Karaka Historical Society
President’s Report for Year Ended 31 March 2017
Annual General Meeting 31st May 2017
I would like to welcome you all to our 20th AGM – it is a great achievement for us to have reached this milestone, we are proud of what we have accomplished in that 20 years. We all enjoyed catching up with our members and supporters at the 20th celebration early in May with over 100 members and guests attending. .
In the last year our membership has continued to grow and the use of email and online banking has helped to streamline the process. We have had great feedback from members about the quarterly newsletter and the photo gallery on the website. Subscriptions and donations from visitors are used towards the costs of running the museum.
Our Tuesday morning group continues with their great work constantly refreshing the displays and working on the cataloguing of items. The presentation of our displays has been enhanced with the purchase of additional mannequins and a number of display stands and covers which protect the items from environmental damage. Thanks to Hugh Ross we now have a photo installation on the front roller door featuring his father and uncle harvesting hay with a team of horses.
Our collection has continued to grow with the generous donations of artefacts and memorabilia that we have received during the year. Thanks to Val Hargraves for an extensive collection of items.
This year we have held a number of interesting events -
In July we had a talk about the First Karaka Ferry from Des Mataga whose Great-Great Grandfather John Lawrie was the first ferryman. Robert Higham has documented a history of the Karaka ferry and this is available in the family board section of the museum. The talk was well attended and visitors also included engineer John La Roche, editor of a book entitled “Evolving Auckland – The City’s Engineering Heritage.” A copy of the book was presented to the museum by John Higham.
We participated in an event hosted by the Papakura Genealogy Group at the Papakura Library in August with a display including some family boards and a Karaka Land Co Map. This was a good opportunity to network with other groups.
On the 13th November we held an opening for the Cowshed Project –the two milking bails are working models of hand-milking .and walk-through sheds that demonstrate the dairy farming history of the Karaka. The many components for the cowshed were found by scouring the remains of local cowsheds and the planning and assembly of the display took many hours of work. About 70 people attended this event and were impressed with the working models.
During the year the museum has opened for a number of family reunions – these visits are a great way for the families to connect with their history and stimulate the sharing of memories and family stories.
We have had visits from a number of groups during the year including school groups, clubs and retirement villages. There have been a number of second visits from groups who have really enjoyed their time at the museum. The Karaka School children had a great visit and their response to the activities provided by the committee is always a delight.
Thanks to all of our committee there is always someone available to open the museum on these occasions. Our visitor feedback tells us that the ability to interact with the committee and experience some live displays adds to the enjoyment of these visits.
We were sad to lose a number of our members who have passed away this year including our Patron Bruce Scown who was a wonderful supporter of the museum over many years.
We thank the local community, the Whitehouse Trust and the Franklin Local Board of Auckland Council for their ongoing support. I would like to thank all the members of the committee for their great ideas, hard work and dedication to the continuing development of the Karaka Museum..