private, 1st Otago Infantry Battalion.

PRIVATE CROMBIE. Private George Crombie (reported killed in action on June 13) was the eldest son of Mr James Crombie, merchant tailor, Stuart street. He was a pupil at the George Street School and latterly at the Kaikorai School.

After leaving school he went into his father's shop to learn the business, and there he remained until two years ago, when he bought an orchard in Nelson and went to settle there. He was well known among a large circle of friends as a man of sterling character. The key-note of his life was thoroughness. 

For a number of years he was closely connected with the Dunedin Photographic Society, and held the position of secretary for a period. He was one of the best amateur photographers in Dunedin, and his artistic pictures were always a noteworthy feature of the various photographic exhibitions held locally and elsewhere. 

He was also an ardent horticulturist, and his garden at Roslyn, which was admired by all, contained many beautiful and rare flowers. When the call to arms came he enlisted in the Medical Corps, but subsequently transferred to the infantry (Eighteenth Reinforcements) when he found that men were not urgently required in the former arm of the service.

A younger brother, who left with the Eighth Reinforcements, is at present on active service in France.

Otago Daily Times , Issue 17048, 5 July 1917, Page 7

The Stereograph

Otago Witness, Issue 2671, 24 May 1905, Page 15

Robertson Ramsay Wright
(Rob Wright)
Suva, Fiji

G894          The production of copra, the dried kernel of the coconut, is one of Fiji's oldest industries, and is produced on plantations and estates on many of the islands of the Fiji Group. The product is transported to Suva by island freighters and milled to produce coconut oil, The oil is shipped in bulk to overseas markets. Photo shows: Sacks of copra being loaded on an island freighter at Waimaqera Estate, Taveuni.

 Bob Wright's photograph of loading copra was used in the design of this Fijian postage stamp in 1954.

G5468      Fijian sailing canoes, constructed from hollowed logs and with sails made from woven pandanus leaves, are speedy craft which have been used by the Fijians since before the advent of the white man. Modern innovations such as outboard motors and planked boats are finding favour with the Fijians, and the outrigger canoes are now to be found only in the outlying islands of the Group.

G784          Viti Levu (Big Fiji) 4053 square miles in area, is the principal island in the Fiji Group. It is roughly oval in shape, the main watershed lying along its north-south axis. The interior is mountainous and broken with 29 well-defined peaks, the highest of which is Mt. Victoria of 4,341 feet. Shown in the photo is Nabui, a peak in the Korobasabasaga Range.

8436          In common with many other islands groups in the Pacific, the Fijians precede any event of importance with the traditional offering of yagona (the kava of Polynesia) and a magiti (feast). Here a spokesman for a group seated in the background, is presenting a giant sea turtle and a mound of taro - one of the basic foods of the Fijian people.

G4621        The artistic sense of the Fijians is expressed in the "meke" - a combination of song and dance. There are many variations of which the club and spear meke representing scenes of warfare, are often vividly portrayed. The dancers are accompanied by an "orchestral'' force of people who chant the theme and keep the tempo by rhythmic clapping of hands and beating of wooden drums and bamboos. Photo shows performers in a "meke wesi" - a spear and fan dance.

1925         The banana is today, through an increasing demand for this popular fruit, grown commercially in almost every tropical country and, as Fiji presents ideal climatic conditions and excellent soil, the growing and export of this popular fruit to New Zealand is a flourishing industry. Cultivation is almost entirely in the hands of Fijians who bring the fruit to packing stations where the banana fingers are stripped from bunches and packed into cases for shipment overseas. Photo shows: Bamboo rafts laden with bananas being poled down a river to a packing station.

M688         The Suva Market place provides many glimpses of local colour. Here, people of many races and creeds and speaking many languages rub shoulders while they barter for foodstuffs. It is a mecca for vendors seeking to sell their wares and for those who seek to buy them. It is where East and West meet with the islanders of the Pacific.

G5598        The attractive island of Nananu-i-ra off the north-eastern coast of Viti Levu is typical of many of the smaller islands in the Fiji Group. Fringing reefs of coral surmounted by beaches of white glistening sand form a protective barrier for the small bays of the island. Nananu has been continously owned or occupied by European settlers for almost 100 years and is renowned for its excellent fishing grounds.

