Author(s): Simon Nathan
Miner Joseph Divis, born in Bohemia, photographed life in mining towns Blackball, Waiuta and Waihi where he worked between 1909 and 1935. Although an outsider, Divis loved this country. When he died in 1967 he was one of the last inhabitants in the ghost town of Waiuta, site of one of NZ’s richest gold-bearing quartz reefs. Thanks to Divis’s graphic, sensitive work, we have an extraordinary record of the isolated and often dangerous life in our frontier communities.
Simon Nathan is a geologist and science historian with a fascination for the rocks and people of the West Coast region. Much of his career has been at GNS Science (where he is now an emeritus scientist), and he has been the science editor for Te Ara, the online Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. As well as many technical publications, he has written biographies of several New Zealand scientists.