‘Tireless work’ honoured at Owaka
A willingness to share ideas and challenges summed up the threeyear tenure of retiring Owaka Museum director Gael Ramsay.
She was honoured for her work at a recent farewell function at Owaka in the Catlins, and thanked for her tireless work by the Catlins Historical Society.
Ramsay is retiring to Kerikeri with her husband Ross, and is looking forward to pursuing some of their joint interests, especially research into early English porcelain and archaeology, and being closer to family.
She had enjoyed coming to a small community with a can-do attitude, and her time had gone very quickly, she said.
Her favourite part of the Catlins was Lake Wilkie.
‘‘It is one of the lesser-known attractions, and a bit different.’’
She also enjoyed walks to Nugget Point. A Jo May silk painting of a lake with a kea was presented to her as a parting gift.
Along with cataloguing the collection and running the museum, she had been working towards planning more storage for the museum’s future development and had been putting in place plans for increased exhibition and classroom space.
‘‘At the moment it is hard to see the quality of what is already in storage or available for exhibitions.’’
Clutha district librarian Vicki Darling said it had been a true pleasure to work with Ramsay during the last three years.
‘‘Council staff have enjoyed her professionalism, her sense of humour, her pragmatic approach to services and her willingness to share ideas and challenges.
‘‘The council and museum services, which operate out of the same building, have been active for more than 10 years.
‘‘Gael’s tenure as museum director has allowed that relationship to deepen and become truly collaborative.’’
A new director, Massimiliana Urbano (Massi), will start at the museum on February 26.
Originally from Italy, she has spent the last three years in Dunedin tutoring and studying.
She worked at the Unviersity of Otago Department of Media, Film and Communication, and undertook research in social and political philosophy, philosophy of science and history of science for nine years.
Urbano also has experience in creative project management.