Col­lec­tor of the Year 2019

Kent Life - - Art Life - WORDS: Sarah Sturt PHO­TOS: Manu Palomeque

Meet our 2018 Ju­nior Col­lec­tor Cameron Jarvis, 11, whose pas­sion is for all things tur­tle re­lated

Ju­nior Col­lec­tor of the Year 2018 was 11-year-old Cameron Jarvis, who lives in Hemp­stead with his par­ents and younger sis­ter Naomi. He is in Year 7 at Gad’s Hill School in Higham, which used to be the home of Charles Dick­ens.

Cameron has been col­lect­ing from a very young age (ev­ery­thing from fos­sils – in­clud­ing some im­pres­sive di­nosaur ex­am­ples – to gem­stones, pin badges, toys and trad­ing cards), in­spired by a muchloved mem­ber of his fam­ily.

“My Papi in Canada has many col­lec­tions as well and I have al­ways en­joyed help­ing him find trea­sures when we are to­gether.

His First and Sec­ond World

War col­lec­tions are par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive, and I espe­cially like his crested china col­lec­tion,” he says.

How­ever, it was his col­lec­tion of tur­tles that caught the judges’ eye. “My ob­ses­sion with tur­tles and tor­toises be­gan when I was in Year 2 and my teacher read us Esio Trot by Roald Dahl, which is all about a tor­toise called Al­fie,” he ex­plains.

“I’ve never been one to fol­low the trends and be­came ob­sessed with tor­toises. I hoped to one day have one of my very own and on my eighth birth­day my dream came true and I got my very own lit­tle shelled friend. I started to get given fig­urines, toys, shirts, book­ends etc, all with tor­toises on them.

“Now, I love to seek out dif­fer­ent tor­toises for my col­lec­tion when I’m away on hol­i­day, in gift shops and espe­cially in an­tique shops.”

Cameron, who has only just started sec­ondary school and par­tic­u­larly en­joys English and his­tory, is a bit young to know about his fu­ture stud­ies, but he does know how he would like to make a liv­ing.

“When I’m older I’d like to be an en­tre­pre­neur be­cause I’m in­ter­ested in be­ing my own boss and hope­fully mak­ing a lot of money!”

Out­side of school and hunt­ing out tur­tles for his prize col­lec­tion, Cameron has been a Scout and taken karate lessons since he was five. He also has a new in­ter­est in cook­ery and hopes to take a course this sum­mer.

He trav­els to Canada twice a year and to Florida every Easter, but back in Kent he en­joys lots of days out and walks with the fam­ily.

To his fel­low young col­lec­tors, Cameron says: “If you have an in­ter­est­ing, unique col­lec­tion with a story be­hind it, then I’d def­i­nitely rec­om­mend en­ter­ing. It was easy to en­ter; the hard part was wait­ing to find out who the win­ner was!”

And fame awaits too: “The news of my win was cov­ered by my school and two news­pa­pers as well as Kent Life,” the young­ster adds with pride.

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