Tena kotou katoa. Russell Museum welcomes the opportunity to report to the community and to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Two natural timber seats have been added to the museum grounds.    A  macrocarpa slab on two rounds is now located under the Pohutukawa tree in the Tamati Waka Nene reserve, and railway sleeper seating has been installed parallel to The Strand giving visitors a wonderful view of the harbour.
Russell Museum’s Oral History Project is underway.  Knowledge and memories of Russell and the outer Bays, its people, places and events, are being recorded and preserved for future generations.
The gravel floor in the whaleboat shelter has been replaced with duckboard offering a stable walkway from which visitors may view the whaleboat.
A security camera monitoring system has been added providing further security to objects on display in the museum.

Russell Museum received a second bequest, of Pauline Yearbury’s artwork from her Elam years through to later works, from the late Jim Yearbury. Collectively, the 2008- 2009 bequests mean a significant collection of Pauline Yearbury’s artwork is now held at Russell Museum.
Artefacts from the 1999 archaeological dig, recorded as “Guns and Gods, The History and Archaeology of Rewa’s Pa, Kororareka” by Simon Best, were presented to Russell Museum by the Department of Conservation.
Three sets of historical whaling documents about Kororareka / Russell’s whaling and trading history were acquired this year – a receipt for goods signed May 15, 1877, by Russell general merchant and shipping agent, Samuel Stephenson; a Form of Articles of Agreement between crew and owners of the whaling Bark “Martha”, and, a 1872-1874 journal containing details of goods traded by the “Martha” in Russell, during her voyages to and from the Pacific and Antarctic whaling grounds.
Two pieces, said to be from Russell’s historic flagstaff, were acquired from Dunbar Sloane in August.  One is from the estate of Lord Ranfurly, Governor of New Zealand from 1897-1904. The second is a walking stick made from the 1845 flagstaff with a handle fashioned from grapeshot fired from the ship Hazard.

The summer 2008-2009 exhibition Maori Churches of Northland by Russell’s Laurence Aberhart showed visitors 26 photographs of church interiors that record Christianity’s early influences on Maori in Northland.
Russell’s Julie Todd won 1st prize in the A Moment in History photographic competition.  Her contemporary interpretation of Baker’s historic Four Square store with clock was aptly named Old Timer.
The Autumn exhibition Tokotoko: the talking/walking stick considered the walking stick as both a symbol and an object of beauty. In all, 32 majestic walking sticks lined the gallery walls.  Thanks to locals for their support.
Matariki or Maori New Year saw the live exhibition, Celebrating Piupiu by local weaver, Donna Baker.  The piupiu has recently been completed and presented to Russell Museum.
Winter’s exhibition Temporal Markers: Defining Russell through Maps and Charts, featured historic maps and charts from the 1800s to early 1900s. It explored how our ancestors located themselves in Russell’s landscape in comparison to how we currently locate ourselves.
Spring’s The Art of the Book exhibition featured Russell Museum’s rare books.  It investigated how books played an important part in distributing information, and their influence on customs, social mores, political and religious views of people living Kororareka / Russell from the 1840s to 1940s.
A six week exhibition A Marae for Russell has been installed at the Kororareka Marae building, Haratu, in support of their opening on 11 December, 2009.
Our final 2009 exhibition, Pou Taharua : The Flagstaff Exhibition runs till March 14, 2010. It features what are thought to be 22 surviving Flagstaff pieces and is supported by loans from Te Papa, Auckland, Taupo & Coromandel Museums, Waitangi National Trust, Ngatihine, as well as Hone Heke’s personal taonga (treasures) from descendant David Rankin.  Pou Taharua has attracted a great deal of media attention.

Russell Museum now has a blog site.  We are particularly eager for Russell people to join this fun, informal posting space. Check it out at:  http://russellmuseum.ning.com

Unique books available through the Museum Shop are:  The Children of Rangi and Papa by Pauline Kahurangi Yearbury, Puawananga – The Adobe Cottage by Charlotte P Larkin,  Jacky Nobody by Anne de Roo and The Artist and the Carver by Damien Skinner.

Russell Museum would like to recognize and thank Russell community and national organizations for financial support and assistance in 2009.
Thanks to SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust for funding a security camera system. Thanksgiving Foundation and Far North District Council funding have made it possible for the Russell Museum Oral History Project to proceed. The Lion Foundation contributed to the purchase a digital recorder. Financial assistance for general administration expenses was received from the Community Organization Grants. Thank you to the Far North District Council for financial assistance for  the duckboard addition to the whaleboat shelter. We are grateful to the Lotteries Board for funding to complete the upstairs renovation which will allow more storage and utility space.
Thanks to Helen Pick for cleaning the Pauline Yearbury paintings and wood panels; Russell Realty for continuing to sponsor the Heritage Corner in Russell Lights; Jim Cottier, Lindsay Alexander and Max Cummings for taking ‘the lines’ of the whaleboat and samples for testing by Scion; Terry Ewbank for financial assistance allowing testing to be carried out, and, the Department of Conservation for their contributions to the Museum.

Russell Centennial Trust Board Trustees of the Russell Museum are: Lorraine Young (chair), Jane Hindle (deputy), Terry Greening, Tony Hanlon, Eldon Jackson, Bob Magnusson, Rosamund Scoffham, Colleen Bottrell (library representative), Florence Annison (FNDC representative).  We also welcome our newest trustee, Heather Lindauer.

Staff who welcome you daily are:  Libby Magnusson, Pat McNicoll, Shelley Arlidge, Tina Barlow, (museum assistants), Dianne Davey (administrator), and Marsha Davis (curator).