With the sudden death of Vince Rooker, Morpeth Camera Club has lost a member who, for over 50 years, had been a stalwart of the Club. Vince had been a mainstay of the Club and over the years had been the Chairman three times (1980 -81, 1994 -96 and 2008-2010), the Vice Chairman twice, the Competition Secretary twice (1983-87 and 2012 -2017 for Prints Competitions) and the Programme Secretary (1998 – 2008). In 2010 he was unanimously appointed to the post of Honorary President.
Vince was been a practising photographer for more than 70 years, and over the years had used all camera formats from a 5”X4” Field Camera to the current Nikon DSLR His interest in photography started during the Second World War, when he was a young teenager. His father gave him the family Box Brownie camera complete with negatives and a packet of printing out paper. He was hooked.
After the war, when he had completed his education, Vince started a job with the Meteorological Office. Here his interest in photography “developed” as he had his first advanced camera, which had three shutter speeds!
Vince was called up and did his National Service in the R.A.F. After demobilisation he started employment as a chemist in a chemical laboratory, and proceeded to obtain chemical qualifications at the local Technical College. He also had his first foray into photographic clubs, joining a works camera club in Sheffield and became interested in portrait photography.
In 1966, after a visit, he moved to the North East. Vince joined Morpeth Camera Club, bought his first SLR
(a Pentax S1a) and started entering the club competitions. The mid-seventies saw the beginning of his partnership with Joan, and they were married in 1979. By this time she had also became interested in photography and joined the Morpeth Club with Vince.
Encouraged by Tommy Bates, the then Chairman of Morpeth Camera Club, Vince joined the Royal Photographic Society. He obtained a LRPS in 1979 with 20″x16″ monochrome prints. An ARPS followed in 1981 for monochrome prints of architectural work. Over the years, he has covered most subjects, in all mediums – 35mm colour slides, Monochrome and Colour prints in the darkroom, and on the computer. He made the change to digital imaging, initially by scanning his film images into a computer and then directly when digital cameras became better and cheaper. His work using the digital camera, the computer and photoshop, particularly in colour, became outstanding . He continued to exhibit in International Salons and had several prints accepted for exhibition by The London Salon. In addition to the awards mentioned previously Vince was awarded a DPAGB in 1995, an AFIAP in 2001 and an EFIAP in 2004.
Vince joined the NCPF Executive as Northern Area Representative in 1973 and he seems to have been a regular in that body most of the time since that date. He made the comment “You only get 21 years for murder, I must be doing something wrong”. Vince also became a Federation Lecturer. He was a founder member of the Images Group and he also belonged to the United Postal Portfolios for 30 years, where he contributed to 4 Folios, involving large prints, A4 prints, PDI images and AV sequences.
Competitions and Exhibitions always featured in Vince’s career. As well as entering competitions, he became a Federation Judge for Open Exhibitions, Federation, Inter-club and Club competitions, specialising in in prints, DPI’s and slides. He was also a PAGB Approved Judge, and has acted as a selector at various PAGB events and International Salons.
In Morpeth Camera Club, Vince was looked upon with respect for his achievements and gratitude for his attitude to the Club and its members. He was always ready to give advice and assistance to others and he had a great sense of humour.
Vince Rooker was Morpeth Camera Club and he will be greatly missed.