Big Congratulations to Akaroa Museum on their 50th anniversary which they are celebrating this weekend.
If you are in Akaroa on Sunday then head down to the Museum between 1 and 3pm and join the celebrations. I was fortunate to work at the museum a 'few' years ago when I was employed to catalogue the collection, and what a collection. I remember distinctly being introduced to the work of Charles Meryon by Steve Lowndes and becoming familiar with an incredible example of scrimshaw attributed to Meryon who is without doubt one of the greats of printmaking and who was happily stationed at Akaroa when serving with the French Navy between 1843-45. Other notable objects in the collection include a selection of vicious whaling harpoons, the collection of local taonga, firearms and a copy of the 1st edition of Buller's New Zealand Birds, a beautiful object to hold and absorb. The incredible 1860s panoramic painting of Akaroa Harbour by Will Watkins also comes to mind as well as early paintings by Samuel Farr. There is also the extensive collection of historic photography relating specifically to Horomaka / Banks Peninsula which is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the Museum's collection. The most lasting memory from my time at Akaroa Museum however was getting to meet many of the locals who would regularly call in for a cup of tea: Jessie Mould, Joe Narbey, West Shuttleworth, Elizabeth Johns and of course the indomitable Lois Holderness to name a few.
Many happy returns Akaroa Museum.