Museum becoming social hub
Mangawhai Museum is one of the best regional museums in the country but it still relies on the help of sponsors and fundraising to cover all costs. Manager Emma Gray believes these fundraising activities contribute to the museum providing a hub for the community around it.
This month the school holiday programme is currently in full swing giving primary aged children a chance to have fun and learn, and on September 30 the museum is the venue for the launch of a book on the history of gum digging in the area.
October 6 and 7 will see the first ever antique fair. A number of well-known dealers will be showing and selling a wide range of items including silverware, jewellery, coins, Japanese swords, china, porcelain, small furniture and much more.
Along with the museum, the old Tara Road School, one of the renovated buildings in the adjacent Pioneer Village, will also have displays.
There will be a one-day book fair at Labour Weekend. These have proved very popular over the years but are usually two or three days long, so people will need to be quick for this shorter version.
Also in October history comes to life with actors adding a new dimension to a Night at the Museum. As it is Halloween there will be a hint of scariness but it will be mostly about fun.
Last year the success of the Bows and Bells Tour far exceeded expectations. December sees it return with plans for it to be even bigger, better and brighter. The venues are situated in Mangawhai Heads, with two in the new Pioneer Village. The museum will also have Santa in attendance. Tickets will be available at the museum or online.
A Justice of the Peace is available on Saturday mornings and the foyer and cafe are often used by businesses and community groups.
The focus will always be on providing a modern museum experience but Emma is very pleased to see the iconic building becoming an important community asset.