Author(s): D RHODES
One hundred years ago, Havelock Williams bought an Underwood Studio Camera and set himself up as a professional photographer. Born in the North Island in 1884, Williams died in the North Island in 1968, but he spent about half a century as a South Island Cantabrian, and a husband, father, photographer and musician, in what his daughter and biographer Diana Rhodes often calls his first life. Her mother, her four siblings and she all belong to Havelock?s second life, which began in the North Island at a point when most men are considering retirement. This is an unusual book, because it contains the fascinating stories from Havelock William?s first life, written at the end of his second life. As an old man, he committed these stories to paper in the 1960s but they remained unattended until the 1990s. In the past 10 years Diana has edited, researched and illustrated them, more than one hundred years after the events in the first story took place. The stories are a mixture of personal reminiscence and New Zealand history, told by one who was not only there, but who recorded it with what he called the third optic ? his camera. He must have known that he had captured photographic images of so many of his stories, but it never occurred to him that the pictures could later be located, identified and used to illustrate them. Diana?s undertaking to research, identify and bring the two dimensions together has resulted in a charming and compelling story illustrated with photographs that are in many cases the first of their kind taken in New Zealand, and which provide an extraordinary glimpse into the many realms Williams? camera took him, from theatre to skies over more than fifty years. Diana Rhodes is an itinerant singing teacher and Musical Director of the Auckland Welsh Choir. She has sung in and directed music for a number of productions of opera and musical theatre.