G5821         With its clusters of quaint Fijian-type huts, this could be a native village on the south coast of Viti Levu - Fiji's largest island. But it is the Korolevu Beach Hotel, one of the most unique and popular tourist resorts in the South Pacific. Guests are housed in these cosy self-contained units, bordering on a lovely bay. Korolevu is the only hotel in the South Pacific which boasts its own airstrip and aerial taxi service.

8418         Despite the advance of of Western culture in the Pacific, the Fijian race still retains most of its traditional customs, one of the most important being the yaqona (the kava of Polynesia) ceremony. Preceding any event of importance to the Fijians, yagona is prepared with elaborate ceremonial; the drink - a mixture of the pounded root and water - is presented in coconut halfshells.

G4361.      Suva's annual Hibiscus Festival celebrated each year during the month of September, has become an event rivalling Bastille Day celebrations in Tahiti. It is an occasion when Suva is en fete and its entertainment includes island singing, music, and dancing; bands, sideshows, and marching girls; a procession of decorated floats, and the selection from a bevy of beautiful girls of Miss Hibiscus for the year.

G4956.     The precision drilling of a Guard of Honour of stalwart Fiji Police in navy tunics, white scalloped sulus, and scarlet cuummerbunds, is an eye-catching spectacle during the opening of Legislative Council in Suva, by the Governor of Fiji.

2927.        Approximately  60% of the copra production of Fiji is from Fijian-owned groves. The remainder is produced on European - owned estates such as that shown in the photograph. This is a plantation on the south end of Taveuni, one of the principal copra producing islands in the Group. In the left foreground is the owner's residence. In the centre, the drying sheds and kilns; at the right, houses for the workers employed on the plantation.

7378        Fijian Beating Lali

Bob Wright's photograph of the Fijian beating the Lali was used in the design of this Fijian postage stamp in 1954.

G5670      The siting of a village is something which is given mature consideration by the Fijians before building their houses. It must be accessible to a river or to the beach, sea, and reefs; it must have fertile land nearby for the growing of root and vegetable crops, and an adequate supply of fresh water for cooking and bathing. Above all, it must be sited where it receives maximum protection from the devastating effects of storms which may occur between the months of December and April. Malevu village on the Sigatoka coast of Viti Levu is typical of the many villages in this area.

G5711       A section of the modern Terminal Building at Nadi Internationail Jet Airport. In this area, which is two-storied and air-conditioned, are changing rooms, showers, coffee and liquor bars, cafe, duty free shop, and comfortable lounges.

9089        Once a roistering town of ebullient seafarers and bibulous planters, Levuka, former capital of Fiji is today a quiet town basking in its former glory. The township nestles at the feet of bold spurs striking down from a line of mountain crags which include the highest peaks on the island of Ovalau. Traders first settled on the beach here during the early thirties of last century. After Cession in 1874 it was found that there was limited room for expansion and in 1881, Suva was selected as the capital.



WILTSHIRE, Ernest Edward

Ernest Edward Wiltshire
Member of the Christchurch Photographic Society 1939-1946
Vice President, Christchurch Photographic Society in 1944 (1)

born 31 May 1884 Tillington, West Sussex, England (2)
son of Annie and Thomas Wiltshire (coachman)
reg. June 1884 Midhurst vol. 2b page 428
arrived New Zealand 1911
died 19 August 1946 New Zealand aged 62 years (3)
 reg. 1946/34236
buried Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, block 8 plot 486 (4)

 married 29 June 1911, London (2)
 reg. Jun 1911 Hackney vol. 1b page 1010   
Eva Grahame Higgs
 born circa 1882
daughter of Frederic Higgs and Annie Barbara Higgs (nee Bell, later Lee)
 reg. Jun 1882 Newbury vol. 2c page 240
arrived New Zealand 1911 (4)
died 14 May 1969, reg. 1969/44496
buried Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, block 8 plot 486 (4)

In 1917 he worked at Peterson's Ltd in Christchurch as a jeweller's salesman; he lived at 46 Slater Street, Richmond (2).

