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Sterling family textile display spans seven generations


sterling family(copy1)A rare and beautiful display of seven genera-tions of textiles from one family has opened at The Kauri Museum. These come from the Sterling family home “Big Hol-low” and are on loan from Kae Bond who is the daughter of Mervyn Sterling, founder of The Kauri Museum.

The textile ladies, who are a group of enthusias-tic volunteers, have spent endless hours preparing this wonderful dis-play. The descendants’ wonderful old portraits, as well as the furnishings from “Big Hollow”, adorn the walls of the exhibition.

The early settler George and Jeannie Lamberton Thomson arrived in Matakohe in 1863 with their four children. One of these children was Eliza who, in 1887, married David the eldest son of Richard and Catherine McLaren Smith. They built the family home of “Big Hollow” and had two daughters, Mary, who died at age five and Jeannie. Jeannie mar-ried Joseph Sterling and they had four children Mervyn, Nederick, Darcy and Fiona (Ferguson).

Nederick never married, Darcy was killed in WWII, Mervyn’s family are Darcy, Kae and Jo, Fiona’s family are Allister, Geoffrey and Keith.

Darcy, Kae and Jo’s children and grandchildren’s clothing are also displayed in this exhibition, along with their ancestors’ clothing – a total of seven generations in all.

Kauri Museum CEO Betty Nelley said it was a privilege to have such a wonderful display and was so grateful for the generosity of Kae Bond to share the beautiful treasures with those that visit.

At the opening of the exhibition tribute was also paid to the textile volunteers ladies led by Lyn Franklin who put together such a top class exhibition. It is simply gorgeous, Betty said.

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