Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eelco Boswijk

Not sure when his 'head' was installed, but I found this a couple of weeks ago. It's a pity he's positioned in such a strange way - at the edge of the tables, looking at nothing in particular. (He's somewhere between the far left pillar and the red umbrella, looking further left here.) Knowing Eelco, he probably would have loved to be put right in the middle of the tables, or at least right outside the Cafe door. Maybe I'll ask him the next time I see him.

I was listening to his ex-wife Christine's interview on National Radio, and found that in the 60's Chez Eelco used to host intimate theatre and low budget movies as well as musical gigs and art displays. What a funky, truly Nelson kind of place it must have been! (This link will stay alive until around October 27.)


  1. Who is this person? Any more info?

  2. Eelco was the original owner of Chez Eelco Cafe posted in August here. He's like the grand patron of all arts and arts events in Nelson since teh 60's, and Christine is his ex-wife and a well-known potter.

  3. Dear Meg,
    I read Eelco's story with much interest, then moved on to reading your weaving blog- fascinating, really enjoyed your reflections on colour, hues, values and then on art, copyright, creativity, learning etc... Couldn't leave a message everywhere but just want to let you know that it was a great read.
    I know nothing about weaving but I would fully agree with the message that 50 colours are better than 5.
    Ben, I also left you a message on your Ben's sketchbook blog at the date of 23th sept. Thought I'd let you know so it doesn't go unnoticed. Thanks to both of you for your work and thoughts.

  4. Too kind, Nathalie. Thank you. Finding the right 50 (or 100 as we had to aim in the workshop) colors to put together is the trick, isn't it. I loved the comment (the second one) you left in Tucson, too. So lovely. Look forward to your future photos of Sydney, too, and that's one city we could go for a short trip if we get our acts together.

  5. Thank you Nathalie,
    I’m getting notification for each of comment so I didn’t miss yours.
    Thank you for kind comment at there.
    I enjoy your Sydney shots, you are so talented and I have few people that I admire their photos and you are one of them.

  6. I used to work at Chez Eelco, in 2002. How sad to hear that Eelco died. He used to come by every day for his coffee, he was very particular about the way he liked it, it has to be just right. He used to wear an old "Chez Eelco" sweater from the time when he worked and owned the cafe, with his face on it. I know he would appreciate still being a part of the place. Too bad they've changed it though.

  7. Hi, Brandi. We've been away for 4 days, but to my knowledge, I think Eelco is still with us. Though his cafe closed some time ago.

    He looks very fragile, but I think I saw him about a week ago.

  8. Oh, I didn't realize that. I thought that the statue was there to commemorate him. Glad to hear that he's still around.
    Thanks for the update.
    I love Nelson, and I loved Chez Eelco. It's too bad that they changed the name, and the business. Is it still a great place?

  9. Brandi, because we were away for 5 days, we thought you might have known something we didn't.

    It must have been shortly after you left that Chez was sold to Eelco's daughter, and I can't remember what it was called. Then about two years alter it was sold to someone outside the family and was renamed to the strange name of "The Chez"; this lasted perhaps two years? Then it was sold and completely redone and has become the House of Ale, and we have never stepped foot in that one.

    Artist Jane Evans wanted to thank Eelco sometime between the last two incarnations of the venue, but faced a lot of difficulties from the owners as to the position and the direction of the Eelco bust, it's been pretty stable for a while now.

    We sat next to him at Shapespeare last summer, and he looked fragile, but he is still that big, regal man we all love, and he still makes it to A LOT of arts and community events. On Saturdays, he often sits with Mike Ward at Mike's jewelry stall at the Market.

    Brings back memories, does it?

  10. Ya, it really does. It's nice to have an update. I moved back to Canada in 2004. I miss the feel of the friendly town and the ocean so close!
    While I was still in town I belive that Chez Eelco was bought by a man (I forget his name) who owns many other bars around town. I think he must have been the one to change Chez Eelco to a pub, but Im not entirely sure.
    Thanks for the info!

  11. I can't remember what Eelco's daughter called the place, but if you were here in 2004, it sounds like that was around the time "The Chez" became the ale house; yes, the owner of The Chez owned lots of things, among them possibly Olivia's which is now the Saltwater. It just closed suddenly it was very strange.

    I miss the original Eelco's, though. I used to go have lunch there often because though I only had an hour's lunch break and had to go back to the Polytech, for that one hour I was surrounded by people on holiday and I got to hear so many different languages around me. I loved the out-dated-ness of the decor, too. And it used to be the only two places in town with an Internet connection.

  12. I just remembered, his name is Graham - I think Graham Barker. He took over while I was still working there, and I would help out sometimes at one of his other bars, The Anchor or something like that. On the water, quite a nice little place.
    Some nice photos on the Nelson Daily photo. I also quite enjoy the link to the page: The Bad Photographer.
    Pretty cool.


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