Spe­cial dates marked

Manawatu Guardian - - STEPPING OUT -

Novem­ber is a month of an­niver­saries at Te Manawa.

When vis­i­tors ar­rive, one of the first things they see is a vin­tage am­bu­lance parked in the foyer. It’s part of a new ex­hi­bi­tion in part­ner­ship with Palmer­ston North Hos­pi­tal, cel­e­brat­ing that in­sti­tu­tion’s 125th birth­day.

The am­bu­lance is a replica, built up from an orig­i­nal 1930s Chevro­let chas­sis by vin­tage car en­thu­si­ast Brian Wil­ton. Over hun­dreds of hours of re­search and con­struc­tion, he has recre­ated an am­bu­lance of 80 years ago, right down to the med­i­cal sup­plies in the back.

The ve­hi­cle is joined by other items from the hos­pi­tal, such as med­i­cal equip­ment, pho­to­graphs and uni­forms. Saws and ton­sil guil­lotines in glit­ter­ing steel pro­vide a glimpse at health­care in the “olden days” and grat­i­tude that things have come a long way since then!

Just down the hall, the Atrium has been trans­formed into the Re­flec­tion Room. Novem­ber 11 is Ar­mistice Day, mark­ing 100 years since the end of World War I. Spe­cial drapes are be­ing cov­ered in pop­pies made by the com­mu­nity.

The poppy was adopted as a sym­bol of re­mem­brance in the early 1920s. Vis­i­tors are in­vited to make their own pop­pies us­ing the ma­te­ri­als pro­vided and add them to the col­lec­tion. The in­stal­la­tion is a space where vis­i­tors can re­flect and re­mem­ber the New Zealand men and women who were lost in the war.

On Novem­ber 22 the mu­seum opens Santa’s Cave for its cen­te­nary year. Te Manawa has worked hard to make sure this is its best year ever. The mu­seum is grate­ful to the com­mu­nity, whose sup­port ev­ery year means this lo­cal trea­sure can con­tinue to de­light vis­i­tors of all ages.

Brian Wil­ton’s am­bu­lance in the Te Manawa foyer.

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