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Our Wonderful Volunteers

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At the Tauranga Heritage Collection nothing signals Christmas is coming more than our wonderful team of volunteers going on their well-deserved summer break. Every week our dedicated volunteers tackle a mountain of work that contributes towards the preservation of our city’s heritage. From research and cataloguing to sewing and proof-reading our volunteers have skills and experience we couldn’t do without. Indeed, we really can’t thank them enough for everything they do.

I asked one of our volunteers to look back on her highlights for the year:

"As we arrive at another end of year, it’s time to reflect on what has been accomplished in 2019 regarding my volunteering with the Tauranga Heritage Collection. One of the high points has been bringing in several dresses from the 1960s and 1970s worn by a local woman who had such fashion sense and style. These were catalogued and the donor wrote personal stories about why she loved them so much and where she had worn them.  During Fashion Week in August some of the dresses were displayed with their stories in the Tauranga Central Library window.

“Another interesting task was listening to oral history recordings (now digitised) and briefly noting the topics relevant to Tauranga. Most of those interviewed had lived all their lives in Tauranga during the 20th century.

“An enjoyable task, which took us a lot longer than expected, was sorting through records from a farm in Te Puke. We unwrapped accounts bundled into their years, and our first task was removing all the staples and pins as they rust and contaminate the item. Next we sorted them into bundles of similarity and stored them into folders having labelled the outside of the folder. Having grown up on a dairy farm I remember seeing a 1940s invoice where a tractor cost £600 and thinking how that investment would have saved paying a labourer’s wages.

“I get a great deal of satisfaction from working with the collection, helping to make sure it is relevant to Tauranga’s history and getting it ready for researchers and curators to tell our stories.”