Dannevirke's Phillipa Nilson was a dedicated volunteer at the Gallery of History up until her sudden death on Tuesday, February 3.

"It was with great sadness our members and volunteers had to farewell a very much valued and loved researcher who had been with the gallery for 21 years," fellow volunteer Nancy Wadsworth said. "Phillipa could unearth amazing amounts of information for folk enquiring about their ancestral families and the gallery won't be the same without her."

Phillipa was so dedicated to her role with the gallery that, although her last day of duty was Thursday, January 8, she continued working quietly at the museum completing research and it was only on January 20 that she asked for a leave of absence. She passed away peacefully after just a few days in hospital.

"Phillipa was very knowledgeable about local history and contributed articles to the Dannevirke News and to the national Memories magazine," Mrs Wadsworth said. "Her involvement with the Dannevirke Probus Club led to her becoming a founding member of their antiques and collectibles group. Phillipa also took part in a writing course some years ago and became part of a group known as the D-scribes (D is for Dannevirke) and the skills she acquired were evident in the writing of her research material.

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"Phillipa also had a background with an accounting firm and so was our long-time treasurer who faithfully guarded our finances. She's left our records in very good order."

Phillipa was a very caring person, strongly involved with her family, but she also visited many in our town, especially those who were housebound. Her community activities included the Knox Presbyterian Church, the Fantasy Cave, the bridge club and many other organisations over the years.

"To honour Phillipa, we must, as a team, strive to continue the great service she gave, especially in the research area," Mrs Wadsworth said.