Rex Courtier LE GRICE, 1945–2021 (aged 75 years)
- Rex Courtier /LE GRICE/
- LE GRICE
- Given names
- Rex Courtier
|Birth|| November 27, 1945|
Address: St Margaret's Hospital
Teacher, boatbuilder, photographer
|Cremation|| July 19, 2021 (aged 75 years)|
Address: Auckland Crematorium
|Death|| August 12, 2021 – 17:30 (aged 75 years)|
Address: Auckland Hospital
From a letter in 2000 We moved to St Heliers.1959 There I started at Selwyn College obtained UE in French, Latin , German and English. This was my strength and I still enjoy languages. The same year, as the least healthy but most determined of the three Le Grice boys, I was awarded the Queen Scout Badge. At the tender age of 17, I began Teachers College and University and in 1965 began a Primary Teaching career at St Heliers Primary, where both Mum and Dad and younger brother John were pupils. Mum died at 89 living her last years in Howick, land of her grandparents. Dad died after a short illness in July 2000, a month after his 86th birthday. I married Bronwen (Bonny) Maskill-Smith at 22 and separated a couple of years later, but I have a 50 yr old from that marriage who is now a computer whizz In the meantime, to earn more as a newly married man, I left teaching and became a corsetiere starting at the bottom and working up to Asst Marketing manager 5 years later. After a couple of years separation I reunited with my first wife and after a year of trying to make it work, filed for divorce, left the Corsetry Company and went back to Teaching this time in Kaikohe for a year and finally Otara for 2 terms before abandoning teaching forever. By then I was disillusioned with the married state and began a series of relationships, My job was as an educational rep for Whitcoulls for three years. I began then to work on a long held belief that i would try to make my hobbies my income. My hobbies were photography and boating, so when the opportunity arose I began to take Wedding Photos. Soon a real income developed from night-club photography, 8 hours a week earning as much as a week as a Whitcoulls rep so I swapped the fancy firms car for a Mini-Moke and could be seen doing my evening routine selling photos of people dining out in the developing restaurants in Auckland. Also I opened a business in Cook St Market called Dr Eustace Horace & Ptnrs, Olde Time Photographers. This was a fun way of making money, dressing up people as Victorians and taking Sepia Tone Portraits. on Fri, Sat, Sun. This moved to Victoria Park Market after about five years This enterprise soon eclipsed the nightclub photos which I gladly gave away. I now had time and for a year or so made for myself, furniture in a John Simpsons's workshop. We also had small boats and went sailing quite often. The sailing trips made us think of bigger things and my friend and I decided to build a 36' classic ketch, then changed our minds and decided to build a 45' Herreschoff ketch. We rented a 16.000 sq ft factory in Parnell, sub-let most of it to other craftsmen, but kept 800 sq ft for our own workshop and the richest time of my life began. From nothing in 1976 to a beautiful yacht launched in 1988 called "Friendship" We lived on board for three years sailing the gulf, the NZ coast, the Pacific and then to Australia. My early knotting lessons in the Scouts were invaluable!!! But I'm getting ahead of myself During the 70s and eighties, I became heavily involved in the Anti-Nuke movement, which was almost apolitical in its membership. We launched the Peace Squadron [from St Johns College] and protested strongly against the nuclear-powered and armed ships and submarines visiting our shores. As a protest movement, it succeeded, not because of the long-haired rent a protest mob, but because all shades of political opinion joined together and worked from within their own parties, until political necessity caused Prime Minister David Lange's initially half-hearted endorsement of New Zealand as a Nuclear Free country and set us on the course we are still on. This was also a lesson to the world and I know that it would take a lot for New Zealand to change now. I am proud of my efforts in this movement. Three major things happened in 1990. Firstly I fell out with my boat partner, and we sold the yacht after all that effort. Secondly I had a really major asthma attack in April, technically died three times. And thirdly what does one do when one does not know what to do? Get married of course!! So on Dec 1 1990 I remarried. The following year my new wife Kay Ingram and I started on a two year trip -Asia, India, Europe, Egypt and then Olde England for a year and a half. I was trying not to work, but did find a 42' yacht in the Thames that I bought for $500 and began what I thought would be a two year restoration. Fate stepped in when my wife announced she was pregnant. Decision time!!! We decided to have the baby and go back to NZ. The boat was given away. So a late fatherhood for me. In the mean time my first son and his wife-to-be also announced they were having a baby too, so now I have a son and grandson the same age. However after the birth