Hidden Gems
Illuminated Address to Dr. George and Mrs. Cleghorn

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Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc
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Collection Cleghorn
Date 29 January 1900
Description Illuminated Farewell Address to Dr. George Cleghorn January 29, 1900.

"To George Cleghorn Esqre [Esquire], M.D. [medical doctor]. On behalf of the undermentioned Clubs and Societies with which you have for many years been associated we beg to express our deep regret on the occasion of your departure from our midst......."

This framed address was donated in 1964 (see below). It has a 1999 accession number because it was re-allocated from one place to another by Lloyd Kerr in 1999. One known photograph (as mentioned below) has been found (see 0000.900.0845).

MHS duplicate letter book 1964-65, pps 8 and 56, have: Miss Joan Cleghorn, 6 Ayr Street, Auckland C4, 21 July 1964. Dear Miss Cleghorn, I am very pleased to hear from you. Yes we are getting somewhere in the collecting and filing of Marlborough history.
As regards the Illuminated Address we would be very pleased to have this when you have finished with it. As you are aware my Society fought "tooth and nail" against the altering or removal of the Cleghorn memorial in Market Place some years ago.
As regards other photographs these would be also very acceptable - preferably in their frames like the address above. No one will be offended at your allowing us these rememberances of Dr. George Cleghorn.
I remember Ferringham though it was burnt some years ago, the lands now form a Park which is being laid out now. My Grandparents parents and I have lived on the road parallel to Cleghorn Street - namely Alabama Road just behind the A. & P. Showgrounds.
Whereas Redwoodtown in your day was sparsely housed it is now the main residential part of Blenheim. I am enclosing a booklet which I wrote in 1962 and if you have not seen this you will be interested - I would be pleased if you could give any deails about Ferringham.
Again many thanks for your kind offers. Address any packages sent to Marlborough Historical Society, C/o Wairau Pharmacy Limited, Blenheim. All items will be acknowledged. With best wishes from Marlborough, yours faithfully, Norman H. Brayshaw, Hon. Sec.

Miss Joan Cleghorn, 6 Ayr Street, Auckland, 20th September 1964. Dear Miss Cleghorn, This is somewhat delayed however many thanks for photographs and the illuminated address which all arrived safely. You can rest assured that the address is very welcome and it will be carefully looked after. Dr. Cleghorn is still a treasured memory to the older folk and I intend once members of the Council of the Society have seen it to make the matter known through the Marlborough Express. We have succeeded in having the Cleghorn Memorial cared for and left where it is in spite of many proposals for traffic control etc. Our ideas are furthrer strengthened by your generosity. Wishing you all the best for the future, kindest regards, yours faithfully, Norman H. Brayshaw (Hon. Sec.). [Source: Archives, Bay 91, Shelf B, Box MHS Correspondence 1964-74].
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W.F. (William Frederick) Burgess (1856 - 1920), Illuminated Address to Dr. George and Mrs Cleghorn, 1900, ink and gold leaf on paper, 32.5 x 39 cm. Gifted in 1964 by Miss Joan Cleghorn [source: Jane Vial, email to Jenny Pierson, 14 July 2014].
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Label for Hidden Gems exhibition July to September 2014 written by Jane Vial, Guest Curator:

W.F. (William Frederick) Burgess, Illuminated Address to Dr. George and Mrs Cleghorn, 1900, ink and gold leaf on paper. Gifted in 1964 by their daughter Miss Joan Cleghorn

Pioneering cancer surgeon Doctor George Cleghorn (1850 - 1902) practiced medicine in Blenheim from 1858 and become first president of the New Zealand branch of the British Medical Association in 1898. He is commemorated by the Cleghorn Rotunda in central Blenheim.

Cleghorn's sporting legacy is less well remembered. He was president of Marlborough Union Football Club, the Cycling Club and Wairau Rowing Club, and represented Marlborough on the New Zealand Cricket Council. From 1898 he led the local campaign for better sporting facilities in Blenheim, which resulted in the opening in 1900 of the Recreation Grounds in Redwood Street which was used by all codes. It was later renamed Horton Park.

In 1900 Dr. Cleghorn left Blenheim due to ill health.

The sporting clubs and societies expressed their deep appreciation by presenting him and his wife Helen (nee Browning) with this elaborate work of art. The sheer quantity of gold leaf used in it reflects the high esteem in which the Cleghorns were held.

The packed ceremony in Ewart's Hall in Seymour Street, the site of present-day Countdown supermarket, was one of the largest Marlborough had seen.

William Frederick Burgess (1856 - 1920) specialised in the medieval art of illuminated addresses. He moved to Blenheim in 1898 after his wife Agnes (nee Barr) died leaving him a widower with three children. His training at Wellington School of Design equipped him with drawing and painting skills necessary to turn his hand to graphic design, art or construction. He worked initially as a draughtsman at the Lands and Survey Office until 1907, when he set up in private practice as an architect and consulting engineer. He also taught painting, drawing and photography from his home studio in Litchfield Street, and later on the corner of Maxwell Road.
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Label for Hidden Gems exhibition July to September 2014 written by Jane Vial, Guest Curator.

Year Range from 1900
Object ID 1999.091.0001
Object Name Certificate, Commemorative
Other # 166
People Cleghorn, George
Cleghorn, Joan
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Last modified on: November 16, 2015