Rangitikei Heritage Weekend 2021

Over two days, 15th & 16th May 2021 Taihape Museum opened its doors to welcome visitors from far and wide.
This will be the 12th year the event has run ( Covid-19 affected 2020, no event took place), each year has seen increasing numbers visiting the districts museums. The Rangitikei Heritage Group is made up of representatives of all 5 of the Rangitkei Museums from Bulls, Marton, Hunterville, Mangaweka, and Taihape, plus associated members from Turakina, the Waiouru National Army Museum, and members of
the Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust.
The date is the weekend that falls the closest to the actual date when the Deed of Purchase was signed, and the first of the Rangitikei blocks were made available for purchase, back on the 18th of May 1849″.
For those with a historical interest or those just wanting a great day out we had young & old, local and people tracing their family history. Highlighting the Gretna Hotel from 1895 to 1944, Taihape’s First Store, Cascade Brewery and Taihape’s Foundry it was history secrets on show. A great ‘Winter Warmer’ raffle was offered too and Rose Cottage tours. Hope to see you next year!

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We are 50!

The Taihape Museum celebrated a delayed (thanks to COVID) 50th anniversary celebration. The first public meeting to gauge public interest was held 28th October 1969 and was chaired by the Mayor Mr W Munro. At that meeting an interim committee was formed. The first formal meeting was held July 1970. The museum was initially housed in a shop next to the Ritz milk bar before being moved to the present site in 1974.

At the anniversary, invited guests were welcomed by the organiser, Frances McKeown, who then passed the speaking rights to Mr Trevor Prime (immediate past president) and Mrs Ann Abernethy (current president). They unveiled a plaque commemorating the event which will be mounted on the museum wall. Guests then went to St David’s Church hall for afternoon. tea.

Our thanks go to Lasercraft for donating the plaque, Frances McKeown for organising the event and to the guests who came to wish us well.

All photographs remain the property of Taihape Museum

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Visit from the Wolsey Car Club

This weekend we had a visit from members of the Wolsey Car Club who were touring around the Rangitikei. It is always a pleasure to have groups like this come through the museum.

Photos courtesy of Frances McKeown.

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2020 Baby Animal Fair

Once again the museum hosted the Baby Animal Fair at Spring Fling. Lots of cute animals (and owners) and lots of visitors to the museum.

We would like to thank everyone who supported us and Frances McKeown for the photos.


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This photo was donated by Don Hayes. It shows the Howitzer in its position in the Recreation grounds, in front of the old school.





All photos remain the property of Taihape Museum

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Skoda M14 Howitzer

Our newest display is a 10cm calibre M14 Howitzer made for the Austro-Hungarian Army and was used in action in World War 1. It was captured by the Auckland Mounted Rifles at Amman, Jordan in 1918 and was sent to NZ in 1919. It stood guard by the Memorial Gates at the Taihape Recreation grounds from 1920 until it was pushed down a bank, where it lay for several decades before being rescued by members of Taihape Museum and stored until it could be restored. This work was undertaken by Peter Wilton and Robert Baines and it is now on proudly on display at the museum.

Thank you to Peter and Robert for the restoration work, as well as Ken McKinnon and friends for manoeuvering it into position.

All photos remain the property of Taihape Museum

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We are back to normal with research queries pouring in.


This is just a sample of our photo collection. All photos have been indexed and catalogued (thanks to Marjorie Doole) and are available to browse.

All photos remain the property of Taihape Museum





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First day back

Thank you to the local community who supported our first day back

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Museum re-opening

As we are now in level 2 the museum will be open again on Sundays 11am to 2pm. The first opening will be Sunday 31 May. See you there.

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Covid 19

TAIHAPE MUSEUM CLOSED FROM 21 MARCH 2020 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE Following government advice about social contact, we have decided to close to the public until further notice. We have to do our part and most importantly consider the
welfare of our volunteers. But we will still be working behind the
scenes. Many volunteers have their own projects or responsibilities and
these will carry on, at least for the moment, especially those that can
be undertaken off site. In the meantime any research queries can be
directed to taihapemuseum@gmail.com.

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