COLLIE, William

William Collie

William Collie [sometimes William Leys Collie] was born about 1826 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland the second son of Elizabeth Leys (Betty) and her husband Alexander Collie, a slater and slate merchant. He was baptised on 8 March 1826 at St Nicholas, Aberdeen. In 1841 then aged 14 years he was living at Shiprow in Aberdeen. Ten years later he had moved to East Budleigh, Devon where he was a teacher of English, the Classics and Drawing. 

 The baptism record of William Collie
reference - 08/03/1826 Collie, William O.P.R. Births 168/0A 0210 0296 Aberdeen

He arrived in New Zealand about 1857 aged about 31 years. In 1880 he moved to New South Wales and died there unmarried, about November 1900 aged about 74 years. The death was registered at Granville, New South Wales, number 1681/1900. 

Family in Scotland
William Collie's father Alexander Collie was born about 1789 in Fetteresso, Kincardineshire, in 1851 he was a slater employing 5 men, he died in 1864. His mother Elizabeth Leys was born about 1799 in Aberdeen the daughter of James Ley and Margaret Farquharson,  she died in 1856.

Children of Alexander Collie and Elizabeth Leys:
1. Alexander Collie born Aberdeen, baptised 8 November 1823 Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, died 14 January 1898 at Harlaw House, Inverurie in his 74th year, buried Chapel of Garioch churchyard, married 1856 Isabella Connon she died 18 May 1896 at Harlaw House in her 61st year.
1a. William Leys Collie born 5 September 1857 Aberdeen, died 8 April 1941, Harlaw House, Inverurie aged 83 years.
1b. Elizabeth Leys Collie born 12 January 1859,  died 7 September 1939, Harlaw House, Inverurie aged 80 years, artist, studied at the Aberdeen School of Art and the Académie Julian in Paris.

2. William Collie baptised 8 March 1826 Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, died about 1900 New South Wales, Australia, unmarried.

3. Elizabeth Collie baptised 1 March 1828 [born?] Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, married 9 September 1852,  by the Rev. David Johnston at the Suffolk Street Congregational Church, Glasgow, Captain William Duthie Wood of the "Waterwitch" of Aberdeen [1], son of John Wood and Janet Old, born 15 October 1826 Aberdeen.

4. David Collie baptised 31 December 1835 [born?] Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen.

At 28, Shiprow, on the 15th inst., Elizabeth Leys, wife of Mr Alexander Collie, slater, much regretted. While performed the duties of a loving wife and an affectionate mother, her warm heart ever glowed with love for the cause of her Redeemer, both at home and abroad. Her death will be much felt by many a poor and destitute creature, and her memory long cherished by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
The Aberdeen Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Wednesday, November 26, 1856; Issue 5681.

1841 census Shiprow, Aberdeen - William Collie aged 14 born Aberdeenshire.
1851 census East Budleigh, Devon - William Collie, head, unmarried aged 25 years,  Teacher of English, the Classics and Drawing, born Scotland. 

The Aberdeen Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Wednesday, June 29, 1864; Issue 6077.

Chapel of Garioch - Entertainment.
A very enjoyable magic lantern entertainment was given in the Logie-Durno School on Friday evening last. Scenes, comic, astronomic, and historical, were beautifully shown by Mr. Wm. Collie, Harlaw House, who, in choice and appropriate language, described the various views to a large and appreciative audience. The astronomic moving views, which beautifully illustrated the various movements of the heavenly bodies, were specially admired, and greeted with applause ... the proceeds, which were, we understand, considerable, are intended for the improvement of a church road.
Aberdeen Weekly Journal, January 16, 1884; Issue 9026

Sale of an Aberdeenshire Estate. - The southern portion of the Lands of Inveramsay have been purchased for
£10,250 from Messrs Robertson & Lumsden, agent for the proprietors, by Messrs James & George Collie, advocates, on behalf of Mr Alexander Collie, Harlaw House.
Aberdeen Weekly Journal, Wednesday, October 2, 1889; Issue 10813.

 Aberdeen Weekly Journal, Wednesday, January 19, 1898; Issue 7828.

[1] The Aberdeen Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Wednesday, September 15, 1852; Issue 5462.

