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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, September 1977

Obituary — James A. Jenkins

page 37

James A. Jenkins

The Nelson Historical Society places on record the outstanding contribution made by the late James A. Jenkins who passed away in March 1976. His enthusiasm and sheer hard work did much to ensure the preservation of valuable historical material.

After a distinguished career as a surgeon in Dunedin he retired to Nelson where his grandfather, A. G. Jenkins, was one of the early settlers in 1842. A group of concerned citizens met at Mr Jenkins' home in May 1954 when steps were taken to form a Nelson Historical Society. Mr Jenkins was elected Chairman of the Records Committee and, with the support of other members, a substantial collection of historical material was amassed. As well as creating the basis for a Nelson Historical Library, photographs and museum pieces were collected. Mr Jenkins carefully recorded and indexed the acquisitions over a period of twelve years. With the growth of the Society's collection the matter of permanent housing for this as well as other collections which would be available to Nelson when fireproof housing was provided, led to the formation of the Nelson Provincial Museum Trust Board. Mr Jenkins took a prominent part in the negotiations at all stages.

In 1966–67 Mr Jenkins was President of the Nelson Historical Society, but relinquished this position for health reasons. Later he was elected a Life Member of the Society, being the first person to be so honoured. He was also Chairman of the Nelson Regional Committee of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust for several years.—J.N.W.N.