Article in Piako Post 21 January 2015:
Ruru likely to thrill:
Morepork (ruku) are usually heard but seldom seen, until now.
The Te Aroha & District Museum has been gifted a stuffed morepork by Te Aroha's Jennifer and Gary Robinson.
Jennifer said she found the morepork dead at the end of her neighbour's driveway, after a winter storm last year.
She lay its feathers flat and stored it in a plastic bag in the freezer with the intention of having it stuffed.
But strict Department of Conservation regulations meant it took about four months of paper-work to get a permit before the work could be done.
She persisted though.
"I didn't want it wasted, being a native bird," she said.
"I wanted the children to see it and people to see it because you hear them but never see them."
The morepork was stuffed, complete with weta, by taxidermist Andrew Lancaster, and the Robinsons recently gave it to the museum. Museum president Janice Parsell said she expected the morepork to be a big hit with children.
"I think it's absolutely magical; who would have expected to get a morepork?" she said.
The bird will be added to the museum's natural history cabinet which already contains more than a dozen stuffed animals, most of them birds, and a collection of bird eggs that was donated in 2014.
"All we need know is a dinosaur egg," Parsell said.
The museum has also been gifted a moa bone and a kiwi skull from former Te Aroha resident Jim Lucy who recently moved to Perth and couldn't take them with him.
*Photo in Gallery section.
The Souvenir China Collection:
Our Museum has a collection of over 300 pieces of souvenir china on display.
By 1900 tourists were flocking to Te Aroha to take the waters, coming by train and staying at one of the three large hotels or boarding houses we had at this time in our town.
Souvenirs were important; the china was produced overseas and imported to be sold in shops at Te Aroha. Transparencies (photographs) were sent to the factories commissioned to produce the china, as they were a popular item to take home.
Commemorative pieces were made in Austria, Stoke on Kent, in the UK. Crown Lynn, our NZ owned pottery company, produced the china featuring the Domain Gates when they were opened in 1938.
In 2000, The Society purchased two private collections; these items were collected from all over the world.
The earliest pieces we have are dated 1900, they have white raised daisies on them. We also have pieces celebrating the opening of the bowling green in the domain in 1913.
"Taking the waters" At Te Aroha - A must see DVD by Kevin Wells:
A fascinating history of the Spa and The Domain, narration by Ian Harrap, this DVD will take you on a journey of discovery and is available for viewing at any time.
Railway waiting room:
The former bedroom is now the Railway waiting room; including a photograph of R.H. Dick Seddon taken when he was visiting the Railway Station in 1905.
Also on display are two bicycles, one of which was purchase by local sportsman Oscar Stace during his visit to the British Empire Games in Edinburgh in 1934, this bicycle has interesting rosewood wheels. When Mrs. Stace passed away Oscar’s Grandchildren brought his Great Grand Children to the Museum to see the bicycle. The waiting room has a wonderful atmosphere and you can really believe that you are in the station.
Paul Coney work of art joins Local Artist on Display:
Over the years many pieces of art have been donated to Te Aroha & district Museum and in recognition of the talent of our local artist the museum has a special exhibition on featuring some of these pieces including a watercolour of The Domain, painted in 1890 by James. C. Richmond, and donated by his Great nephew, Sir Maxwell Richmond.
The Museum has recently been fortunate enough to have a large original water colour painting of a Te Aroha Railway Station, painted by Paul Coney and donated by Mrs. D Sparkes of Orewa. Paul Coney’s father was the Minister at St. Marks Church in Te Aroha in the 1980’s and it was during this time that Paul painted the Te Railway Station. Paul still has connections with Te Aroha and in recent times, he has taken Art Classes at the Te Aroha Art Group.
Te Aroha’s Zinc Lady:
Mrs. Gladys Mary Reid, also known as “The Zinc Lady” was the right person at the right place at the right time when, as a dental nurse who knew about Zinc, she became a farmer in Te Aroha, with her husband. In 1955 but their herd was devastated by an outbreak of facial eczema. Using her experience as a dental nurse she knew about Zinc as an anti-inflammatory agent and she was the first to recommend that Zinc be put in water troughs for cattle to drink. This was in the1960s and 1970s......... See the full story in the agriculture display section
Ph: +64 7 884 4427
102 Whitaker Street
Te Aroha 3342
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