Bob Weckert and Warren Doman reported our activities at all regional meetings and provided the following information back from them:
The start of an NTSA intranet service (NTSANET).
In partnership with Dalemain, the World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival UK, NTSA is presenting the Australian Festival of Marmalade, as one method of raising its profile.
The NTSA logo has changed and is to be replaced on documentation and in other areas in due course, as the need arises.
State Office believes the government is trying to water down legislation regarding heritage listed properties and action by State Office & branches is required to help prevent this from happening. The Branch has sent a strongly worded letter to the relevant cabinet minister regarding this matter.
NTSA is teaming up with the Heritage Council, local councils & other groups to promote heritage tourism trails around the state. Tourist trails are being developed and will link various tourist destinations, including regional branch sites. We should consider connecting with other community groups in our area to help develop tourist trails.
NTSA has put in a proposal for management of Martindale Hall and is looking for support from branches for this proposal. A letter of support has been provided from this Branch.
A property review has been carried out by State Office with a view to getting most of the State Government owned properties currently managed by the NTSA handed over for ownership and future management. State Office has asked all branches with State Government owned buildings to write to their local state MP to ask if they can use their good offices to expedite the proposal. The Branch has sent such a letter to the Member for Heysen, Isobel Redmond.
The NTSA Strategic Plan is under review and branches are being asked for suggestions for its improvement. Ken Knight was nominated to review the plan and to report back.
Local NTSA news
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Strathalbyn NTSA branch. A ceremony is to be held at the 2017 AGM to mark the occasion. This may seem at odds with our decision not to participate in this year's state-wide History Festival, one that was made reluctantly, but in the knowledge that so much time and effort was required for the completion of our Stories of Agriculture display.
Museum opening days have now been pruned back to Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays. Thank you to Neil Marsh for his work in preparing the door duty roster and to those who volunteer their time.
The Committee has expressed concern over the fluctuating numbers of volunteers we are getting at Thursday morning working bees. This has thrown a greater load on the regular attendees, given the amount of work to be done in general maintenance and to complete the Stories of Agriculture display. Thank you to the several volunteers who turn up hail, rain and shine for Thursday morning
working bees; your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Lorraine Finnie has once again done a magnificent job in the presentation of the garden.
It was decided not to change our insurance arrangements for this year. The issue of liability resulting from falling tree limbs was raised again and Treasurer Terry Watson took the matter to State Office for clarification. Our thanks to Terry for his work in the whole insurance area.
With reducing numbers attending our monthly Strathalbyn cemetery clean-ups, it may be time to review our continued participation. Committee members undertook to encourage a higher turnout of volunteers.
We also need to consider how we can increase the number of volunteers that can take tours. At present it is reliant on too few to do this and unless this changes it may be necessary to consider changing the nature of our tours. Thank you to those who were always there when visiting groups toured the Museum.
In my extended absence, thank you to Ken Knight for taking the chair at meetings and to members of the Management Committee for their contributions to the advancement of the Museum. Special thanks to our Secretary Warren Doman and our Treasurer Terry Watson - both of whom have fulfilled their duties in an exemplary manner. Also to Jill Riches and Elaine Watson, who battled on as well as they could in the face of health problems - Jill on displays and in providing a research service for those making family history enquiries and Elaine in her work with MOSAiC, our collections management system.
The day that Ann and Warren Doman walked into the Museum and offered their services was a real fillip for the place. David Finnie had not long taken over as Chair and had set about remedying a number of problems that were in evidence in the place. Issues ranged from works to ensure the preservation of buildings, to appropriate storage of vulnerable collection items, to ensuring every item in the collection was photographed or scanned for retrieval and record keeping purposes. David very quickly picked up on the range of skills and the commitment of his new recruits and in this he was absolutely right.
A list of all Ann and Warren have accomplished since arriving at the Museum would fill a very sizeable book. In her time with the Museum Ann's work has included acquisition processing (of items newly donated to the Museum) and the retrieval and photographing of hundreds of items of ephemera. We thank Barry Quemby for volunteering to take on acquisitions in Ann's place by the way. Warren has likewise been a pillar of strength in almost every role the Museum can offer, from Secretary to maintenance coordinator to every aspect of audio-visual production and editing. Both Ann and Warren will be sorely missed.
Finally I would like to thank all of our volunteers for their contributions to the wellbeing of the Museum. Visitors invariably remark on the degree of cleanliness and the quality and interest of our various presentations. Thank you also for your friendship, encouragement and support. I believe that, as a team, we've achieved a lot together. My hope (and Jill's) is that we can remain associated with the Museum, but in more minor roles. Our very best wishes to those who will leave the Museum and to those who will now step up and take on the management of one of the town's most important assets.