Pat gives her collections back

PAT VELTKAMP SMITH
Last updated 13:47 14/12/2012
Pat Turnbull and Vic Keen
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
PENSIVE: Pat Turnbull at Tussock Creek farewells a host of collectibles she is donating to Thornbury Museum man Vic Keen.

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Museums and libraries throughout the south are to benefit from a Southland woman's lifetime collection of antiques and artefacts.

Pat Turnbull has been collecting items for many years, with the pieces she has curated with care destined to be returned in many instances to their area of interest - shells to Stewart Island, farm implements to Thornbury, printed material to Invercargill Library archives, and vintage clothing to Southland Museum.

The decision to disperse her collections coincides with her planned retirement from her Sherwood farm property.

Among the items being dispersed are furniture, books, china, silver, telephones, typewriters, and various other accoutrements collected in the 150 years the Turnbull family has farmed in the south.

She was also moved at the response of people who had come to see and claim an original red-rimmed bike belonging to her husband, Derek, that took him across the United States, as well as his wool fleeces, graded and marked, from Massey University student days.

Her husband had thought little of the pieces, but after he died Mrs Turnbull gathered them into her family collections.

Also in the collection is a trunk her mother brought with her from England, along with treasures from her father's family.

Moving the pieces was a huge job. One piece - a heavy bronze of a man turning an aggressive bull away, hence the origin of the name Turnbull - rests on marble and is mounted on a granite plinth.

There are glass display cases made by grandson Jason Turnbull, and many books of Southland historical interest that Mrs Turnbull, a noted genealogist, intends keeping.

Her five married children and their children and theirs all have recognised claims.

But who wants stones, including pumice, from the bed of the Makarewa river, or butterfly clips used to make Marcel hairwaves?

"You'd be surprised," Mrs Turnbull said.

"We are appreciative when someone saves what we have let go."

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- The Southland Times

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