01 June 2017

Mrs Drake – Ivy Maude neé Metcalfe

I found this lovely framed photograph recently in my local second-hand dealers, although I wasn’t hopeful of ever finding out who she was I had to have it.


Luckily there was something written on the back of the actual photo but part of an envelope was stuck over the name:-



So after very carefully peeling it off and googling the few words I could read this is what I think it says:-

Mrs Drake
84 Okahu Rd
Cottom Park

The name of the photographer on the front was even harder to read, but it was with him I finally hit the jackpot:-


As you can see it was very blurred but in the right light I was able to make out the word Schmidt and what I thought was ‘Auckland’. That was when Google came to the party and I found out Herman John Schmidt was a well known Auckland photographer whose glass plate negatives of over 26,000 photographs were found in an old building being readied for demolition in Queen St in 1970, you can read about him HERE.

Most of his photographs have now been scanned and made available online at the Auckland Council Libraries Heritage Images database. They have four photographs of the DRAKE wedding including my photograph, how serendipitous is that?

drake-1drake-2drake-3   © Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-WP876a, 31-WP874a, 31-WP875a


I can’t quite make out the name of the street, Okahu is just a guess because I know there is a street of that name in the Remuera/Orakei area.

I had originally posted this photo back on the 6 Mar 2016 thinking I had found the right couple, I had found only the one marriage for a Mr Drake in NZ in 1921 so automatically thought it was them. It has now come to my notice that the marriage I found was not them as I’ve been contacted by a member of the family who has wedding photographs of the correct couple who married in 1921 and they are a completely different couple to the above. So now I think that although the above website said the photos were taken in 1921 that it must have been another year and unfortunately there are far too many DRAKE marriages for the 10 years from 1920 to 1929 to try and work out which one it might be as there is no way of knowing which marriages were in Auckland.

I tried Papers Past but didn’t find anything there so it’s back to the drawing board.

Addendum: I think I’ve found the right couple after all. I’ve found an Emmanuel Oreti Drake and his wife Ivy Maude living at

84 Orakei Rd

in the 1928 NZ Electoral Rolls, and on relooking at the address on the back I realise now the street name must be Orakei and not Okahu. Emmanuel married Ivy Maude Metcalfe in 1919. I’ll add more to this post soon.

References: ancestry.com.au; NZBDM Online; Papers Past; Auckland Council Libraries Heritage Images and Heritage et AL.


If anyone recognises the above photos I’d love to hear from you. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

Dawn Scotting