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The Nelson Photo News



A Servant of the Suffering

When he retired from the Lands Department in Nelson in 1948, Mr Archibald Craig was asked if he would undertake to collect donations to the Mission for Lepers. He gladly accepted the task ("it gave me a great interest"). Today, he is 22 years older, but he still makes his rounds of Nelson subscribers to the mission, and he goes almost everywhere on foot. Walking is nothing new to Mr Craig. He spent 12 years in the field with the Lands Department while in Auckland, in wild and tangled back country, and he has spent much of his leisure time tramping over the same sort of terrain. Two years ago, at the age of 81, he and his daughter went on their annual camping holiday and he climbed a 3000 ft. mountain. In 1968, using Totaranui as a base, they tramped the Golden Bay area, covering, at times, 20 miles a day if the going was easy. His daughter is Sister Margaret Craig, sister in charge of the maternity ward at the Nelson Public Hospital.

In the 22 years he has been collecting for the mission, Mr Craig estimates he has collected about $8000. Many of his donors are now elderly and look forward to his visits as an occasion for a chat and a cup of tea. On the day we took these photographs, Mr Craig was just leaving to walk to Atawhai. We gave him a lift and took the photograph at Right as he collected the donation of Mrs Mary Ashton, of Rainbow Drive.

A quite remarkable man.