Camera club reports raised profile

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The Gore Camera Club has had a presence in the town in one form or another for more than 100 years. The Ensign chief reporter Margaret Phillips takes a closer look.

The Gore Camera Club has been featuring in The Ensign since the 1950s.

The Ensign has regularly published reports from the camera club since that time and continues to do so, publishing the organisation’s monthly winning photo.

The late Win Hamilton, who was a club life member, was well known for her detailed reports in The Ensign, fellow life member Alan Ritchie said.

Mrs Hamilton would list the names of visitors to the club at the end of each article.

The articles were a good publicity tool, Mr Ritchie said.

They had spurred his interest in the club and had been a big reason for him joining in the late 1970s.

“You’re [The Ensign] doing the 2017 version,” Mr Ritchie said.

The Gore Camera Club – or as it was initially known, the Gore Cine Photographic Club – was formed in 1954.

But there was also an earlier club, also called the Gore Camera Club, which was formed in 1915.

Although it was not known exactly when or why the first club folded, it was thought it might have lasted only a few years.

“It must have disappeared for a long time,” Mr Ritchie said.

But when the 1954 version was formed in July of that year, Mrs Hamilton had been keen to publicise it.

Club competition convener Bob Smith said he only recently learned there had been an earlier version of the club.

He only became aware of the earlier club when reading an Ensign article online on the Papers Past website.

“I didn’t realise that until I read that article,” Mr Smith said.

Gore Historical Museum curator Stephanie Herring said the museum held the Gore Cine Photographic Club’s first minute book.

The club’s name had included “cine” as it focused on movies as well as photography, Ms Herring said.

She did not know when the 1915 club folded.

The last known article in The Ensign was the club’s annual meeting in 1918, Ms Herring said.

In the early days of the Gore Cine Photographic Club there was a mix of male and female members and the club appealed to a wide age range.

At the Gore Cine Photographic Club’s first proper meeting in 1954 the minute book recorded the production of the filming of the Royal visit that year.

In recent times photographic opportunities had increased enormously for enthusiasts, Ms Herring said.

In the early days the club provided a forum for members to display their photographic efforts.

The club changed its name to the Gore Camera Club in the late 1960s.

Club life member Edna McKelvie and her late husband Ian were stalwarts of the organisation.

Mrs McKelvie said her husband had his own darkroom and had concentrated on black and white print photography.

He joined in the 1960s and she joined after that, she said.

Slides were very popular at that time, she said.

“I can remember people used to come from all over [to the club],” Mrs McKelvie said.

Another former member of the Gore Cine Photographic Club, Maud Milligan, was also involved in the later club.

“I used to come in from Riversdale and that’s over 50 years ago,” Miss Milligan said.

“There used to be a carload of us come down from Riversdale,” she said.