The Marlborough Camera Club held its first meeting on Wednesday June 17th 1953 at the office of E.L. Prior & Co. “for the purpose of the formation of a camera club and finding a sponsor for a photographic exhibition.” The eighteen present elected Mr. Pryor to the chair and Mr. J.A. Mallinson offered his services as temporary secretary. Club meetings were held each month in members’ homes until the Marlborough College offered a room to be used as a darkroom in return for assistance being given to the college camera club.  A year later the constitution of the club was presented. Monthly competitions were held on a variety of topics, all work was done in done in Black and White until Colour was introduced in 1962.  So much has happened since those formative years.

In 1974 the club celebrated its 21st birthday by holding a display of members’ work and attending a dinner at the City Hotel, which included six of the club’s founding members.  In 1978 the club became an incorporated society and the same year the Photographic Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) Convention has held in Marlborough for the first time; a major undertaking for such a small club. A year later, the President of the PSNZ, Sir George Pollock and Lady Pollock visited Blenheim.

In 1981 a feature of club competitions was the ‘trade prints’ section, which was unique for camera clubs at the time and was additional to the ‘Normal Print’ option for members who did their own processing and printing. Two years later, ‘Trade Prints’ could be entered in Enlargement competitions.

In 1997 the club hosted the PSNZ Touring Exhibition and also the National Convention for the second time in which 38 of the members took part in some or all of the convention and a year later hosted the Seddon Shields Area Shield at the Outward Bound facility at Anakiwa.

To mark the Millennium celebration, the club undertook to record Blenheim and the outlying townships in Marlborough as they were on that year and the results were put on display at the Marlborough Horticultural Spring Flower Show. In 2002 the club changed its venue to its present venue at the St Mary’s Parish hall. The following year, the club hosted its 3rd National Convention:  ‘Photastic Marlborough 2003′ which also coincided with the final celebration of the PSNZ’s 50th anniversary year.

In the early part of this century digital cameras started to become more popular and we saw a shift from the use of film to digital images.  As a result, club members have needed to up-skill themselves in the use of computers and image processing.  The Club now owns a laptop computer and projector to project these digital images, and slides are no longer being shown.

The Malborough Camera Club continues to be active and successful with around a third of the membership affiliated to the PSNZ.  Each year members of the club distinguish themselves with Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honours achievements in many of the major National competitions and in 2009 for the second time, Marlborough Camera Club succeeded in winning the Matthewson Trophy in the Seddon Shields Area Weekend. The camera club has gone on to win the Matthewson Trophy again in 2010 and 2012.

More details of the full history of the Marlborough Camera Club.

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