Eelco Boswijk is a legend in his own time, a pioneer and a tireless patron. Now retired, his legacy is the vibrant artistic community in Nelson, many members of which got their start by exhibiting in his café, Chez Eelco.
It was the hub of Kiwi Bohemian life from the 1960s through to the ‘90s and one of the very first coffee houses in New Zealand. Eelco emigrated from the Netherlands in 1951 and came into his own at the café where he hosted an endless stream of young people keen to enjoy the atmosphere, the coffee and the conversation.
He’s still held in very high regard in the Nelson community – especially by the women. Amelia Nurse talks to his friends and family and the man himself about the times at Chez Eelco.