Thursday, May 23, 2024

Council launches campaign to farewell Southland icon

Southlanders are being invited to share their memories of the old Southland Museum and Art Gallery/Niho o Te Taniwha ahead of demolition work, which is set to begin on the building this week.

Invercargill City Council has launched a campaign to farewell the pyramid, giving residents and Southlanders the chance to say goodbye to an icon. It also marks a significant step towards work beginning on Te Unua Museum of Southland, said Te Unua Museum of Southland Director, Eloise Wallace.

“It’s time to close an important chapter in our city’s story, but before we do that, we want to take a trip down Memory Lane,” said Ms Wallace.

“We are excited to see the new museum coming to life but first we want to take a moment to reflect on the many memories the cherished old museum has provided and share stories with each other.

“We’d love to hear from as many people as possible on their memories of the old museum. I’m sure many Southlanders remember the first time they saw Roary the seal or took a school trip to the education room. Some residents will remember the original museum before the pyramid went up. We’d love to hear some of those stories.”

Stories, photos, and memories can be shared on Council’s Facebook page. There will also be postcards at the Invercargill Public Library, Te Hīnaki Civic Building and He Waka Tuia where people can share hand-written memories.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Gala Street was constructed in 1942, with the iconic pyramid roof added as part of renovation work in 1990. Due to earthquake risk, the museum was permanently closed on 9 April 2018. The museum site has also been the home of Southland’s tuatara. A new specialist enclosure for the tuatara in Queens Park is close to completion, with an official opening day planned for June.

“For more than three decades, the pyramid has been the backdrop to Invercargill life,” Ms Wallace said.

“Demolition of the old museum is set to commence on 15 April, so the Farewell Pyramid campaign is a way to not only say farewell but also preserve special memories.

“A selection of memories will go into a time capsule planned to coincide with the development of the new museum.”

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