Heritage month gets hands on
Heritage month in Southland is set to be more hands on, following feedback from previous years.
Co-ordinator Rebecca Amunsden said March was once again being recognised as Heritage Month, but this year more workshops and events would be hosted.
While the event had been successful for several years, numbers in attendance were dropping.
‘‘We had three conferences and they went from 100, to 80, to 60 people.’’
There was a big drive for more workshops, so this year she hoped numbers would be boosted.
There were some ‘‘old favourites’’ being brought back and some new events for people of all ages to enjoy, she said.
‘‘They will be full on workshops, there’s lots and lots to learn.
‘‘We have things for all ages, things that involve all age groups.’’
Heritage Month will open on March 3 at Southland Museum and Art Gallery.
There will be a list of speakers including New Zealand Pouhere Taonga chief executive Andrew Coleman, and Jim Geddes, Karyn Owen and Dean Whaanga.
Heritage buildings, genealogy, storytelling and collections will be the topics throughout the month.
There had been a big interest in genealogy in previous years and this year heritage buildings were topical with the proposed plan for Invercargill’s inner city, Amunsden said.
‘‘We want to make the most of it, people want to know about the past.
‘‘We want to know who we are and where we come from.’’
Hosting a week for people to learn about the history of themselves and their place was important, she said.
‘‘Southland has a unique history compared to some other parts of New Zealand.
‘‘We’ve got that Scottish influence.
‘‘We’ll learn how to make the most of our assets and what we have for our advantage.’’
An event this year which Amunsden thought would be popular was the Pop Up Museum on March 17 to 24, 10am to 2pm, on Esk St.
It is the 125th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand - since women won the right to vote.
The museum was in theme with the anniversary and would showcase stories from Southland’s pioneering women. Central Southland is buzzing with the news that the newly appointed Catholic Bishop of Otago and Southland is a local, continuing strong community links with the role.
Fr Michael Dooley, who has just been appointed by Pope Francis as the new Bishop of Dunedin diocese, lived at Heddon Bush, near Winton.
He was educated at the local primary school, before attending Central Southland College.
The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm, with Father Hamesh Wyatt, of Winton, saying it was wonderful for the community.
‘‘I’m sure Winton and the St Thomas Aquinas Parish will have a very special place in his heart.’’
Bishop-elect Dooley will be the seventh Bishop of Dunedin and succeeds Bishop Colin Campbell, who has served for almost 14 years. Continuing the link, Bishop Campbell was born at Otautau and educated in Invercargill, while another local, the late Len Boyle, was born in Nightcaps and was the 5th Bishop of Dunedin from 1983 to 2005.
Bishop-elect Dooley said he was thankful for the support he had received.
Heritage month co-ordinator Rebecca Amunsden with flyers for the events.