CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR 2015 – 2016
A display on the history of local schools has also been completed and planning has commenced for a display featuring the counter and part of the interior of an old Bell's (Strathalbyn) store.
We recently received a Commonwealth Volunteer grant of $1,240 for the purchase of a large gazebo and free-standing umbrellas to provide more shade in the police station courtyard. Thank you once again to Jill Riches for yet further success in grant writing.
The Museum recently purchased a large (2.5 metre) banner made out in high-visibility colours with the word 'Museum' printed on both sides. This will be put out during opening times and will be visible from both directions along South Terrace. Thank you to John Fox for his work in bringing this idea to fruition. In a further effort to increase numbers visiting the Museum, a large number of community-based clubs have been contacted, with invitations to visit.
At our request the Alexandrina Council has bituminised the Rankine Street footpath, which had been left in a very rough state through work involved in installing the NBN service. It is now much safer for visitors and staff to enter the Museum.
We've been concerned for some time over the health of a large old gum tree situated on National Trust Museum property, immediately adjacent to the asphalted parking area at the rear of the neighbouring Ambulance SA site.
Council Parks and Gardens staff have advised there is little danger from falling limbs, since it's gum trees in rapid growth that have the greatest tendency to drop branches. In their opinion, the issue for the tree is lack of water penetration to the roots.
We're currently seeking permission from the Ambulance Station's owners to cut out a 3 metre by 3 metre section of their parking area, work we've indicated we're happy to undertake ourselves.
The Museum is fortunate indeed to have a good number of active volunteers, each possessing skills and experience invaluable to its ongoing development.
An interesting development this year has been the setting up of a group to manage R & M work. Geoff Poyner, Ken Knight, Terry Watson and Warren Doman have done an excellent job in identifying tasks and ensuring they're followed through to completion. The work of Branch Secretary Warren Doman in coordinating this group has been first class. In conjunction with Ken Knight, Warren has also overseen construction work associated with displays development.
A word too about Bob Weckert, who took on the onerous responsibility of tagging each item in our very large collection of farming and other machinery. Not only does Bob have to identify each item, some of which are hidden away in storage, but also make the tags by annotating copper strips with letter and number punches. It must be going on for three years now since Bob began this important task, and you can only stand back and admire his great patience and perseverance.
It would be remiss of me not to thank all of our volunteers, and in particular our Management Committee members for their hard work. John Fox, Ken Knight, Terry Watson (Treasurer), Warren Doman (Secretary), Trevor McLean, Geoff Poyner, Barry Quemby, Jill Riches (Displays Coordinator) and Anne Woolford (Council Liaison) make a highly productive team.
Post report addendum: A huge 'thank you' to John Fox, with assistance from several others, notably Barry Quemby, for work to restore our bridle draft stump-jump disc plough. This was a major task and the excellence of the final result reflects the time and effort John put into the restoration.
Strathalbyn National Trust Branch Chairman