Doors open at Waikaia’s new mu­seum

The Southland Times - - News - Rachael Kelly

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.’’

ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

Chair­per­son of the Switzers Mu­seum Mairi Dick­son at the of­fi­cial open­ing yesterday.

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