E. E. Wiltshire was an ardent colour enthusiast in the days of Dufaycolor, and a meticulous monochrome print maker. He is commemorated by the Wiltshire Cup, the much sought-after trophy for a major interclub colour competition (5). This cup is now awarded to the Photographic Society of NZ club submitting the best selection of eight digital images, on any subject (6).

The Wiltshire Memorial Trophy 
[photograph courtesy of the Photographic Society of New Zealand]

Petersens old-established jewellery business, 66 years in existence, and an important part of the City's business life, has now been reorganised, the two principals taking an active part in the business: Mr J. A. Robb, the well-known Christchurch jeweler, who recently returned from an extended trip to England, and Mr E. E. Wiltshire, 14 years associated with Petersens, latterly as manager.
Press, Volume LXV, Issue 19611, 6 May 1929, Page 10

 The grave at Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch of Ernest Edward Wiltshire and his wife Eva Grahame Wiltshire nee Higgs. This is also the grave of Annie Barbara Bell, the mother of Eva Grahame Wiltshire who died 5 July 1936 age 77 years. Following the death of her first husband Frederic Higgs she married in 1893 to George Lee. Annie arrived in New Zealand in 1911 (4) so she probably arrived with Ernest and Eva Wiltshire.
photographed 11 April 2015 AGR

Obituary - Mr E. E. Wiltshire
Mr Ernest Edward Wiltshire, who died suddenly at his home yesterday, was born in Kent (8), England, 62 years ago and came to New Zealand in 1911. More than 30 years ago he joined the firm of Petersens Ltd, jewellers, as a salesman. Later he became assistant manager, then manager, and in 1929 he was appointed a director of the firm. In 1930 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. He had presided at a number of sittings at the Magistrate's Court.

Keenly interested in horticulture, Mr Wiltshire was for more than 30 years a member of the Canterbury Horticultural Society. For several years he served on the committee of the society, and he was also a life member and vice-president. Mr Wiltshire specialised in showing gladioli and won several awards at Dominion shows, in addition to many prizes at Canterbury shows. He also exhibited in other classes at Christchurch shows. During recent years Mr Wiltshire experimented with a number of varieties of plants and had been successful in grafting a new type of apple which he intended to exhibit at shows during the coming year. Mr Wiltshire also judged in the gladioli section at many horticultural shows.

Another of his hobbies was photography. He specialised in colour transparencies and landscape shots and had a fine collection of colour slides of Christchurch and of the Mount Cook region. The collection of Mount Cook slides was said to be one of the best in New Zealand. He exhibited in many photographic competitions in the Dominion and had broadcast commentaries on Bledisloe Cup competitions when they were held in Christchurch. He was a member of the Christchurch Photographic Society. In recent years he had exhibited some of his work in the United States and had won high praise for it.

A former president of the Linwood Library, and a member for about 25 years, Mr Wiltshire was secretary of the library up to the time of his death.
Press, 20 August 1946, page 8.

Christchurch Photographic Society

On the morning of the 19th August, Mr. E. E. Wiltshire "passed away". Suddenly. Unexpectedly.

Mr. Wiltshire was one of the Society's keenest and most useful members, and his death has created a deep sense of sadness amongst all who knew him.

Joining the Society in 1939 he quickly established himself as our best colour worker and in a short time, he became a committee member and the following year, a Vice-President. He occupied this office at the time of his decease.

During the war colour film became very scarce so Mr. Wiltshire directed his energies towards monochrome work. In this field he was also a superb worker, among his outstanding pictures were "Enter Spring", "Salute to Spring" and "Magic Carpet". All Inter-Club Competition pictures.

Mr. Wiltshire's large circle of contacts in the business world proved invaluable in assisting the Society to expand and his annual broadcasts on the Air when the Bledisloe Cup Competition was shown in this city, were listened to by photographers all over New Zealand.

Mr. Wiltshire endeared himself to those in close contact with him by his eagerness to help, advise and demonstrate. It was obvious that his greatest pleasure lay in giving help to others. It was almost impossible to repay him, and that condition seemed to be entirely satisfactory to him.

As Editor of the "Highlight" he was outstanding; and he took great delight in polishing up each issue and making it sparkle with wit.