 New Zealand
William Collie arrived in New Zealand in about 1857 and operated a circulating library in Trafalgar Street, Nelson until about December 1858. He then moved to Blenheim where he was a bookseller, stationer and dealer in fancy goods in Market Place. Sometime before 1868 he also opened a portrait gallery. In 1874 he moved to Napier where he worked as a portrait and landscape photographer. He may have lived briefly in Tauranga or Auckland before moving in 1880 to New South Wales where he died in 1900.

William Collie visited Rotomahana in 1875 and photographed the Pink and White Terraces. [Otukapuarangi and Te Tarata]. The terraces were New Zealand's most famous tourist attraction, sometimes referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. They were destroyed on 9–10 June 1886 during Mount Tarawera eruption. 

In 1877 he visited White Island; his photographs were the first taken of the island. The following year he made two visits to Ngauruhoe. His first visit was in February or March 1878 however his camera and plates were taken from him by the natives. He appears not to have returned with or published any photographs from this visit. He returned to Ngauruhoe about December 1878 and photographs from this trip were advertised in April 1879.

Exhibited photographs:
  • Christchurch Exhibition 1872 - 1873.
  • Vienna Exhibition in 1873 - six photographs. [Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIX, Issue 4982, 12 August 1873, Page 3 and Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2316, 3 January 1873, Page 2]
  • Sydney Exhibition - 1880


Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVII, 13 March 1858, Page 2

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVII, Issue 47, 12 June 1858, Page 2

William Collie's letter to the editor of the Nelson Examiner against Chinese emigration to New Zealand.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVII, Issue 48, 16 June 1858, Page 2

 Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVII, Issue 49, 19 June 1858, Page 2


unknown man by William Collie
[purchased December 2021]

  Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVII, Issue 104, 29 December 1858, Page 2
[Beaver was the original name for Blenheim]

Marlborough Express, Volume III, Issue 96, 11 January 1868, Page 1 


We have received an excellent photograph by Mr. Collie, representing Market-street during the last flood. The spectator stands in front of the Government Buildings looking northwards on the right is Collie's shop and bridge, with the water nearly level with it. At the end adjoining Galloway's, is a group of well-known persons. Beyond Galloway's the shops are shown to the top of the street, where Elbeck's store is just visible, and out in the distance is one side of the Royal Hotel, and the Presbyterian Church in course of erection. On the left are Kitchen's and Nosworthy Bros.' store while in the centre is a boat supposed to be ferrying across the gully. The ensemble forms an excellent picture, which is extremely creditable to the artist, and our readers will do well to orders [sic] copies in time, who intend to send them home by the next mail.
Marlborough Express, Volume III, Issue 109, 28 March 1868, Page 1

above and below - Flooding in Blenheim
by William Collie, photographer, Blenheim.

Marlborough Express, Volume III, Issue 124, 4 July 1868, Page 6

Mr. William Collie, stationer, of Blenheim, has become a bankrupt.
Colonist, Volume XIV, Issue 1399, 21 February 1871, Page 3

Colonist, Volume XIV, Issue 1417, 25 April 1871, Page 2

Wellington Independent, Volume XXVI, Issue 3331, 28 October 1871, Page 3

1870-71 Wairau Electoral Roll, page 3, no. 73: 
William Collie, Blenheim, 
household section 9
freehold sections 90, 91, 108, part of 31.

The Vienna Exhibition
The Following are the articles which have been selected from those shown at the Christchurch Exhibition to be forwarded to Vienna:- ....Fine Arts
W. N. Blair - photographs, Rangitata bridge, by exhibitor. W. T. L. Travers, New Zealand scenery in North Island, Lake Guyon and creek scenes, by exhibitor (twelve beautiful views). Colonial Museum — Collections of flax and feather mats. Forty-six photographs, mostly consisting, of North Island scenery by D. L. Mundy. Six photographs by W. Collie ....
Press, Volume XXI, Issue 2316, 3 January 1873, Page 2

His Honor the Superintendent has entrusted Mr Maskell with the task of preparing the information for the Marlborough portion of the intended work to be edited by Mr Vogel for distribution in England among intending Immigrants. Mr Maskell will be glad of aid from those of our older settlers who may be able to contribute items relative to the early history of Marlborough.

