Now 29, Jim Belshaw returns to
from England having
completed his PhD in economics at .
At Manchester , Belshaw
went ashore to inquire about job prospects at the University and the banks. At the
Bank of New South Wales Economics Department he heard vague rumours about a
proposed university college to be established in a remote part of the state.
Those he talked to were not impressed. Sydney
In December 1937, the first five academic positions at the
were advertised. Without much enthusiasm and with decided reservations, Belshaw
decided to apply, beating thirty five other applicants for the position of
foundation lecturer in history and economics. New England
Previously, we left Belshaw sitting in his fettler’s cottage turned school master’s residence at Tahekeroa north of
He had just failed to get a scholarship to study in the Auckland UK despite completing a masters with first class
honours and .first in .
Now Belshaw sat down to do another masters, this one in history: “
in the Crisis: An Essay
in Recent Economic History.” This time after again gaining first class honours
and first in New Zealand New Zealand,
Belshaw was awarded the coveted scholarship to study in the . UK
The scholarship provided for a return first class steamer fare plus tuition and living costs at a university of your choice. This was a new world for the still young Belshaw with his provincial and working class background. Among other things, he had to buy his first dinner jacket to wear at dinner, a heavy wool affair that proved to be quite unsuitable on a ship sailing through the tropics!
I think that one of the things that would make Belshaw so effective as a teacher at
New England is that he understood what it was like for
often insecure students from families with no exposure to university education.
It could also make him demanding because he knew what was possible and had
strongly developed views on academic standards.
Relationships between older and younger brothers, or indeed between generations, can be complicated.
Jim Belshaw was following in the footsteps of his elder brother. By the time Belshaw was completing his second MA, Horace had become a major
public figure, setting
a considerable challenge for the younger man. New Zealand
Jim Belshaw rejected
Cambridge for his PhD because Horace
had gone there, choosing instead to go to
near original Belshaw home country. However, the two brothers shared interests
and values. Manchester
My next column will carry the story through to the early days of the New England University College as Jim Belshaw established his own place. This was also the period in which the now New
became the Pacific Belshaws.
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 7 February 2018. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here 2017, here 2018