Clifford (Cliff) William Hawkins, New Zealand Order of Merit, maritime historian, photographer (1914– 2007)
Entranced by ships; as a young man working for the Post Office in Auckland in the 1930s, he delivered mail to the wharves. In the process, Cliff befriended Harbour Board workers, tug skippers and pilots, and they allowed him to join them in meeting in-coming ships, and to capture them in on his camera.
During World War II, while serving overseas, Hawkins continued to take photographs of ships and convoys at sea.
On his return, living in Auckland with his family, wife Shelia and four children, Hawkins began writing on New Zealand’s maritime history, particularly the history of sail. His published books were accompanied by his own photographs and illustrations. He processed his own images and built model ships.
His fascination for ships took him to East Africa, Suez, Indonesia, North America and Europe, to draw and photograph local vessels.
He co-founded the Auckland Maritime Society and was a member of the Auckland Photographic Society. He was created a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003.
The Cliff Hawkins collection, donated by Cliff himself and son Robert (Bob) Hawkins, comprises photographs, glass plate negatives, correspondence, notebooks, bound manuscripts and ships models.