Maritime displays bring back memories

23:31, Feb 24 2013
Bluff Maritime Museum open day
Cairo Mitchell-Acason looks around at the Bluff Maritime Museum open day.

A steady stream of people went through the doors of the Bluff Maritime Museum on Saturday for a public open day that triggered memories for several in the community.

Museum chairwoman Jan Mitchell said several hundred people attended, many commenting on the displays.

"So many people had memories of being on one of the ships . . . the place was really buzzing with enthusiasm."

Many people had also given memorabilia they had kept in their homes. Mrs Mitchell said she was grateful for what had come in.

The museum had accumulated some treasures through the years including the oyster boat Monica and the working engine of the tug Awarua. It also holds items from Bluff's whaling, oystering and muttonbirding industries, as well as the restored Centre Island Light, a model of the HMS Tabard, and a 1930s canoe used in the Mokomoko area.

One of the latest additions has been the official pardon papers and war medals of Victor Spencer, of Bluff, who was executed for desertion in 1918 during World War I, but later pardoned.

The open day was a thank-you to the public from the museum trustees, for the community's continuing support and interest since the museum opened in 1992, she said.


The Southland Times