19 August 2009

The Ancestor

McKenzie County CouncilWould you buy a used car from any of these men? I thought not. However, cars weren't common then: horse, dray and shanks' pony were the common forms of transport. To be fair, I'll point out that the long exposure times needed for photographs during that time meant smiling wasn't feasible.

Actually, this is the MacKenzie County Council, photographed some time between 1883, when it was formed, and 1891. The men standing are (L-R): Captain Hayter, Andrew Cowan, [?] Milne, E. Dickson, R.L. Banks (engineer), R. Gillingham and J. Alves; the chairman, seated, is John McGregor, my great-grandfather.

I'm not sure where the original negative or print of this photo is. My father copied it many years ago and I have a framed copy, which I photographed.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

6 comments:

Barbara said...

Very cool. Great-grandpa is cute, looks like he'd be fun to talk to, but that Milne guy ... I don't know. It's interesting to look at their hands.

Zhoen said...

They look a bunch of scalawags and horse dealers.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
There seems to be a calmness present in your great grandfather not apparent in the others. Family resemblance perhaps?
Cheers,
Robb

pohanginapete said...

Barbara, in good photos, hands can be almost as expressive as faces — occasionally, even more so. It's something that's struck me particularly about the portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Zhoen, used-horse dealers perhaps? ;^)

Robb, oh, I don't know. I'm not too calm when I think about our current Government's attitude towards climate change, conservation, social justice, Afghanistan, ... would you like me to continue?
Whoops, time for a cup of tea and a lie down ;^)

Michael said...

That young beardless guy behind your grandfather looks like he's plotting a coup. Best keep an eye on him.

pohanginapete said...

True, Michael, he does look like that. But there was no coup (as far as I know): the Ancestor chaired the Council for a decade.