We learn that the collection of photographs of local interest has been received by the Secretary, and as soon as the frames are completed they will he exhibited to the public. It will be remembered that a subscription was opened for the purpose of obtaining the views in question, and that Mr Collie was employed for the purpose.

Marlborough Express, Volume VIII, Issue 551, 8 November 1873, Page 5

We understand that at a recent exhibition of photographs in America, one of a view near Massacre Hill by Mr Collie, of Blenheim, obtained a third place, and honorable mention, among a very large number of competitors from all parts of the world.
Marlborough Express, Volume IX, Issue 629, 8 August 1874, Page 5
unknown woman by W. H. Macey, late W. Collie
[purchased December 2021]


The Telegraph in a late issue acknowledges, with thanks, the receipt from Mr W. Collie, of Napier, of a collection of very beautiful photographic views of Rotomahana, accompanied by a descriptive letter, which it promises to publish.

Marlborough Express, Volume X, Issue 690, 6 March 1875, Page 5

Mr Macey has favoured us with a view of a collection of large photographs, taken in the Taupo district by our whilom [former] townsman Mr Collie. The series includes views of the wondrous falls of Rotomahana, and its boiling springs the white and pink terraces the boiling cauldron; and the same place when the water has sunk away and an instantaneous picture of the upper basin of the white terrace. As works of art these pictures are superb, and when examined through an ordinary magnifying glass have quite a stereoscopic effect, and our opinion only confirms that entertained by the public of Napier, as signified by the demand for copies, which is greatly in excess of Mr Collie's means of supplying them.

Marlborough Express, Volume X, Issue 691, 10 March 1875, Page 3

above and below - photographs of unknown locations
by William Collie, photographer, Blenheim.

Marlborough Express, Volume X, Issue 696, 27 March 1875, Page 4

above - carte de visite by Collie, location not known

His studio was in Hastings Street.

Some interesting novelties in photography may be seen at Mr. W. G. Jackson's stationer, Lambton Quay. They consist of some admirable photographic views of the geysers and other natural wonders of Rotomahana, taken by the instantaneous process, and giving every minute detail with marvellous clearness and accuracy. This is the more surprising as volumes of vapor are always rising and greatly obstruct the photographer. In this case, however, although the ascending vapor is faithfully reproduced, it does not at all interfere with the clearness of the picture. One view represents the bottom of the caldron on a recent occasion when it was quite empty, an event of most rare occurrence. The pink and white terraces are represented with great effect. These views will well repay a visit of inspection. They have been taken by Mr. William Collie, of Napier, and are very tastefully mounted.
Evening Post, Volume XI, Issue 92, 17 June 1875, Page 2

 Evening Post, Volume XII, Issue 24, 28 July 1875, Page 2

No. 3 - The Bottom of the Cauldron of Rotomahana, when the boiling water had sunk away.
by William Collie

No. 4 - The Bottom of the Cauldron of Rotomahana, when empty, the stream beginning to rise again,
by William Collie

No. 6 - Nature's Fonts on the White Terrace of Rotomahana,
by William Collie

No. 7 - The Middle of the White Terrace of Rotomahana,
by William Collie

Ohinemutu, the Village of Hot Springs on the Border of Lake Rotorua,
by William Collie

The Boiling Cauldron of Rotomahana, a Maori on the Rock,
by William Collie

The Mountain, Hot Spring, White Terrace, and Lake of Rotomahana, 1874,
by William Collie

Instantaneous View of the Steaming Upper Basins of Rotomahana, 1874,
by William Collie

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XX, Issue 3857, 24 February 1877, Page 3

Whakaari / White Island
William Collie visited White Island during the period 5 April 1877 to 29 April 1877.

During the last two or three days there has been some uneasiness felt as the safety of Mr Collie, who left here on the 2nd ult. with the purpose of passing about three weeks on White Island, to take photographic views of the scenery there. He and a young lad [Frederick Ernest Lys] were landed on the island on April 5th, water and provisions being left with them to suffice until the return voyage of the steamer. Yesterday morning there was a report that the vessel had called at the island, but could find no trace of either Mr Collie or the boy, but later in the day Mr Macey received a telegram from Mr Collie, dated from Tauranga, stating that he had been picked off the island that morning by the Pretty Jane.
Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XX, Issue 3903, 1 May 1877, Page 2

Mr Collie, photographic artist, of Napier whose excellent views of Rotomahana are doubtless familiar to many of our readers, was a passenger by the ss Pretty Jane on Monday, after having spent a month on White Island, where he has been taking photographic views.

