AN AVID COLLECTOR: JIM HOLDSWORTH
By Dudley L Meadows
CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIRAWHITI MUSEUM February 2006
It was with sadness that staff of the Tairawhiti Museum learnt of the recent passing of Mr Jim Holdsworth. He had a very strong interest in history ranging from early voyaging explorations to local events, both European and Maori. This is reflected amongst the fine collections he amassed over the years. An avid collector of historic books, especially first editions, his library was a private treasure trove. Manuscripts and early Maori newspapers also filled drawers and shelves in the room he most often spent his time.
Jim was a supporter of the museum allowing staff access to his resources. He would often visit the museum to see the historic and art displays, have a good chat with staff and dine at the café. He had a great recollection of many of the events that happened over his lifetime. The museum was fortunate to make two taped recordings of him. The tapes dwell on his family life, coming to New Zealand, farming at Waikohu, mountaineering, and his travels with the respected orator Te Kani Te Ua.
Jim was also a keen photographer in his early days, documenting events during his day to day life. In 2002, he donated a number of his glass plate negatives to the museum. There are many fine images amongst the 200 or so photographs. Family and farm life are recorded but some of the most interesting images are from his travels with Te Kani Te Ua. Visits to Tuhoe Marae and the people they met on the way are recorded in good detail including events such as the tangi of Rua Kenana.
The two images shown here are from the mid 1930’s. If you can help to correctly name and identify details please contact Dudley Meadows at the Tairawhiti Museum on 06-8673832. Image HC32- Taken in 1937 Ruapani Kuaha, Wahanga Marae.
Standing, Jim Holdsworth, ? , Tuahine Noa, Te Kani Te Ua.
Seated, Waimatao Wahanui, Rerea Taoho.
Image HC100- Shearers at Waikohu, 1936.
Biddle on saxophone, Granville Holdsworth (Jim’s father) seated in doorway left of Mrs Ipo.
Jim Holdsworth in his library being interviewed by Sheila Robinson.
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