and a couple more years together, I again found married life intolerable so am single again. Fortunately we get on ok apart and share Jack's upbringing and he is the apple of my eye. I reopened the Olde Time Photo shop at the Victoria Park Markets, and spend five days a week there. I use a digital camera now and I another hobby, computers was fused with photography. I moved into a house in Kaumatua Place, Te Atatu Pennsula, initially renting from an old friend,Don Milne, but when the opportunity arose, I bought the house from him. While I was working I shared the house with flatmates but when I retired, the mortgage payments were a bit of a burden, so I converted the rumpus room at the rear of the garage into a sleepout moved into it and spent the next few years living in it renting the house out. After a bout of ill health, the decision was made to sell the house, roughly fifteen years after I moved into it. House prices were soaring and in Dec 015 I sold it for just under thee times what I paid for it!! I lived with Justin for a year until I decided to buy a yacht to live on. My older brother Tony is in the security door/window business and lives with his girlfriend Moyna Colson in Manurewa, Sth Auckland and John is married and has two boys and lives in Masterton These are the bare bones of my life. Apart from a few hiccups its been a pleasant ride so far. The future looks a little murky , but one way or another, I think I'll continue to enjoy life. I must say that in trying to selectively recall ones own life, it does seem slightly uneventful, but at the time it felt pretty good. Now at 65 I receive the old age pension gratefully. At 71 I sold my house in Te Atatu Peninsula, achieved a good price, and was to build a house behind Justin's in Point England but after living there for a year, the plan fell through, and I surprised everyone by buying a yacht to live on and have enjoyed the lifestyle for over over fourteen months (now Feb 2018.
SEPIA SNAPS by NICOLA MURPHY
Photographer Rex Le Grice is exhibiting some of the old-time photos he took over 37 years.
Unlike other photographers Rex Le Grice built a career on not making people smile. For 36 years the Te Atatu Peninsula photographer ran a business called Dr Eustace Horace and Partners Olde Time Photographs. He had a stall at Auckland markets where he took old-fashioned Victorian-style portraits in sepia. He estimates he's taken nearly half a million photos of people dressed as farmers, maidens, in top hat and tails or in risque period outfits. Mr Le Grice retired from the job last year but has a studio set up in his garage where he still takes the occasional picture. Now West Aucklanders can check out some of his photos in an exhibition at Abundance Art Gallery. The display opened this week and features around 30 pictures. "I look back on it as a charmed life, that I was able to support myself by taking funny old photos," he says. One of his favourite parts of the job was meeting new people. "We got a lot of tourists through so I learnt how to ask if they'd like a photo in 85 different languages." His career began in 1975 when Mr Le Grice came across a line in a photography magazine about turning black and white photos sepia-coloured. He got some more information and found a chemical that would do the job. Then he and an acquaintance, Carol Symington, decided to take the idea further by dressing subjects in Victorian costumes. They knew they were on to a good thing when they held a stall at a one-off Auckland fair. "We made $400 in three days and in 1975 that was a fortune." So they went into business together and set up a permanent stall at the Cook St Market. It was relocated to Victoria Park Market when the former closed down. "It was very busy. Initially I think it was nostalgia that kept people coming." He recalls around a dozen times when he has visited a new friend's house for dinner and spotted an old-time photo of them on the wall that he had taken many years before. He agreed to do the exhibition at gallery owner Maryann Pennington's suggestion. She remembers visiting Mr Le Grice more than 20 years ago to get a photo done. "I just thought his photos would be the story of so many people's lives, because of the history of it." The exhibition runs until July 31 at Abundance Art Gallery, 617 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu Peninsula.
I moved innto a house in Kaumatua Place, Te Atatu Pennsula, initially renting from an old friend,Don Milne, but when the opportunity arose, I bought the house from him. While I was working I shared the house with flatmates but when I retired, the mortgage payments were a bit of a burden, so I converted the rumpus room at the rear of the garage into a sleepout moved into it and spent the next few years living in it renting the house out. After a bout of ill health, the decision was made to sell the house, roughly fifteen years after I moved into it. House prices were soaring and in Dec 015 I sold it for just under thee times what I paid for it!! I lived with Justin for a year until I decided to buy a yacht to live on.