Mr Collie, accompanied by his young son [sic], was landed on this desolate spot about a month ago by the s s Pretty Jane on her way from Napier, and took all his provisions and also fresh water with him, as there is none to be found on the island. He pitched his tent at the southern end, and though the sulphurous vapour which occasionally clouded the air was rather unpleasant, it was not found necessary at any time to shift the camp. The burning masses of sulphur are at the west end of the lake situated on the western side of the islaud, and looking across the lake at night the fires and steam are plainly visible.

Taking the views was found to be a difficult undertaking, owing to the motion of the steam, which, driven by the wind in one direction or another, was continually obscuring the atmosphere, but after three weeks' patient labour, several good results were produced.

It was arranged that the Pretty Jane should fetch Mr Collie off the island on her next trip to Gisborne, but the captain was afraid that if the weather prevented her doing so, Mr Collie would run out of provisions. The steamer called therefore on Saturday night, and about midnight Mr Collie was awakened by shouts from the men in the steamers boat, the whistle of the steamer not having been heard; a speedy packing up ensued, and Mr Collie and his son were taken on board without delay. 

Mr Collie speaks very highly of the interest taken in his project, by Captain Helander, and all on board the Pretty Jane, they having done everything in their power to assist him. We understand that Mr Collie is endeavouring to take views of all the  scenery in New Zealand presenting any extraordinary natural characteristics as exist at the Rotorua, and Rotomahana Lake District, and at Sulphur Island. 

These pictures Mr Collie believes will in time become historical records, his impression being that the present distinctive features of these wonderful spots will gradually disappear.
Bay of Plenty Times, Volume V, Issue 483, 2 May 1877, Page 3

 New Zealand Herald, Volume XIV, Issue 4823, 2 May 1877, Page 2
 The "s.s. Pretty Jane" arrived back in Auckland on 2 May 1877 with William Collie and the boy Ernest Lys.

The well-known artist, Mr. Collie, whose pictures of the Lake District are familiar to the Auckland public, has arrived by the s.s. Pretty Jane from the East Coast. For the past three weeks Mr. Collie has been sojourning on the celebrated White Island, and during his stay, has been successful in obtaining some splendid views of the most wonderful portions of that island.

New Zealand Herald, Volume XIV, Issue 4823, 2 May 1877, Page 2 

The Graphic of September 28 [see below] has three engraved views of White Island, New Zealand, viz., the Boulder Beach, the Sentinel Rock, and the Hot Springs of Cape Hope [sic]. In the letterpress description the engravings are stated to be from photographs of Mr Collie, of Napier, who, accompanied by a youth, camped out on the island for 25 days.
Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5247, 4 December 1878, Page 2


Sketches from the Antipodes
White Island, New Zealand

The Hot Springs of Lake Hope

 The Boulder Beach

The "Sentinel" Rock, dedicated to the memory of Captain Cook.
The Graphic, 28 September 1878 page 320

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XX, Issue 3923, 4 June 1877, Page 3

Mr Collie, the well-known photographer of Hastings-street, announces that he will exhibit in the Oddfellows' Hall this evening a series of transparencies of New Zealand landscapes, shown by means of oxyhydrogen light. The scenes pourtrayed (sic) will be described by Mr Collie.
Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XX, Issue 3926, 7 June 1877, Page 2

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XX, Issue 3934, 25 June 1877, Page 3

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XX, Issue 3937, 28 June 1877, Page 3

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 4083, 5 January 1878, Page 2

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5102, 14 June 1878, Page 5
 [this notice continued in the Hawke's Bay Herald until 16 September 1878] 

Copyright.— The Fine Arts Copying Act," introduced by Mr Travers, enacts that the author, being a resident within the colony, of every original painting, drawing, engraving, useful or ornamental design, sculpture, and photograph, and the negative of any photograph which shall be or shall have been made either in New Zealand or elsewhere, and which shall not have been disposed of before the commencement of this Act, and his assigns shall have the exclusive right to sell, copy, engrave, reproduce, and multiply such work of art by any means and of any size, for the term of the natural life of such author, and seven years after his death. There is a penal clause which affects persons fraudulently signing or affixing upon any work of art any initials or monogram not their own, or selling and publishing any work of art so treated. This measure, we should imagine, is rather premature in the present development of high art in the colony, but perhaps the promoter may have good reasons for thinking it should be on the Statute Book. 

