The carved amo which have framed the Savage Club Hall stage for decades have been returned to their "rightful home".

A group of about 15 people from Tieke marae, upriver of Pipiriki, received the amo on Thursday during a ceremony at the hall, Whanganui Musicians' Club co-chair John Keating said.

"We're happy they've been returned to their rightful home," he said.

Two weeks ago the hall was sold to the musicians' club for $1, but the club was unaware that Whanganui Regional Museum had been in discussions with the Savage Club about retrieving memorabilia from the iconic venue, Mr Keating said.


So it came as a bit of a shock when the club found out this week that items would be removed from what is now their building.

However, apart from some minute books and paperwork that were collected on Thursday, the rest of the hall's memorabilia has been left in situ so the building can function as a living museum.

John Keating and Fred Frederikse (left) at the Savage Club Hall with the amo behind.
John Keating and Fred Frederikse (left) at the Savage Club Hall with the amo behind.

It is believed the amo washed down the river during a flood in the 1890s and were given to Samuel Drew, whose collection formed the basis of the Wanganui Public Museum, which opened on March 24, 1895.

When the museum moved into a new building in the 1930s and the old building was taken over by the Wanganui Savage Club, the amo remained and were built into a stage at the hall.

Mr Keating said the iwi had asked for the amo to be returned back in the 1930s and again in the 1980s, but were turned down.

Yesterday, he and fellow co-chair Fred Frederikse were working out how to arrange the newly widened stage, ahead of a show last night.

Whanganui Musicians' Club hold a club night from 7.30pm on the first Friday of the month, and local musicians are able to get up and play before headline acts take to the stage.