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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 7, Issue 4, 2012

Foreword — 2012

page 4



From the time of its inception in 1954, the Nelson Historical Society has been instrumental in the collection and preservation of valuable provincial records, documents, photographs and ephemera, as well as the recording of regional history. It pushed for a purpose-built provincial museum, which now holds many of those irreplaceable items and collections.

So when the Nelson Provincial Museum was in need of support this year in its funding bid to vastly improve its collections storage facilities and staff and public accommodation at the research centre at Isel Park, it went without saying the Nelson Historical Society would step up to help. Gathering together other historical societies and heritage-minded organisations led to a decision to work together, to ensure both local government shareholders in the museum, the Nelson City and Tasman District Councils, knew via the submission process that we considered funding was imperative if our valuable regional collections were to remain safe.

While I’m pleased to report the Nelson City Council has pledged money in its (10- year) long term community plan, the Tasman District Council has committed none in its. The battle is far from over and I encourage all readers of this Journal to lobby both councils at any opportunity as to the importance to the Nelson province of the museum and all its facilities – collections, exhibitions, and research – and of the need for adequate funds to ensure their long term viability and safety.

As always, the 2012 Journal covers a feast of topics, including rugby, which set Nelson alive last year when we hosted three teams during the Rugby World Cup. Clive Akers, who presented the 2010 James Jenkins Lecture, has written a story about the subject of that lecture, Charles Monro, the founder of New Zealand rugby. Ken Wright follows up his story in the last journal about Takaka’s early pioneers‘ memorial with a comprehensive table recording all those on it. The winning essay in the 2011 Jeff Newport Memorial Prize is also included. Allie Tonks of Nelson

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College for Girls wrote a very interesting report about the Bishopdale Theological


The year 2012 marks the start of a range of centennial commemorations over the next seven years that will reverberate around the world and be marked in communities everywhere, including our own. While the sinking of the Titanic one hundred years ago in April caused a flurry of international attention, it is the forthcoming centennial of the outbreak of World War I that will have more impact on us here in the province of Nelson, New Zealand.

The consequences of the war for everyone involved cannot be understated. However, it did not just affect the men and women on active service, but also those who remained at home and who carried on as best they could while separated from their loved ones. Communities everywhere came together and worked hard to support the war effort through extensive patriotic fundraising initiatives and events.

The Nelson Historical Society, in partnership with the Nelson Provincial Museum, is initiating a far-reaching project that seeks to commemorate the full impact of World War I on the wider Nelson province. Individuals and organisations are joining forces so that commemoration projects and events can be co-ordinated and as many stories as possible researched and told from every perspective – military, social, educational, family, church, and local authorities.

It is a wonderful opportunity for the whole community to come together to research, review, remember and record for posterity Nelson’s First World War experience, and I look forward to the fruits of some of that research appearing in future issues of this Journal.

It is with regret that we heard of the death in January of our valued Patron and LIfe Member, Max Lash. Max was a stalwart of the society and as well as serving as President, carried out many other roles within the society. He will be known to many as the writer of Nelson Notables 1840-1940, a must for anyone with an interest in the province’s history. It is fitting that a story from Max is in this journal. Written with Barbara Allen, it is about the Allen family of Collingwood.

Karen Stade


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Obituary notice, Colonist March 29, 1920.

Obituary notice, Colonist March 29, 1920.