Bill Ellis  the man behind the lens

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U3A is a shared experience.  All of us at Browns Bay U3A play our part during the year – we may be Committee members, Convenors, or special interest group members, and we all play our part in making sure that our monthly meetings go smoothly.  We all take our turn serving morning tea, moving seating, greeting newcomers and enjoying fellowship and mental stimulation.

There is one person however, who has a special place in our group, a role he has taken on for us from the very beginning of our time together.  He is the one who records our history, who turns up every month and takes photos of visiting speakers, and our members as we take part in our activities.

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Bill Ellis

Quiet, friendly and unassuming, Bill and his wife Barbara do so much more than record the activities of our society.  For many years Bill’s interest in photography has documented the changes in our wider community.  Whenever there is a new roading project, or building going up, Bill is there -recording change which sometimes takes place so incrementally that it is hard later to remember what was there before.

Bill’s impressive collection of images, a large number of which are available at and will be donated to the Auckland City Library’s historic photographic collection through the East Coast Bays Friends of the Library Archive, is an invaluable record of change in our community.  Bill and Barbara have produced 3 photographic books showing how a particular scene in the area has changed over the years.

Bill’s impressive collection of images, a large number of which are available at and will be donated to the Auckland City Library’s historic photographic collection through the East Coast Bays Friends of the Library Archive, is an invaluable record of change in our community.  Bill and Barbara have produced 3 photographic books showing how a particular scene in the area has changed over the years.

This quite remarkable team – Bill the photographer and Barbara the recorder and organizer of the images have so organized their collection that they can source huge number of topics and events in their collection.  Even the change from film to digital photography has been welcomed and smoothly adapted.  Now of course those of us who are the subject of his photos have the chance to see how we look straight away – which can perhaps be a relief at times! Bill is also the photographer for the East Coast Bays Community Project which puts on events for young and old.

Bill’s interests are not only in local photography.  As a train enthusiast, many related photos from all around the country add another dimension to his collection.

His strong involvement with the Torbay Historical Society and the related Vaughan Homestead at Long Bay Regional Park has also contributed greatly to the local environment.  He is a life member of the Auckland Brain Injury Association, and has received Community Service awards from the North Shore City Council and the Local Board.

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Bill’s interest in the local scene is also reflected in the fact that at present he is Convenor of the Local History Special Interest Group of Browns Bay U3A, one of the first groups established by Browns Bay and still finding more topics of interest to study.  His images made for a very entertaining and challenging photo quiz presented at our main meeting in 2013 when we were all challenged to identify images from our city.

Well done Bill and may you be snapping us for many years to come! ~ Evelyn Ross

 

Bill and Barbara Browns Bay Mag Oct 2016

Barbara and Bill Ellis.  The team that organises the photos for Browns Bay U3A and the Bays area.  Featured in the Browns Bay Community Spring edition Newsletter October 2016.

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November 2017 - Main Meeting photos  
taken by Bill Ellis

 

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