Now that Whanganui Regional Museum staff are settled back into their refurbished building, they are splashing out with a series of free spring lectures every Thursday in September and October.

The series was just one of the new things planned, Whanganui Regional Museum communication co-ordinator Rachael Garland said.

The museum's lecture theatre, reached from Watt St, is a busy place, with film society showings on Monday nights and science forum and nature talks on Tuesdays. For the next nine Thursdays there will be a lecture starting there promptly at 5.30pm.

The first, on September 5, will be on adaptive uses for Whanganui's heritage buildings. It will be given by museum director Frank Stark.


On September 12, Garland will talk about Victorian-era mourning culture - which she said had its macabre aspects.

On September 19, public programmes presenter Lisa Reweti talks about her home marae, Pūtiki, in the past and present.

Curator Libby Sharpe will speak about World War I's effect on Whanganui at the September 26 lecture.

October begins with archivist Sandi Black's lecture on the museum's religious texts on October 3, and kaitiaki taonga Māori Āwhina Twomey talks about how Māori used the stars for navigation on October 10.

Niwa's Lee Rauhina-August talks about the survival issues eels and lamprey face on October 17, and museum collection manager Trish Nugent-Lyne speaks about Whanganui wedding dresses and their cultural history on October 24.

The final talk, on October 31, will be by historian Scott Flutey on the Whanganui Arts and Crafts movement. It will be followed by an open discussion on the past and future of Victoria Ave. It will finish at the later time of 7.30pm and will be followed by supper.

All the lectures are free, with refreshments provided, but Garland said a koha was always appreciated.