Is that what this is? Or is it a trove of treasures? I guess that depends on your point of view. Russell Museum’s collection policy suggests the latter. We are charged with safeguarding the history and heritage of our area and both of these assortments represent a segment of that. The “pile of junk” includes rubber stamps, keys, rulers, bull clips, rolls of cotton string, a broken ceramic ink well and an envelope addressed to The Town Clerk, P.O.Box 43, Russell, from the NZ Milk Board, 28 Sep 1967 that was later overwritten with the words “washers for pump” and recycled. Recycled was not a word commonly heard in the 1960s. Maybe it was because everyone did it anyway before the market economy and planned obsolescence took over. Nothing was wasted back then. We’ve kept it all too, just in case, and because that is what we do.

The “stack of papers” has recently been brought to us for safekeeping after hours of work  by Charlotte Ebbett, collating and filing minutes, reports, newsletters and correspondence to and from the Russell Ratepayers and Citizens Association. These date back to the inaugural meeting, Sep 4th 1975, held in the Parish Hall. The secretary, H. Lindauer duly recorded eight motions,  one resolution and a recommendation, including the unanimous approval of  a motion “that the Strand and Cass St be closed for the normal 3 week period from 24th Dec. and that permanent closure be looked into”.

Now when did that closure stop being “normal” I wonder? These papers are available to researchers on request.

Text & photos: Russell Museum.