Video club edits itself out, but memories roll on

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Sharon Robinson and Annie Bonifant, of the Cancer Society, receive a cheque for $1076.50 from Ian Smith, Bruce McLauchlan and Don Hopwood, all foundation members of the Ashburton Video Club.

New technology, ageing members and falling interest have led to the winding up of the Ashburton Video Camera Club, set up 30 years ago.

Foundation members Ian Smith, Don Hopwood and Bruce McLauchlan passed on an equal share of club funds to the Cancer Society and the Ashburton Trust Event Centre. They got $1076.50 each.

When the club was formed in 1989 video cameras were the new format with instant playback compared to the old movie films which had to be sent away to be processed.

At its first meeting to gauge interest, 30 people turned out and the club was formed.

To help members, Arnold Stanbury, of Christchurch, instructed on the finer points of videoing and editing.

Editing was first done by playing the tape on a VCR and removing or inserting footage before transferring to another VCR.

With computers, it was easier to edit on screen.

Video clubs were popular throughout New Zealand with a national federation set up.

One of the Ashburton members, Geoff Fitzgerald, was successful at one of these.

Another member, Ian Smith, won the Arnold Stanbury Cup for his entry.

The Ashburton club had get-togethers in Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

Some members specialised in events such as weddings and funerals and one member was contracted to TV One to record headline events.

But changing times and technology has overtaken some members and there had not been younger members to replace them.

Mr Smith said that in the 1990-2000 era there were seven video clubs in the South Island, and “now I think Ashburton would be the last one to exist”.

“Our membership has declined over the years and at one stage it was down to four and now at our final meeting we have seven members.”