Doors open at Waikaia’s new museum
About 100 people live at Waikaia but most of them were at the opening of the town’s new $1.7 million museum yesterday afternoon.
But it was a race to the finish line. Switzers Museum treasurer Shirley Walker said the Southland District Council’s building inspector was booked in to do a final inspection at 10am ahead of the 1pm official opening.
‘‘I’m quite relieved that it’s finally going to open. It’s been a long time getting here but I think it’s all been worthwhile.’’
Museum committee chairwoman Mairi Dickson was overcome with emotion after the 30 year mission to capture the stories of the province in a purpose built museum finally came to
‘‘It’s been a long time getting here but I think it’s all been worthwhile.’’ Switzers Museum treasurer Shirley Walker
fruition. ‘‘I’m very, very pleased and very happy the doors are open and everyone seems to be enjoying it, so that’s great.
‘‘We’re getting some really good feedback so that’s good, and I hope people will continue to visit.
‘‘Now that this is done, we’ll move on to the next project, so it will never really be over for us.’’
Toitu¯ Otago Settlers Museum exhibition developer William McKee grew up at Waikaia and returned home for the official opening.
‘‘Everyone in the town has played a part in it whether it be buying raffle tickets or making cheese rolls for the rugby club’s cabaret night, and they should all be proud of what the committee has achieved. It’s so cool.’’
For Southland District Council roving museum officer Jo Massey the opening was the end of an eight year project, cataloguing the town’s history and helping develop it’s stories.
‘‘I think it’s a beautiful museum and it’s appropriate for a great town.
‘‘A museum is all about telling stories and now, finally, there are people here to hear them.’’
Chairperson of the Switzers Museum Mairi Dickson at the official opening yesterday.