Celebrating Renwick’s early pioneers
A little township in rural Marlborough wants to celebrate its roots. But it needs a little help. Renwick Museum is calling on the township’s ‘Founding Families’ - the descendants of early settlers - to come and share their stories.
The Renwick Founding Families Celebration will be held at the Renwick Museum on November 13 from 1pm to 3pm.
Renwick Museum secretary Sandra Welburn says people will be surprised by how much information they have on Renwick and its early settlers.
This is the first time the small team, comprised of president Gwenda Hodson, Sandra Welburn and treasurer Ray Welburn, has held such an event, which happens to coincide with Marlborough Heritage Week.
The Welburns, from Yorkshire, England, just moved to Renwick four years ago. Their thirst for knowledge on the area made them volunteer at the museum, where they slowly started to put together a timeline of the town
‘‘We’re fascinated by history,’’ Ray Welburn says. ‘‘We wanted to learn about this town when we got here and it just took off.’’
The trio have been working tirelessly, in their own time, putting together a comprehensive genealogy of the township.
Hanging on the walls around them, in the research room, are photographs and giant-sized family trees.
Hodson has relatives that go back to the founding families, and has even written a book about growing up in the region.
She says the museum wants more people to come and check out what they have on offer.
‘‘Someone donated a high chair, which belonged to the Bary family here in Renwick,’’ Hodson says. ‘‘You’d be surprised how many people have come forward and said, ‘My grandad, my uncle, or so and so, sat in that’.’’
The Welburns have been working around the clock in the lead up to the event, Hodson says.
‘‘They just about sleep here,’’ she says. ‘‘They do everything around the museum.’’
The day promises to be a learning experience for everyone.
‘‘We have so many photographs, family trees and collections that, you know, they ought to access,’’ Sandra Welburn says.
‘‘There’s so much potential for this museum. It seems a shame not to push that potential.’’
For more information, contact Marlborough Museum on 03 578 1712 or info@marlborough museum.org.nz.
The genealogies of Renwick’s founding families are starting to come together thanks to the tireless work of volunteers at Renwick Museum.