|Clement Bartley at forty, an image taken by Hanna photographers for the Cyclopaedia of 1902|
Clement Bartley was born in Auckland, New Zealand on the 6th of October 1862. He was the seventh child of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby.
In many ways Clement's experience was typical of a new colonial born generation. He was educated locally at the Grammar School in the city and later at the training college run by Josiah Martin. He was groomed for white collar work rather than the building trade which his father had followed.
After serving his clerical apprenticeship in the office of the estate agent F. Ewington, Clement began his banking career at the Auckland Savings Bank headquarters in Queen St in 1881. Five years later he received his first managerial appointment in charge of the newly established Newton Branch of the bank. During his long career he managed the new Queen St premises, designed by Edward Bartley, and retired in 1931 after fifty years of service - a time which saw phenomenal changes in banking practice and great swings in the economic climate of the region.
Clement married in 1884. His bride was Ellen Fisher, a daughter of John Fisher and Eliza Dyos. The Fisher's had come from Birmingham to New Zealand in the early 1860's.
Six years later Ellen's sister Emily married Clement's Jersey-born cousin Martin Hamon.
Ellen and Clement's first child was Zoe, born in 1885. Russell, Alva and Graham followed in quick succession. Rita, Freda and Stella completed the family.
|Russell as an infant, Image Steven Album, BFA|
|The eldest child, Zoe. Image Steven Album, BFA|
Clement enjoyed a full life of diverse interests. He was an active member of the Birkenhead Borough Council during the 1890s.
Today he would be called a fan of 'extreme sport'. He was a founder member of the Auckland Bicycle Club, later the Waitemata Cycling Club. The club was established in 1881 and on their first outing Clement was riding his newly imported high wheeled machine, one of the first to be brought into Auckland from America. These bicycles are now more often referred to as a penny farthing cycle.
High wheeler bicycles presented their own challenges to riders. Later versions developed moustache shaped handle bars to allow for knee clearance but in the early days it was a real challenge for a tall rider to maintain his seat. The chief danger was going over the top of those handle bars or of going off backwards on the uphill beat. These machines were not equipped with chain drive, brakes or other safety features although they did benefit from the development of a rubber tyre and wheel bearings.
|Thanks to Etsy Store 'TheGrandRewiew' for this image of Pope's advertising 1881|
A cycle club might seem like a tame pursuit but this was a high risk, high profile sport in these early days. The club met for a weekly excursion over the summer months from September to February. Warmer weather offered only marginally less challenging roads. The surfaces they took to would give modern cyclists pause today with their list of hazards from poor sealing (if any), subsidence and steep gradients. The whims of other road users remain as a challenge for cyclists down to our own time. The attitudes of those in charge of larger four wheeled vehicles were sometimes just as antagonistic as riders report experiencing on our modern roads today. These circumstances, along with the rapid development of cycle technology after the 1880's made for high adrenalin club runs.
|'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A6730' Members of Waitemata Cycle Club 1884, Hanna Photographers, Clement Bartley 2nd from right, front row.|
Clement was a keenly competitive pigeon fancier and breeder of fowl. This interest absorbed a good deal of his leisure time as well as being a 'space hungry' hobby. He purchased an extra section near his home which he fitted out for his fowl breeding. The Suburban Poultry Club gave regular exhibitions of their livestock and Clement served for many years as an office holder.
|Auckland Weekly News 28 July 1899, Clement centre back row|
|A prize bird, AWN 2 July 1900|
Photography was a passion of Clement's, which he shared with his uncle Edward Bartley and cousins Frederick Bartley, Martin Hamon and Ernest Queree. Music was another life long interest involving family, friends and the wider community. Both he and Ellen were talented musicians who fostered a love of music in their children. Their daughter Zoe enjoyed a successful career as a pianist, partly as a result of the rich exposure to musicianship which she enjoyed at home.
Clement served for many years as conductor of the choir at St John's Wesleyan in Ponsonby as well as the Zion Church Sunday School in Birkenhead.
He also enjoyed membership of the Orphan's Club, a social association which fielded an excellent orchestra.
|The Auckland Orphan's Club Orchestra about 1913, Clement at far left of back row. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-WP533|
Clement and Ellen are interred at Waikaraka Cemetery, Onehunga, Auckland. Clement died on 16 July 1936, followed by Ellen on 21 September 1942.
|NZ Herald 19 July 1936|