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Camera Club Celebrates 50 Years with Exhibition


This year the Te Awamutu Camera Club celebrates their 50th anniversary, an achievement being recognised in a photographic exhibition at Te Awamutu Museum. The exhibition runs until 9th April 2004.

At the the official opening this evening, Waipa Mayor Alan Livingston said it was appropriate for the exhibition to be held at the museum as the club formed an important part of our local history. The Mayor offered his congratulations on the club's achievements and thanked them for their efforts in recording our heritage for posterity.

Club President Stephen Stuart thanked everyone involved in the exhibition and other club activities. A brief history of the club was provided by Chas Cole (reprinted below).

The club will be presenting a 50th Jubilee Film Festival at the Woolshed on the 2nd - 4th April 2004. The festival will feature a selection of local audio-visual presentations and movies going back many decades. A display will also be installed at the National Bank between 1st - 12th March.

Exhibition Opening

Te Awamutu Camera Club - A Brief History
Compiled by Camera Club Life Member Chas Coles

The club was formed in 1954 as the Te Awamutu 8mm Movie Club. Mr. Les Richards, who later became the long serving patron, called the inaugural meeting attended by 14 people.

A year later a 35mm slide section was formed, and in 1960 the name was changed to the Te Awamutu 8mm & 35mm Camera Club.

It is one of the very few clubs remaining which cater for members interested in both movie and still photography.

The annual (up until 1989) Film Festival has probably been the reason for this survival. It consisted of a two hour programme of movie and slide AVs presented to the public, initially for five nights in the old town hall before it was demolished. This was a popular presentation before the introduction of television. Over the years the venues have since included "La Ronde", the bowling clubrooms, St Patricks Hall from 1973 to 1986, and the Woolshed since 1987 where it is held on two nights and an afternoon matinee.

Since 1989 it has been held every two years, with the exception of a three year gap to coincide with our 50th year. It is probably fairly unique in New Zealand as it requires a huge investment in time from members. Over the years many local events have been recorded and some programmes have gone on to receive national awards.

Movie programmes started out in standard 8 format without sound, followed by recorded sound through an attached tape recorder, and then what was revolutionary, in the form of a sound stripe on film along with a larger super eight format.

Presentation techniques also evolved with the introduction of electronics into slide projection, and the development of video having eventually overtaking movie film.

Video was first introduced into the club in 1988. Changes have been so rapid that club members are now grappling with digital and computer editing technology.

The club is affiliated to the NZ Photographic Society and the Movie Federation which has now disbanded. Many events have been run on their behalf.

The club aims to cater for members to show their work to others including the general public, and provide social contact with people with similar interests.