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Celebration of our 30th birthday

(June 26th 2010)

When do you celebrate the formation of an organization- from the inaugural AGM or the end of the first year of operation? This is a question the Motueka and District Historical Association are asking themselves as they approach 30 years in existence. It was 1980 when the first meeting was held so we may well stretch our celebrations across 2010 and 2011.

The latest AGM was held last month and many of those attending were there at the first meeting 30 years ago. They must get an award for commitment and tenacity!!

The meeting began with a moment's silence for Rana McGlashen who passed away in May. Rana was a Life Member of the Association and once told us that when the group began it became her life. This is evidenced in the collection of local history she has left us in the form of scrapbooks, photo albums, and family history covering all aspects and areas of the districts history. Wendy McGregor read a tribute to Rana mentioning the many local families she was connected to.

President Patsy O'Shea in her report mentioned that our year had been busy with trips to Kawatiri and Speargrass, McKee Domain and Grossi Point, Motueka Hotel and our own museum and research room.

Speakers were varied and always interesting talking about gold on the Tablelands,the Rowling family of Kaiteriteri, the Halpin letters, Speargrass Station, Ian Paterson photographer and members contributed with war memories and life story cameos.

The following were elected to run the Association:
President Patsy O'Shea
Vice President Eileen Stewart
Secretary Coralie Smith
Treasurer Jennie Askew
Committee- Wendy McGregor, Tim Rich, George Bunn, Pam Fry, Keith Fry.
Outgoing committee members Jim Butler, Gill Holmden and Sally Goodall were thanked for their many years of service to the group.

Eileen Thawley and Sydney Daughtrey then gave us an informative talk on the war memorial project they have been working on for many years. Started after a query about why a family members name had been missed off a memorial this diligent pair went on to list, photograph and investigate every memorial and all the men named on them. The results are two beautiful albums provided by Tasman District Council to preserve the material in. These albums may be consulted by the public at the refurbished library in Richmond. They cover memorials of all forms including halls, plaques, cenotaphs and gates from all over the Nelson and Tasman District areas for the Boer War, World War One and Two.

A few things remain to be done and Eileen and Syd need help with these. They need the dates that some of the memorials were dedicated so that they can then search the newspapers for the resulting report. If you can help then you can contact them through the Historical Association secretary on 5288241. In particular they are looking for when the Motueka Memorial was moved from in front of the Motueka School in High Street round to where it now stands in Pah Street (photos below), plus the opening of the Motueka and Riwaka Memorial halls, and the gates at the Riwaka Domain. (NOTE: More added on this later)

To keep the Association going for another 30 years we need fresh ideas and new people so come along and join us anytime.

In High Street

Today's location

Added material, August 22nd 2010:
We have narrowed down when the war memorial was shifted from High Street to Pah Street in Motueka, to sometime between Anzac Day 1955 and Anzac Day 1956. We read newspaper reports on the Anzac Day service on film at the Nelson Library starting at 1957 and working back. In 1956 the servicemen marched from the Memorial Hall to the memorial in front of the new Civic Centre in Pah Street. The 1955 report said they marched to High Street. We are still working on the exact day. The RSA minute book doesn't tell us so maybe the Motueka Borough Council minutes will.

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