Recollections by the First Women Member – Kath Arnold (Life Member)
When Colin and I first started attending Central meetings, Antique Arms was a male-dominated club. My first attendance at a National MC meeting in Christchurch, representing Central Branch, a women attending and having a voice around a table full of men challenged significantly their views around the role of a women. They were polite but it certainly felt like some were uncomfortable with my attendance.
These days, even though the number of women members is not high, gender matters little within Antique Arms. It is all about collecting and the relationships developed around an interest in arms and militaria. I get treated with respect and like an equal. Both Colin and I attend events together when we can. On the few occassions I don’t attend, Colin gets inundated with questions “wheres Kath”.
Recollections by Warren Collingwood
I first found out about Antique Arms at the Industries Fair in Moorhouse Ave from members who for years manned a stool there. As an enthusiastic 13-year-old, I was invited to some of the local meetings held at the home of Bob Parker Senior in Barrington. Members recognised my keen interest in collecting and becoming a member so changed the rules to allow me, at 16 years of age, to join. I was a young man given the job at auctions of holding up the lot number for each item as it sold.
Recollections by Rod Woods
I first met Len in 1958 when I was in Standard 5 at the then-new Hoon Hay school. His son was in Standard 4 and Len’s property in Maryhill Avenue backed onto the school grounds. His son must have mentioned my already well-established interest in guns (I had a few by that stage) and I was invited to visit one Saturday morning. Len was very welcoming and as he realised my passion for collecting he then started dragging guns out for me to examine. I would often visit on a Saturday when he was home from work and show him little treasures I had unearthed. After the Industries fair display in 1959 (which I spent a lot of time at) he told me of the formation of the NZAAA. I couldn’t join as membership was restricted to over 21 and I was only 12 but Len introduced me to other collectors like Les Perham, Marshal Voyce, Cyril Atkinson, Jack Lowe, Neville Smith, etc. over the next few years
Recollections by Hugh Bullmore
My interest in guns started when I was 12, my brother would let me shoot his single-shot .22. Dad taught me the rules about safety and allowed to go bunny shooting with a 12 gauge hammer gun. I served my fitting and turning apprenticeship at Ward Engineering, My boss Jeff gave me a book “Shooters Bible 1953” That book was so full of gun technical detail and mechanisms, I sure cherished that book. I am now a book Hoarder (I’m told). A job I did was turn 2 massive wooden pillars 3 metres long (tall) and 400mm diameter, when the customer came to pick them up it was Les Perham, he made joinery and all things wooden. Les and I found we had a common interest in guns. Les told me about NZAAA and they were having an auction in Odd Fellowes Society upstairs in Manchester Street, about 1963? There was a Mint .310 Cadet rifle I wanted, I had a weeks pay, 16 Pounds, some other dude got it for 18 Pounds. I met many collectors and was invited to see their guns, there was a good measure of trust and fellowship among collectors. At shoots, the experienced people helped the newcomers. Auctions have many Choice items, a good place to buy a cheap replica for shooting, and allow someone else to cherish your surplus items. I figure I joined in 1963 my membership number is 0102. I love shooting black powder guns, I have been a Christchurch Pistol Club member for 40 years, I have represented NZ and have 2 Oceania Gold Medals, I shoot Match Lock, Flint Lock, Percussion Single Shot and Percussion Revolvers and Black Power Cartridge, these guns I have displayed at the gun shows. I believe many of our members join because of their love of shooting.