(This is the Bill which Mr Collie, formerly of Blenheim, made the object of his life for many years. This has been attained at last.)
Marlborough Express, Volume XIII, Issue 991, 16 January 1878, Page 5

Napier — Town section 272 (Collie's shop), 24 feet frontage to Hastings-street, lease of 10 years at £50 per annum £660 (J. Higgins).
Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5122, 10 July 1878, Page 2

 We have received a choice selection of Collies' s photographs representing some of the most interesting scenery in the North Island, including views of the Hot Lakes, and the world renowned terraces. They are taken in a highly artistic matter, and are wellmounted on card. Collie's photo's of White Island representing amongst other places Crater Bay are the only ones yet taken.
Bay of Plenty Times, Volume VII, Issue 631, 24 September 1878, Page 3

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5215, 26 October 1878, Page 3

Marlborough Express, Volume XIII, Issue 1075, 2 November 1878, Page 2

 Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5226, 9 November 1878, Page 3

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5299, 5 February 1879, Page 3

New Zealand Herald, Volume XVI, Issue 5394, 1 March 1879, Page 5

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5355, 14 April 1879, Page 3

The Sydney Exhibition
A very interesting exhibit is a series of twenty-two silver prints — negatives taken by the wet calladion [sic] process, by W. Collie, of Napier. Amongst them is an instantaneous view of the principal street in Napier with natural clouds. The others are chiefly lonely views of some of the beautiful mountain scenery of the neighbourhood. 
Auckland Star, Volume X, Issue 2957, 6 October 1879, Page 3

Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5360, 19 April 1879, Page 3

In 1880 he was a witness it the trial of those involved in an affray at Ohinemutu. He was described as Wm. Collie, landscape photographer.
Bay of Plenty Times, Volume IX, Issue 856, 9 March 1880, Page 3

New Zealand Photographs at the Sydney Exhibition.

The Sydney Morning Herald, in a late article on photographic exhibits, is specially complimentary on those from New Zealand. Our contemporary says:- "It is startling to find a country which but a few years back was a stranger to the arts of civilisation producing numbers of works of the most artistic character, and closely rivalling those of lands in which a refined taste has been cultivated for centuries."

Speaking of New Zealand scenes, by Mr. Collie, of Napier, the Herald adds :-" Nothing we have ever seen at English photographic exhibitions could surpass them. They are simply perfection."

Its notice concludes thus:- "Mr. R. H. Bartlett, of Auckland; Mr. A. T. Bothamley, of Wellington; Messrs. Foy Brothers, of Thames; Mr. W. B. Gibbes, of Wellington; Messrs. Hart, Campbell and Co., of Queenstown, Wakatipu; Mr. J. I. Taylor, of Motueka, Nelson; and Mr. W. T. L. Locke Travers, also exhibit a splendid collection of photographs of New Zealand scenery, to the merits  of which it would take a volume to do justice. In addition to these the Oamaru Chamber of Commerce, the Wellington City Council, the Corporation of Dunedin, and the Hokitika Committee each exhibit numerous photographs, specially taken under their superintendence, in which the scenic glories and marvels of the wonderful land of the Maori are produced with astonishing fidelity to nature."
Evening Post, Volume XIX, Issue 91, 21 April 1880, Page 2

Applications have been made for space at the Melbourne Exhibition for the following exhibits from Hawke's Bay ...  S. Carnell, photographs enlarged ...  W. Collie, 12 silver prints ...
Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXI, Issue 5732, 5 July 1880, Page 2

In August 1880 he had a residence in Tauranga - Edgcumbe Road (West Side.)
Collie, William, photographer. Private residence.
Bay of Plenty Times, Volume IX, Issue 925, 17 August 1880, Page 3

Marlborough Express, Volume XXII, Issue 197, 20 October 1886, Page 2

A story is going the round of the colony about the finding of Mr Collie's camera on the slopes of Ngaruahoe, and to it is appended a remark that "from appearances it looks rather as if the artist had got scared at the rumblings of the volcano, dropped his instruments, and fled."

