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National Press Club vice president Peter Bush on the podium with new South African High Commissioner to New Zealand HE N.M. Lallie on the occasion of the Rainbow Nation’s national day celebrations in Wellington. Bush's association with South Africa dates almost from the inception of his career in sports journalism which began in 1949 when he photographed his first rugby union test match for the New Zealand Herald.. An exhibition of his sixty year career of rugby photographs, "Hard on their Heels", toured 13 centres around New Zealand in 2010–11 and featured many images of the Springbok encounters along with Bush’s own eyewitness descriptions of the nation’s transformation.
Photo-journalist-turned-publisher Graham Stewart has recorded New Zealand’s history since the early 1950s. He has written 22 books and as the proprietor of the Grantham House imprint has published many more . His career in publishing extends over 60 years.
His firstjob was with theNew Zealand Herald and its stable mate theWeekly News. He covered the 1951 waterfront strike; Edmund Hillary’s wedding in September 1953, and that same year travelled in the royal cavalcades with the Queen. He was on the spot to record during that visit the Tangiwai railway disaster. He was there to photograph in 1954 the signing of the contract to build the Auckland Harbour Bridge. He was sitting in the co-pilot’s seat when daredevil pilot Freddie Ladd, flew illegally under that same bridge before the official opening. He was present at the early stirrings of New Zealand’s internationalist conscience centred on the post-war Springbok tours.
After six years of provincial newspaper experience on the Napier Daily Telegraph (1959-1964), he returned to Auckland as the illustrations editor of the New Zealand Herald. He was the first person in New Zealand with a photographic background to become an illustrations editor of a New Zealand metropolitan daily newspaper.
In 1973 he had his first book published, The End of the Penny Section, which became the best-selling New Zealand book for that year and it was here that he began tapping into the New Zealand sense of a lost heritage, in this instance, trams..
He came to Wellington in January 1975 as executive director for the old publishing house of A.H. & A.W. Reed –a name once synonymous with New Zealand publishing.Then with his own imprint, Grantham House which he established in1985 he started publishing a wide range of books on subjects as varied as a clairvoyant’s life to rugby trivia.
Titles have included the language of alcohol, volumes by New Zealand’s famous story teller Jim Henderson, the Colonial New Zealand Wars, early Colonial Toys, architecture, antique furniture, New Zealand birds, cricket, food, capital crimes, art, saloon motor racing. A series on NZ tragedies: fires, earthquakes, shipwrecks, aviation. There have been pictorial histories, a series on the motor car in New Zealand, and more books on New Zealand’s variegated transport past, a past which in a few short years of the nation’s existence embraced the history of transport in its evolution from the horse drawn, though rail, to the motor car and to popular air travel. He published histories for Wellington based institutions including Wellington College, Scots College, Wellesley College, Marsden School, the Royal Wellington Golf Club, the Wellington Club, and Corporate histories for prominent New Zealand companies.
Prospecting Whitby. National Press Club president Peter Isaac by the harbour side offices of The Whitby Gazette with chief reporter Alex Fredman. The Whitby Gazette was one of 13 paid-for weekly titles across the whole of the UK to record year-on-year increases in circulation in the second half of 2012
INSIDE STORY with the president of the National Press Club “the man they cannot gag”
National Press Club president Peter Isaac answers questions on:
The National Press Club has affiliated with the Alexia Foundation of the United States. On the 21st of December1988, 270 innocent people were lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Alexia Tsairis, age 20, a Newhouse School of Public Communications student at Syracuse University, was one of them.
The Alexia Foundation is in her name and her memory and promotes photojournalism in articulating social justice and cultural difference as a strength rather than a weakness. Since its inception in 1991, the Alexia Foundation has funded 110 photography students and 18 professional photojournalists producing 128 generously funded projects
According to National Press Club president Peter Isaac this new affiliation will offer new scope to New Zealand photojournalists. One of the club's aims he said in the interests of adapting to new employment opportunities is to encourage the merger of words and images. It was indicative of the questing nature of the foundation that its officers had reached out across the world to engage the New Zealand club he said. He also noted that the Alexia Foundation had enlisted to its purpose the leading names in photojournalism in publishing and exhibiting. Pictured are two photos In the Shadow of the Wall and Women in the Congo representing extended photojournalism themes by Alexia Foundation laureates Jeffrey Fehder and Melanie Blanding.
Maurice Reilly (pictured) chief executive of the National Press Club of Australia represented the New Zealand National Press Club at the inaugural meeting in Hong Kong of the Asia Pacific Association of Press Clubs. Douglas Wong president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong which hosted the event noted the importance of the New Zealand club being represented there “in sprit” by Reilly. His representation of the New Zealand club follows the meeting last year hosted by the National Press Club of Australia in its Canberra headquarters of the International Association of Press Clubs. There the president of the New Zealand Club, Peter Isaac, discussed the scope of any future combined ventures with Reilly and also the president of the National Press Club of Australia Laurie Wilson and vice president Ken Randall. “The longest journey begins with a single step,” commented Isaac of this initial combined approach.
National Press Club vice president Peter Bush kicked off his and Bruce Ansley’s nationwide tour of their book A Fabled Land: The story of Canterbury's famous Mesopotamia Station (Random House) at Wellington’s Marsden Books late in 2012. The book with photos by Bush and words by Ansley is about Australasia’s storied and most evocative sheep station, and the only one to be an integral part of English Literature. The high country run was once owned by English immigrant and author Samuel Butler who based his classic Erewhon on the South Island station, inverting its name to indicate Nowhere . Mesopotamia Station served also as his inspiration for his later work The Way of All Flesh, an autobiographical and posthumous novel in which the author scorned his high Victorian upbringing. Mesopotamians pictured at the launch are (1)Peter Bush with Bruce Ansley for many years The Listener’s star feature writer and (2)media moguls press photographers Ross Setford and Barry Duncan contemplating literature’s far horizons. Photos: Eva Durrant.