Graham Stewart: an Absolutely Positive Wellingtonian

24 October 2012

The Wellington City Council will honour Graham Stewart: author, publisher, historian, and tireless advocate for many of Wellington's charities.

Mr Stewart will receive an Absolutely Positive Wellingtonian Award from Mayor Celia Wade-Brown at the full Council meeting tonight, Wednesday 24 October at Wellington City Council Chambers.

Absolutely Positive Wellingtonian Awards honour members of the community who have made outstanding contributions to the Capital.

Graham Stewart's career in publishing spans over 60 years. He has produced many notable pictorial histories of New Zealand through his Wellington publishing firm Grantham House, established in 1985 in Oriental Bay. He has over 100,000 copies of his books in circulation.

As a young photo-journalist he witnessed several momentous events, including the 1951 waterfront dispute, the Tangiwai Railway disaster, and the last tram from Oriental Bay.

Last year Graham was recognised with an MNZM honour for services to historical research.

As well as his extensive publishing career, Graham has founded New Zealand's largest transport and social history museum, the Museum of Transport and Technology, and been heavily involved in many charitable trusts such as the Wellington City Mission and Ronald McDonald House.

Graham was chairman of the Wellington City Mission Anglican Trust board in the 90s, at a time when there was less money going into the public purse and greater pressure on institutions.

"Graham has done so much to preserve the story of our city, our community and its long-standing institutions," says Mayor Wade-Brown. "Few have contributed so much to preserve and celebrate the history of urban transport in New Zealand.

"Graham's to be congratulated on his achievements, as he is truly an Absolutely Positive Wellingtonian."