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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 42, September 1998

(19 June 1931 - 17 October 1997)

By Molly Scott

Gordon, only son of the late Bruce (Solicitor) and Myrtle (nee Kendwell, Motion family) was born at Point Chevalier, Auckland. In the mid-1931s he would walk along Point Chevalier Road eating raw sausage with his Great Grandfather, William Motion, a former sea captain, then aged about 95.

The family, including sisters, Ruth and Joy, moved to Mt Albert where they gradually developed a crater into gardens, with two men building stone walls around a property for a year.

Gordon attended Mt Albert Primary, Kowhai Intermediate and Mt Albert Grammar School. He was aged 16 when his father died. He was already using his camera, doing weddings at Mt Albert Baptist Church, and others, travelling on his push bike, and afterwards finished the film taking photographs of houses.

Between 1959 - 1962 he met Christine Hewson of Kelston (my Aberdeen born Grandmother), when buying photos of her house.

With his school friend, Professor Ron Keam, they published "Volcanic Wonderland" in 1955. Gordon regularly hitchhiked, etc., to Mt Ruapehu 25 times and Mt Ngaruahoe 13 times, which he photographed at night in September 1954 with John Lesnie (Queen Street photographer), published in the Herald on 28 September 1954. These photos also appeared in the National Geographic magazine.

Gradually Gordon rode a motorbike around New Zealand and published postcards, calendars, New Zealand Christmas cards, rulers, booklets, souvenirs, etc.

Gordon and I met on my 30th Birthday in April 1964 at Te Anau Youth Hostel (after I had travelled the world in a Mini van). We were engaged in January 1965 and married in November 1965. By then we had a Commer van, converted to a camper home on wheels to travel, photograph, deliver goods, cook and sleep and to be in the right spot for photographing early or late shots wherever and selling.

Gradually I moved the business from a garage to a house next door at Mt Albert and then to Northcote, over 600 postcards, etc. and five years later, to Takapuna. Gordon travelled to Invercargill twice a year, getting stock and Christmas orders. He was away 6 to 12 weeks and one time, 7 months after, we had an arson fire.

Gordon and I had many adventures, such as our honeymoon in Norfolk Island. When we were on the plane ready to return to New Zealand and they decided that we couldn't land at Mangere Airport, so we slept in staff quarters that night. Our daughters, Judy, a foundation Kristin School (North Shore, 1973) and Angela won Spot On TV Animal Photo Competition in 1986 with a photo of Judy with a Great Dane dog. The girls were dressed in red pixie hood capes for photos in the snow. We were at Mt Egmont (climbed 5 times) with the local ranger and the road was icy. We needed grip and so I suggested that we remove the curtains to turn the vehicle - successful.

After Judy and Angela learnt to ride horses, which they loved, Gordon purchased a faster camera (1983) to photograph Equestrian events.

Over the years we photographed from aeroplanes with doors off, over Wellington, windows open over Mt Ruapehu. We serviced postcards regularly and employed 26 staff and artists. Judy (Reinen) is now a Master photographer with her work with pet dogs and cats and her photographs appear in publications such as the NZ Herald, June 1998 Australian Women's Weekly, postcards, cards, etc.