Exhibit marks 50th birthday
For Alice Masters, the end of the road has been reached with a mixture of relief and pride.
Pataka’s social history curator has spent about nine months organising We Built This City, an exhibition celebrating how far Porirua has come in 50 years.
She said it had been a team effort, with a lot of council support and research offered, along with contributions from people and groups in the Porirua community. The amount of information did get a bit overwhelming, she said.
‘‘You get to a point where you have to say ‘ stop now’. You can’t get it all in,’’ she said. ‘‘But I think we’ve struck the right balance and I’m really excited and proud to see it now.’’
Features of the exhibition, which has a real retro feel to it, include the use of boxes to illustrate the building aspect of the city, a striking city map made by Plimmerton firm DAC Group and a 1960s’ state house kitchen.
It is interactive, with telephones at different points to listen to audio – such as Prince Charles’ speech when he opened the police college – and televisions showing clips of interest.
Mayor Nick Leggett’s Gigatown rap video adds a modern feel to proceedings.
Quirky additions include the Hunter Grant Shield from the Plimmerton Boating Club, awarded for the most capsizes in a year. Porirua institutions like the Windmill Quality Cake Shop and Todd Motors feature.
The exhibition is laid out in relation to Porirua’s suburbs, with Titahi Bay to the west, Pukerua Bay in the north and Cannons Creek to the east, for example.
‘‘It was important to have that historical aspect, but something like this needs to be engaging, which I think we’ve achieved,’’ Masters said. ‘‘At the end of the day, maps and buildings and roads have been important to Porirua’s growth, and we’ve shown that off in a fun way.’’
People who come into the exhi- bition will also be able to leave their thoughts of Porirua on Postit notes on one of the boxes.
Masters hopes that some of the display will form part of a permanent historical section at Pataka.
The exhibition runs until September 20.
Alice Masters with the Porirua map at the entrance to the We Built This City exhibition.