John Cawte Beaglehole wrote the definitive biography of Cook and edited his journals.
Did he do anything else?
The answer is a definite YES.
He was born on 13th June 1901, and educated at Victoria University of Wellington and University of London,
He became a history lecturer, historical adviser to the Department of Internal Affairs, chairman of the board of management of the New Zealand University Press, president of the New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties, a member of the board of trustees of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum, a professor of British Commonwealth history at Victoria, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand
He was awarded the C.M.G. in 1958, Linnaeus Medal in 1966, Order of Merit in 1970 .
He died at his home on 10th October 1971.
Beaglehole wrote many monographs, poems, articles, notes, book reviews, letters and books; the first in 1919 when he was 18, the last in 1971 when he was 70.
They are summarised in "John Cawte Beaglehole. A bibliography" by A.G. Bagnall; published in 1972 by the Alexander Turnbull Library.
From it one can chart Beaglehole's literary association with the Pacific explorers:
One of Beaglehole's other activities was to assist in the identifying and marking of Cook landing sites in New Zealand. For 16 years he was a member of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, its principal authority on the art of printing, the choice of illustators, layout and typeface for its publications, the perfecting of alphabets for bronze plaques and Formica noticeboards.
As a tribute to the man and these activities the Trust published in 1978 "A Sense of History. A commemorative publication for John Cawte Beaglehole, O.M., about James Cook's landing sites in New Zealand" by Frances Porter.
The sites of the monuments, cairns and plaques covered are listed below in chronological order of Cook's arrival, together with the date of unveiling.
The commemorative plaque to Beaglehole is in Old St. Paul's Pro-Cathedral, Wellington. The inscription includes the words used by the Maori Te Horeta to describe Cook, which are equally applicable to Beaglehole:
"E kore te tino torgata e ngaro i roto i te tokomaha"
"A great man cannot be hidden in crowd" .
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 310, volume 7, number 4 (1984).
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