New signage is in place to direct visitors to the museum – on the Paihia wharf, the passenger ferry and at both museum frontages. Graphic designer Cameron Gibb’s logo, colours and images have been used. The trustees are grateful for his generous voluntary input, and for financial help from Pub Charities.

The flagpole flies a new museum flag designed, also, by Cameron Gibb. He has been responsible for a fresh layout for the museum brochure, which is sent to information centres and tourist outlets, as well as the leaflet given to museum visitors, available in English, Maori, German, French and Japanese.

The Strand frontage has been enhanced by a colourful mural by local artist Helen Pick, which focuses on the sea with waka, whaler and gamefish launch against a Russell/ Kororareka backdrop. Clive Arlidge’s carved pou (posts) look out to sea welcoming visitors both to our museum and our community.

After a period of trialing and testing, a new security system for the museum has been installed, again with generous financial support from Pub Charities.

The Museum Trustees have engaged the services of Richard Wolfe, a museum design consultant, previously at the Auckland Museum , to redesign the interior of the museum.

Richard was part of the design team that put together the successful Kiwiana display and book. He has outlined an initial design for the main room. Stage one is to define and enhance the shop (have you been in to see it?), stage two is to redesign and extend the Maori display, which will happen this coming winter.

New Publication
The reprinting of the Museum’s Russell Heritage Trail booklet is selling well. School groups and visitors alike find the booklet a useful mini history of the town. The trail has also been upgraded with fresh signage.

The museum is working on a second booklet to complement last year’s release of Cook in the Bay. This one is to be called A changing World and tells of three visits to the Bay of Islands by the French explorer Dumont d’Urville in 1824, 1826 and 1840.

The museum shop specialising in Northland books and souvenirs is providing much needed income to cover running costs. It has imported copies of Zane Grey’s Angler’s Eldorado, which has recently been reprinted in America . The book has all the line drawings and photographs from the original edition. The shop has an interesting range of gifts for overseas Christmas postings.

The museum has continued to add books, photos and papers to its archives. Major acquisitions include an updated Clendon family tree, a replica 58th regiment belt plate, a Russell Regatta Minute book and a collection of photos of Russell from the Florance family (who subdivided Matauwhi Bay in the 1920s).

The entry of data in the computer on the museum collection has continued, as has the recording of oral histories. A workshop on Iwi Customary Concepts (whanau, hapu, taonga, kaitiaki, tapu, noa) was attended on Otiria marae.

Visitor numbers to the museum have increased, including school groups and cruise ship passengers.

The museum mission statement is to preserve the history and heritage of Russell/Kororareka and environs.

Trustees: Lorraine Hill (chair), Claire Jones (deputy), Brian Baker, John Gibb, Eldon Jackson, Gill Jones, Jill Williams. Carol Petersen (library rep) and Community Board rep. Kaumatua: Clive Arlidge.

Staff: Heather Lindauer (curator), Dianne Davey (sec/treas). Helen Ough Dealy and Pat McNicoll (weekend staff). Volunteers: Dayle Howard, Novi Browning, and Joan Nicholls.