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    Lockdown has meant the Fashion and Photography exhibition is extended in Katikati.

Go Local rings loud and clear at the Western Bay Museum in Katikati with free entry to everyone when the doors open on Tuesday, June 2.

Museum manager Paula Gaelic said a robust Covid-19 plan was in place to keep everyone safe, which meant there were no interactive experiences, so the typewriters, Morse code machine, telephones and the likes were for eyes only — no touching.

Last week, Western Bay Museum was to have opened a special and exciting exhibition, however, due to Covid-19, this will not happen until September.


In the meantime, the "Fashion and Photography" exhibition in the Taylor Bros Transport Ltd Gallery has been extended. Although a stunning line-up of costumes, it is not just about gorgeous gowns from the 1890s to 1960, but also the photographic equipment of the period, Paula said.

The popular box Brownie cameras of yesteryear.
The popular box Brownie cameras of yesteryear.

There was also the Emily Surtees Collection of photographs. Emily Surtees documented the people and places of the Katikati settlement from 1898 and 1900 during a visit to the district.

"Emily's collection of photographs provides a valuable insight into the life of the Katikati settlement. Some of the photographs have been identified but some require the public's assistance," Paula said.

The photos are displayed on a digital screen in the gallery.

People can take a selfie next to Emily Surtees while enjoying her collection of historic photos.
People can take a selfie next to Emily Surtees while enjoying her collection of historic photos.

During lockdown 300 student visits and numerous group experience visits had to be cancelled. And the Lions Club of Katikati's Museum Learning Experience booked during March for all Year 5 and 6 pupils from Katikati Primary School will have to be rescheduled.

"Lockdown forced all of us to rearrange and re-evaluate how we work. Being given a budget forecast by the trust, we have continued with our funding application calendar and institutional annual plan submissions.

"It has been nice to take the time to complete these and not rush, and as a result, feeling a sense of satisfaction when we submit our best work."

Western Bay Museum has entered its Treasuring Our Place — Taonga o e Taiao Environmental Education Programme into the Services IQ NZ Museum Awards, competing with the best museums in New Zealand.


Paula said she enjoyed working on their Te Papa National Services Te Paerangi Museum Development Plan — a pathway to development in all aspects of the museum.

The volunteers assisting in the running of the museum coped well during lockdown.

"They are all proactive, positive, resourceful and motivated people, so have taken it in their stride.

"We are a very close team so we've been having fun on a Covid-19 group email we set up right from week one of lockdown."

This turned into a series of episodes written by volunteers Di Logan and Francis Young involving a fictional bear named Charing Cross who teamed up with a butterfly named Lindy Loop. They went on a trip around New Zealand, having adventures and getting into scrapes.

Entranced with the story, Paula said the volunteers were now planning their holiday trips in the footsteps of Charing Cross Bear.

■ Everyone is invited to enjoy the Western Bay Museum for free when it opens on June 2 - opening hours for June are 10am-2pm, every day.