Many hands needed for museum tasks
Much work to be done sorting hundreds of artefacts in historic building
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 ohinemuri.org.nz).
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.
Left: Ron and Margaret Tyrell from Paeroa and District Historical Society.
The Ma¯ori collection of artefacts.