With the uphill battles of pest invasion action and Covid closures happily things of the past, a report prepared for the 2023 Te Awaroa Helensville Museum AGM, held on June 24, recorded how the organisation has preserved, celebrated, and showcased the rich history of Te Awaroa Helensville and its surrounding areas in the past year.
Because it is seen as important to nurture a love of history, including in our younger generations, over the year active engagement with schools, community groups and tourists has increased. Outreach programs have included guided tours, educational presentations, and collaborations with local schools to provide valuable resources for educators. This activity has been aided by the fact that gaining funding for an administration assistant has freed up time for the dedicated museum volunteers to better interact with the wider community. Work is ongoing to foster partnerships with local businesses, community leaders and organisations such as U3A, Lions Club, the Kaipatiki Board, and Northwest Businesses.
The museum buildings are mostly now available and open for business, providing venues for successful events which have helped bring local history to life. These included hosting tin-type photographer Adrian Cook during Arts in the Ville, hosting the Haunted Auckland team, running Halloween Night, and holding embroidery and weaving classes. Arina Bosch gave a popular a series of talks to help teachers with the history aspects of the new Aotearoa curriculum.
Volunteers are crucial. The gardening team continue to delight visitors with the beautifully presented grounds. The preservation and care of the extensive collection remains paramount, and the dedicated collections team has made significant progress in cataloguing and digitising archives and artifacts, ensuring their accessibility for both researchers and visitors, while other volunteers have done excellent work preserving the textiles in the collection. The IT volunteer keeps the computers going, while others keep the museum in the public eye with articles in local publications, a lively Facebook page and an up-to-date webpage. Of course, there are plenty more things to do, and anyone thinking about volunteering is very welcome to join the happy team.
With the goal of creating an immersive and inclusive space that showcases the diverse history of the Helensville District while inspiring future generations to appreciate and preserve the local heritage, future plans include enhancing the museum’s facilities, developing new exhibitions, and broadening community outreach efforts.
Wonderful news that broke after the report was written was that a $21,500 grant had just been received and would be used to pay for many of the upgrades sorely needed. This grant is thanks to the hard work of outgoing President, Toni Walmsley, who was thanked for the effort and energy she has put into the leadership role.
AGM Election results: President, Leigh Bosch; Vice President, Megan Williams, Committee, Jennifer McCann, Gray Clayton, Fiona Wilton, Anne Martin, Gaylene Ellis, Ron Harland.