Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 37, September 1993
The original Paeroa Museum at the rear of the Paeroa Library, in the Centennial Building was opened in April 1979. This museum with less than 1000 square feet of floor space was soon filled with many interesting and varied items of the district's past. Over the years a number of proposals have been considered to enlarge the premises. When the Public Library moved into its new premises in Hauraki House the Historical Society purchased the Centennial Building and enlarged the museum display area by taking over the former library room. The Society received a grant of $20.000 from the Lotteries Boardtoassist with the purchase.
The official opening on Saturday, 16 May 1993, was performed by Graeme Lee, MP, who in 1979 had also opened the original museum in his capacity as Mayor of Paeroa. The opening function commenced with a special ceremony by the Kaumatua and Kuia of Hauraki district bringing artifacts into the museum for display. (See separate report on the gifts made to the museum.[below - E]) Other speakers included; Mr Robin Astridge. President of the New Zealand Federation of Historical Societies; Mr Arthur Reid, President of the Paeroa Historical Society; Mr Bob Murdoch, local historian; Mr Brian Dunham, Community Board Chairman; and Mayor Basil Morrison.
Following the speeches and the opening ceremony by Mr Lee the large gathering of members and representatives from other societies were entertained to afternoon tea and an inspection of the new museum.
GIFTS TO THE MUSEUM
By Irene Hughes
The re-opening of the Fielden Thorp Museum in Paeroa on 16 May 1993 was accompanied by the receipt of two valuable collections - one of great artistic beauty, being 527 pieces of specimen Royal Albert porcelain built up over a period of 30 years and given to the Museum by Mr George Eccles and family. It was presented complete with its own glass case and re-arranged by Mrs Noeline Reid and helpers.
The other gift, being of great historical significance, the Raupa Pa collection of Maori artifacts given by the elders of the Pai - o - Hauraki Marae and presented by Mr Tewi Nichols on their behalf during a special ceremony by the Kaumatua and Kuia of Hauraki.
The artifacts came from archaeological excavations by Auckland University during 1987-88 at the Raupa Pa site on the Waihou River. The custom now is that artifacts are returned to the district from which they came - so they are in the custody of Paeroa Museum. A full report of the excavations written by Mr Nigel Pricket accompanied the artifacts and is available for perusal on request. Earlier references to Raupa Pa are to be found in Journal 28 page 2 [see Journal 28: Raupa Pa - E] and Journal 31 page 23 [see Journal 31: Raupa Pa - E].