Kapiti Island

My family has a special fondness for Kapiti Island. My Grand Parents Stan WILKINSON and Amy WILKINSON (nee AINSWORTH) were caretakers on the island for a period of 18 years. (1924 - 1942) Both were competent photographers and regularly sent work to journals, magazines and newspapers. They were regular contributers to the Forest and Bird Society's magazine and Lands and Survey utilised some of their images to promote the Kapiti Island flora and fauna.In 1935 they received Certificates of Merit at the International Exhibition Nature Photography at the British Museum. One third of the 18 photos selected from New Zealand were pictures of Kapiti birds by the Wilkinsons.

I am custodian of a large number of photographs taken by my grandparents, not only of the bird and plant life on the island, but also a number of family personal photographs which up until now have not seen the light of day. They provide a fascinating glimpse into life on the island between 1920 - 1938 pre war years.

The Wilkinsons both wrote books on their experiences - and these are now collectors items -

ref:- Kapiti Bird Sanctuary - A Natural History of the Island by A.S. and late Amy Wilkinson published 1952

Kapiti Diary - by Amy K. Wilkinson published 1957.

A small selection of photographs from the extensive Wilkinson Collection and drawings from my mother Sylvia Lovell (nee Wilkinson) appear in the galleries on these pages.

My mother Sylvia, sister Nora and two brothers Ray and Stanley spent time living on the Island.

Sylvia became a noted artist, and wrote of her experiences as a teenager on Kapiti with only some members of her family, the occassional visitor, her horse and dog for company. She wrote of these experiences during the 1970's. Her drafts sadly was not taken up by any of the publishers in her day. It was not until some time after her death that my son Steve and I collected up her original notes and published her book in 2005. This was a restricted release and was given away to friends and family. It was very favourably received, particularly by those who knew Sylvia.

The book is a little known treasure that deserves a wider audience.

As a "legacy" to my mother I present her book below. It is in pdf format. I hope you enjoy it.

Sylvia Lovell gallery

Sylvia Lovell gallery

Draft page from Kapiti Experiences - Living on Kapiti Island by Sylvia Lovell

The Wilkinson Photographs

Living on Kapiti Island 1924 - 1942

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