Many hands needed for mu­seum tasks

Much work to be done sort­ing hun­dreds of arte­facts in his­toric build­ing

Hauraki-Coromandel Post - - News - Re­becca Mauger In­for­ma­tion nzhis­

There’s work to be done at Paeroa’s mu­seum. Be­hind the scenes in the his­toric build­ing sit hun­dreds of arte­facts and items of in­ter­est des­tined for dis­play in the Belmont Rd mu­seum.

Paeroa and Dis­trict His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Ron Tyrell says many of the items in stor­age re­quire sort­ing into cat­e­gories and some re­quire restora­tion. They are strug­gling to re­cruit more vol­un­teers to take on the “mas­sive task” of sort­ing items.

“There are about 80 mem­bers and the aim is to in­crease mem­ber­ship and vol­un­teers so the mu­seum can be open more of­ten,” Ron says.

The hours are cur­rently 12pm to 3pm, Tues­day to Fri­days. Ron would like to see the mu­seum open seven days a week from 10am to 3pm.

He would love lo­cals to take a peek inside the mu­seum.

Peo­ple trav­el­ling through the small town cur­rently make up the bulk of vis­i­tors, he says.

“We have such a rich his­tory and there’s some fas­ci­nat­ing things in the

mu­seum . . . some lo­cals aren’t even aware we’re here.

“We’d love lo­cals to re­dis­cover the mu­seum.”

Ron says Paeroa was a dis­tri­bu­tion point for the en­tire area and the river was its road­way.

“Our his­tory goes back to the 1840s when the first set­tlers came up the river.”

Cur­rent ex­hibits in­clude an im­pres­sive Royal Al­bert col­lec­tion (the largest in Aus­trala­sia with 527 pieces), the Raupo Pa col­lec­tion of Ma¯ori arte­facts (gifted by Pai o Hau­raki marae), an al­most 200-year-old tau­rapa, a ships in bot­tles dis­play by Walt Schramm, a 1912 but­ter­fly gig (re­stored by a mu­seum

mem­ber), a dis­play of sewing ma­chines, var­i­ous arte­facts in­clud­ing bot­tles from the old brew­ery, L&P mem­o­ra­bilia, George Roland in­for­ma­tion, a Paeroa Mu­nic­i­pal Band dis­play and a Ber­lei dis­play (there was once a Ber­lei fac­tory in the town).

The new­est ex­hibit is a fas­ci­nat­ing col­lec­tion of irons through­out his­tory — from metal flat irons made by black­smiths through to steam irons.

Vis­i­tors of­ten come in to re­search his­toric sto­ries and in­for­ma­tion, Ron says.

The mu­seum has copies of the Hau­raki Plains Gazette, lo­cal fam­ily his­to­ries and

hine­muri jour­nals (which can also be found on­line via ohine­

Items in stor­age in­clude col­lec­tions of Wat­ton cam­eras, vin­tage dolls, cloth­ing and fab­rics, ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions and busi­ness mem­o­ra­bilia and more.

A quick his­tory of Paeroa

On the open­ing of the hine­muri gold­field in 1875, the river junc­tion was the cho­sen site for a town and Paeroa was born.

Paeroa be­came a busy river port in the 1890s.

Min­ing de­bris was dumped into the river, which ex­posed Paeroa to flood­ing. This prac­tice was stopped in the 1950s.

In the 20th cen­tury, farm­ing re­placed min­ing as the main­stay of the town.

One of Hau­raki’s first but­ter fac­to­ries was built at Paeroa in 1901.

Paeroa is also known for Lemon and Paeroa (L&P) which was orig­i­nally was made us­ing wa­ter from a lo­cal min­eral spring. —

The new­est ex­hi­bi­tion at Paeroa Mu­seum is the ex­hibit of irons.

Photo / Re­becca Mauger.

Left: Ron and Mar­garet Tyrell from Paeroa and Dis­trict His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

The Ma¯ori col­lec­tion of arte­facts.

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