Apart from the joy in helping those about him, Mr. Wiltshire was never so happy as when out with his cameras, (colour and monochrome) making pictures of those beautiful things in Nature. Flowers, Trees, Streams, Sunlight, Shadows, and the Clouds in the Sky. It is amongst these beautiful thing we say Good-bye to our Friend.

We deeply mourn his loss. We have greatly profited by his example. 

F.L.B. [by Frederick Leslie Bowron].
 Christchurch Photographic Society Newsletter 1946 - Ron McKie

"Enter Spring "
original photograph by Ernest Edward Wiltshire of the gates to Hagley Park, Christchurch
26cm x 31.3cm
hand-coloured by Isabella McArthur October 1945 (see photo below)
framed by H. Fisher and Son, 691 Colombo Street, Christchurch 

Isabella McArthur is shown here sitting at the bottom of the stairs; this photograph is dated September 1943. She was born 6 September 1927, married Victor Malcolm Alexander MacNaughtan in 1948 (7) and died in 1999.


Autumnal beauty in the Botanic Gardens
colour photograph by E. E. Wiltshire
Christchurch, New Zealand City of Beautiful Gardens and Parklands - Tourist Centre for the South Island, page 5

 Azaleas blaze with colour in the Gardens
colour photograph by E. E. Wiltshire
 Christchurch, New Zealand City of Beautiful Gardens and Parklands - Tourist Centre for the South Island, page 10

On the Milford Track
colour photograph by E. E. Wiltshire
Christchurch, New Zealand City of Beautiful Gardens and Parklands - Tourist Centre for the South Island, page 60

(1) Inventory of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery Archive Folder 8b: Correspondence 1932-1944 Containing: Letter, 20.11.1944, Town Clerk to EE Wiltshire (Vice President, Christchurch Photographic Society), granting him permission to utilise the main hall at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery to take photographs.
(2) Archives New Zealand, Wellington, record R22022174.

(3) Register of New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriage 1946/34236   Wiltshire, Ernest Edward aged 62Y
(4) Christchurch City Council Cemeteries Database. Buried with  Eva Grahame Wiltshire
(5) "Camera in New Zealand," Anderson and Casbolt,  (1967), p31.
(6)  Photographic Society of New Zealand -
(7) Victor Malcolm Alexander MacNaughtan (Vic): born 1920-died 1989
He married Isabella McArthur. The youngest of the eleven children, he was blessed with an excellent memory which helped in his schooling and whatever he read throughout his life.
After leaving school, he joined the Accounts section of Hutchinson Motors in Christchurch and in 1940 he volunteered for war Service, celebrating his 21st birthday en route to England in 1941. From the Fleet Air Arm, he was transferred on loan to the Royal Navy where he served around the coast of Britain and the Mediterranean, chiefly in Landing Craft. He returned to New Zealand at war's end with the rank of Lieutenant.
He married in 1948 and rejoined Hutchinson Motors. Then in 1958, the family, then with two children, Angela born in 1950 and Alan born 1953, moved to Milton, a small farming town south of Dunedin. Victor's accounting skills were put to use in another Motor Firm and a Wool Scour.
This was a period of active involvement for the whole family with Community Organisations and for Victor the Anglican Church, the District High School and the Borough Council were of great interest. At various times the St. Johns Ambulance, Boy Scouts and the Golf Club claimed his attention, in between caring for the house and garden.
In 1980 Vic and Isabella travelled to England to visit their daughter Angela and he was able to see the great contrast in that country compared to his war-time memories -

(8) English census records of 1891 and 1911 indicate he was born in West Sussex rather than Kent.

BEDE, Christopher

Christopher Bede Studios

Christchurch Telephone Directory - 1970, page 152
Christopher Bede Studios Ltd, PO Box 2136 Christchurch
Manager's Residence, Diamond Harbour DHB-779

"Michael aged 15 wks"

"Tony 1960"
Copyright by Christopher Bede Studios Ltd, Auckland
appointment no. 44842
Proof Print H 3
This photograph was taken in Timaru.

unknown children by Christopher Bede, Auckland
photographer's reference numbers 34539 and T13
247x194mm, purchased December 2021

Alastair John McKinlay aged 1 year, November 1959
by Christopher Bede
photographer's reference number 61160
[purchased February 2023]