Pre­cious fam­ily films mis­laid

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATT SHAND

If you bought a box of 8mm film from Trash Palace in Porirua re­cently, or know some­one who did, Kapi-Mana News would like to hear from you.

Eighty- three- year- old Dor­rie Cossey of Tawa in­ad­ver­tently added a box of her fa­ther’s 8mm and 16mm film reels to a do­na­tion pile when she was mov­ing house last week.

The films were mostly cher­ished home videos her fa­ther made and she is hop­ing who­ever bought them will re­turn them to the fam­ily.

‘‘I just got a bit car­ried away in the rush of get­ting ev­ery­thing packed, and must have put the box of film in the wrong pile,’’ Mrs Cossey said.

‘‘There are so many mem­o­ries on those films that are pre­cious to the fam­ily. We have Christ­mases, birthdays, and footage of my daugh­ter when she was just two days old.

‘‘I had planned to give some away of the films to the film ar­chives, but it would mean the world to me to get back the home movies.’’

Mr Gar­rett had cin­ema in the blood and as well as film­ing, he man­aged sev­eral cinemas, in­clud­ing Pe­tone’s State Theatre.

As well as home movies, the box con­tained Mickey Mouse car­toons and spe­cial films he pro­duced show­cas­ing parts of New Zealand his­tory.

Mr Gar­rett used his close po­lit­i­cal friend, Sir Wal­ter Nash, to get spe­cial ac­cess to the 1954 royal visit to New Zealand and get closer than other cam­era­men.

Mrs Cossey’s daugh­ter, Cathy Ser­rier, tried to re­cover the films when she dis­cov­ered what had hap­pened.

‘‘ I called Trash Palace and didn’t get an an­swer, so rushed down there. The man at the counter said he had just sold them.’’

El­iz­a­beth Mea­clem, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Mana Re­cov­ery, which owns Trash Palace, said the staff was work­ing hard to re­cover the film.

‘‘We have placed a mes­sage on our Face­book page, which now reaches over 25,000 peo­ple.

‘‘The staff mem­ber who sold the film thinks he could recog­nise the cus­tomer – he’s been in sev­eral times,’’ she said.

‘‘We are of­fer­ing a full re­fund and a $20 voucher for the re­turn of the film.’’

Kapi- Mana News con­tacted ar­chiv­ists and col­lec­tors about the miss­ing films.

John Bell from Time Cin­ema in Welling­ton is an avid col­lec­tor of old films and said there was a good pos­si­bil­ity the films would turn up.

He said he knew a lot of col­lec­tors and film hob­by­ists and would keep his eyes and ears open.

‘‘I’m sure that if who­ever pur­chased the films was aware of their sig­nif­i­cance they would re­turn them,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s pos­si­ble I will even come across it be­cause a lot of peo­ple turn over ar­chive footage and old fam­ily films to me too.’’

The New Zealand Film Ar­chives also alerted its col­lec­tors to be on the look­out for the films.

Photo: MATT SHAND

Movies mys­tery: Cathy Ser­rier of Tawa with her grand­fa­ther’s 8mm cam­era and three films that es­caped the tip.

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