Central Hawke’s Bay Museum will open minds and its doors to everyone- with free entry for a year thanks to a generous donation from the Gwen Malden Charitable Trust.
Twelve months of free entry starts this Saturday 20 May, with Mayor Alex Walker joining the CHB Museum Committee for a community celebration, afternoon tea and exhibition launch from 1pm.
Museum Chairperson Vera Smith said the donation would make Central Hawke’s Bay Museum even more accessible to people of all ages and walks of life from Hawke’s Bay and further afield.
“We encourage everyone to join us and take a trip down memory lane with the opening of Jeremy Bright’s new exhibition ‘Ghosts of the Past’, featuring photographs of the old Waipukurau Hospital,” she said.
“Walls of the hospital may have crumbled but its buildings and the site itself have many stories to tell and hold special significance in the memories of many. We hope for a great turnout on Saturday to celebrate - the BBQ will be firing, afternoon tea served and a colouring competition for children.”
Visitors will also have a chance to view the 1949 Humber Pullman Ambulance which served Central Hawke’s Bay for many years, and recently arrived for display at the Museum to coincide with Bright’s exhibition.
CHB Museum Curator Jana Uhlirova said a schedule for the year ahead would have something for everyone, and hoped the removal of fees would entice many more visitors to come and see what the space has to offer.
The removal of entry fees comes off the back of difficult times, with COVID-19 restrictions and closures in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle, which reflected reduced visitor numbers.
“We hope this will encourage people to make the trip back to us. Visitors inspire us, feedback helps ensure we stay relevant and people through the doors keeps the spirit of our museum alive. It really is a wonderful place for everyone to connect, learn and enjoy,” Ms Uhlirova said.
“There are more than 100,000 museums in the world, and they all have their meanings – Museums help bring people together in difficult times, sparking relevant conversations to support their personal needs and ideas.
“Size or profile doesn’t matter, what matters is that they are close to people’s homes, and that they are part of the everyday life of a small community. It is a strong bond with our community that makes CHB Museum special and guides us as we make exciting plans for the future.”
The launch ties in with International Museum Day, which is celebrated worldwide today (Thursday 18).
16 May 2023
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