Whoever invented this surmise did not know Mr Collie or his history. I knew him well, and how unlikely this insinuation is. He was very eccentric, but very truthful. I need only mention that he once induced the captain of one of the Union boats to land him on White Island, where he had to remain a month, during which time he was photographing that sulphurous volcanic region, until the steamer called for him again, and his photos of that terrific place are the only ones I have seen. That is not the man to run away frightened from Ngaruahoe and invent a fable about it.
Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXVIII, Issue 9391, 6 June 1893, Page 4


Nepean Times (Penrith, NSW), 6 December 1890, page 5

 Nepean Times, (Penrith, NSW), 7 February 1891 page 5

Nepean Times, (Penrith, NSW), 19 December 1891 page 4

An Old Identity Gone.
An old settler who played a not unimportant part in earlier affairs of Blenheim passed away recently at Barral (Bowral?), a township of New South Wales. Though it is nearly thirty years since he left Blenheim, many will remember Mr William Collie. 

He came here about the year 1857, and for many years was in business as a photographer and bookseller. Taking an active interest in political and municipal matters and being of a progressive and energetic turn of mind, he was a citizen of considerable influence and did excellent work as a member of the Borough Council and Chairman of the Education Committee. Deceased was a member of Blenheim's first Borough Council. 

He was one of the petitioners for the establishment of Marlborough as a province and was to the fore in getting the name of our town changed from "Beaver" to Blenheim, urging that it was appropriate that the capital of a province named after one of England's greatest generals should commemorate his most famous victory, whatever might be said about the suggestivenees of local conditions. If only for this reason present and future residents will have a kindly thought for the deceased gentleman. He himself presented the latter petition to the Governor. 

Deceased's own name is perpetuated in "Collie's Hollow," by which the depression running through the centre of the town is known. 

Mr Collie lived in Blenheim for about 17 years, leaving in 1874 for the North Island. He was at Napier for some time, then went to Auckland, and during the Melbourne Exhibition crossed over to Australia [The Melbourne International Exhibition was held from 1 October 1880 until 30 April 1881], in search of a climate more suitable for the rheumatic affection from which he suffered. 

Deceased, who never married, attained the age of 74 years, and the news of his death came to Mr W. Macey, of Blenheim, in a recent mail.
Marlborough Express, Volume XXXIV, Issue 255, 3 November 1900, Page 4

A Daring Photographer 
Adventure on White Island.
As far as the present-day knowledge goes (says the Marlborough Express), the first human being to stay overnight on White Island, the scene of the recent eruption was the late Mr William Collie, who resided in Blenheim from 1857 to 1874, and whose memory has been perpetuated locally by the name of Collie's Hollow, the reclaimed depression in Market place.

In the late seventies Mr W. H. Macey, of Blenheim, was associated with Mr Collie in the conduct of a photographic studio at Napier. Mr Collie was an enterprising camera enthusiast, and in 1876 he decided that in this capacity he would thoroughly explore White Island. Forming the intention of remaining there for a fortnight or so, he approached a shipping company, but was point-blank refused a passage.

His idea was laughed at, and he was assured that he could never hope to escape from the dreaded region with his life. Mr Collie was not daunted, and finally induced the owners of a vessel trading between Napier and Auckland to land him and a boy on the island and call there again on the return journey from the north.

For this favour he paid £30. The captain and crew took their leave of Mr Collie and his companion with  but a faint hope of ever seeing them again. Coming down from Auckland the vessel made a detour, and the two adventurers were hailed, but in vain. There was no sign of them. Another visit was made on her return voyage to Auckland, and on that occasion Mr Collie and the boy were picked up. They were on the opposite side of the island when the vessel called previously.

Mr Macey remembers that when Mr Collie was taken off the island, after a stay of about three weeks, his clothes were falling from him in rags, so impregnated had they became with sulphur. The stock of provisions that the daring photographer set out with had been exhausted, and Mr Collie and his young companion had been subsisting for some days on mutton birds. They related that the ground was treacherous, giving way under pressure at places, and they had to exercise much caution in walking about. It was uncomfortably hot, too, and during the hours of sleep they were compelled to turn continually from side to side to avoid roasting." Swarms of rats gave them a good deal of trouble.

