New Display Layout
After months of planning and sourcing funding the museum was closed for three weeks in August to allow the redevelopment of part of the display area – this involved a new colour scheme and lighting, new display cases and text panels, all designed to enhance the setting for our Maori taonga. It also involved disposing of old display cases and checking and packing of artefacts in storage. The shop remained open during this period for a steady stream of visitors. The Trustees are grateful for funding from the ASB Community Trust ($40,000) and the work of Richard Wolfe Museum design consultant, Graham Lochmann, (carpentry) and Bruce Howell (painting).

A second grant from Sky City Community Trust of $10,500 allowed the museum entrance to be upgraded with fresh signage, paint, and the tiling completed by Chris Cowan.

The Trustees are now planning Stage 2, to be undertaken winter 2003. This involves a redesign of the second half of the main room to tell our history from the time of European contact. The ship wing will be upgraded to portray our maritime history, and the Endeavour model will be springcleaned and enhanced. Richard Wolfe will again be the museum design consultant.

The Trustees have commissioned Christine Hall to provide a landscape design for the grounds to include planting of native trees and shrubs, seating and a new shelter for the whaleboat. It is hoped that this work will be undertaken winter 2003, subject to a funding application.

Treasures For The Museum
The major acquisition this year has been the William (Bill) Thomson collection of books and papers. Bill was a noted Northland historian particularly interested in Ruapekapeka, the Williams ruins in Paihia, and Te Wahapu. He was a long-time committee member of the Regional committee of the NZHPT. Other donations include the Russell Review photo collection from Eva Brown, copies of letters of Samuel & Martha Ford (New Zealand’s first surgeon), photos and memories of Russell 1942 by ex-servicemen.

The museum has arranged with the author to reprint the booklet “Of Captains, Colonists and Convicts” by Des Price which tells of the early history of the Cook and Williams family in Russell.

Another publication is “Monde en transformation” which records the impressions of Dumont d’Urville, the French explorer, from three visits to the Bay of Islands between 1827 –1840.

It is hoped to have both available for the summer season.

Great Shopping
The museum shop specialises in Northland books and souvenirs, providing extra income for museum running costs. Of particular interest are a range of facsimiles and reprints of early New Zealand titles, all long out of print.

The shop has an interesting range of gifts for overseas Christmas postings.

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

The museum has continued to add books, photos and papers to its archives. The entry of data in the computer on the museum collection has continued, as has the recording of oral histories. Seminars on marketing and effective brochure writing were attended by staff.

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

Trustees: Lorraine Hill (chair), Claire Jones (deputy), Brian Baker, John Gibb, Eldon Jackson, Gill Jones, Jill Williams. Library Rep: Colleen Bottrell, Community Board Rep: Maxine Shortland, Kaumatua: Clive Arlidge.

Staff: Heather Lindauer (curator), Dianne Davey (sec/treas), Pat McNicoll, Dayle Howard, Dale Salmon, Helen Ough Dealy (Museum Assistants). Volunteers: Joan Nicholls, Dot Bowdler, Jenny Craig, Penny Beard, and Elin Jager.