The enterprising photographer secured a large number of unique views, and some of the negatives are now in Mr Macey's possession. When he returned to Napier he was able to give the owner of White Island a fund of information as to his property which up to that time was practically terra incognita. Mr Collie was then about 60 years of age.

In the previous year Mr Collie achieved the feat of passing a night in the Ruapeha crater, which he also found to be a hot place. He made an attempt to reach this place on a previous occasion, but was warned off by the Maoris. On the day following his occupation of the crater, he received word that the Maoris had expressed their intention of making him pay the death penalty for his trespass, and he lost no time in vacating the dangerous territory, leaving his camera on his camping ground. It was discovered there some years afterwards by Mr Green, the well-known English mountaineer.

Otago Daily Times, Issue 16196, 5 October 1914, Page 2

A Prominent Townsman
Mr W. H. Macey Giving up Business

With his retirement from active, business life later on in the present month, Mr W. H. Macey will terminate a lengthy chapter of his creditable record as a citizen of Blenheim. It is fifty years ago that he commenced work with the late Mr William Collie, stationer and photographer, in premises on the site of Mr Macey's studio in Market Street North, and with the exception of an interval of some two years, that spot has been the scene of his daily pursuits ever since. Many a photographic negative has Mr Macey produced during the half century; indeed, it is estimated that the weight of the valuable collection he has in store is well over one ton.

In 1864 the oft-quoted Collie's Hollow — a depression that in flood time contained a depth or seven or eight feet of water and which then could only be crossed by swimming — intersected the main thoroughfare, and flax and raupo grew on its banks. So disgusted was he with what he saw in the big flood in 1868 that our townsman, then in his teens, decided to seek fresh fields and pastures new and finally reached Melbourne. Complying with the wishes of Mr Collie however he returned to Blenheim, and assumed the management of that gentleman's business, which he acquired after a brief absence in Napier.

In civic affairs Mr Macey has been a prominent figure, and has earned the reputation that can be won only by a man of integrity and clean principle. Nine years a member of the Borough Council, he was Mayor in 1903 and 1904, and he has served the public interest as a member of the Wairau Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, the Education Board, the High School Board of Governors, the Wairau Harbor Board (of which he was chairman), and other local bodies for lengthy terms. He was a founder and president of the Blenheim Bowling Club. Last, but not least, he still occupies the position of chairman of the Liberal party in Marlborough.

Born at London on April 11th, 1850, and arriving at Wellington in 1857, Mr Macey is still a man with good health and of active habits. It will be pleasing to hosts of friends to learn that he intends to settle down in Blenheim when he has returned from a trip that he contemplates taking to the North Island and probably Australia. Mr Macey is closing his business innings, so to speak, but is not retiring from the field.

Marlborough Express, Volume XLVIII, Issue 82, 7 April 1914, Page 3

Mr. Frederick E. Lys

The death occurred at Wellington on Saturday of Mr. Frederick Ernest Lys, who, for a number of years before his retirement, managed several hotels. Mr. Lys, who was in his 81st year, arrived in Wellington from London on the sailing boat Hudson in February, 1875, and commenced his career in the printing and stationery business at Napier. 

Later he spent many years handling sheep in outback country districts. In the early '80's he spent an adventurous three weeks with a photographer on White Island, the Bay of Plenty volcano, and then visited Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe with the object of taking photographs. This they found quite as exciting as their White Island venture, as the Maoris opposed them on account of tapu and threatened to kill them. However, they succeeded in getting some pictures which were worth while. Mr. Lys managed the New Commercial Hotel in Wellington for ten years before his retirement. He is survived by his wife.
Evening Post, Volume CXXXV, Issue 104, 4 May 1943, Page 3

External links:
    Hocken Library - Collie photographs
    Photo-Sleuth - William Collie of Blenheim  
    Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc. Scenes of the Wairau Massacre, Collie's Photographic Album 1873
    Auckland City Libraries - Photographers' Database 
    New Zealand Memories - issue 80 October/November 2009  pages 23, 26, 27