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Hard Work Pays Off for Woodville Pioneer Museum Society

Media Release, Tuesday 23 September 2014

Strictly embargoed until 8:00pm

Hard Work Pays Off for Woodville Pioneer Museum Society

For their World War I themed exhibition, paying tribute to the 400 soldiers who went to fight from Woodville, the Woodville Pioneer Museum Society were announced as the Supreme Award winner at tonight’s Trustpower Tararua District Community Awards.

Over 90 people gathered at the Eketahuna Community Centre this evening for the Trustpower Tararua District Community Awards which were presented by Tararua Mayor Roly Ellis and Trustpower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches.

For winning the Supreme Award, the Woodville Pioneer Museum Society received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. The Woodville Pioneer Museum Society now has the opportunity to represent the district at the 2014 Trustpower National Community Awards, which are being held in the Wellington region in March 2015.

In total, Trustpower has given away over $5,000 to various community groups through tonight’s Awards.

Trustpower Community Relations Representative Jess Somerville says the 13 volunteers behind this museum do a great job of taking visitors on a journey back through time.

“This ANZAC Day, they notched it up to another level by putting on a special exhibition, held over 16 days in April, which paid tribute to soldiers who left for World War I from this region. Months of preparation went into collating and mounting photos for display, finding and organising items to show and coordinating the contribution of local schools. They also crafted a board with the names of the 400 soldiers who headed off to fight with 120 of them printed in red for the ones that didn’t return.

“On top of this they helped share the stories of these local legends by researching, interviewing, collating and narrating material by locals to produce a 45 minute documentary. The impact of this volunteer work for this exhibition with cataloguing exhibits and preserving old fragile items will help to ensure its future.

“The finished product went down a treat with those who travelled to see it and attracted an audience of more than 3,000 people, even making Seven Sharp! Not bad for a town of around 1400”, says Miss Somerville.

Tararua District Mayor Roly Ellis says the volunteers behind the Woodville Pioneer Museum do an incredible job of providing and preserving Woodville’s history.

“A huge congratulations to the volunteers who spearheaded this special ANZAC exhibition that paid tribute to the hundreds of men, and one woman, who headed to the frontline from Woodville. It helped to share the stories of local legends through a creative, thoughtful and educational exhibition,” says Mayor Ellis.

Fifty-six entries were received for this year’s Trustpower Tararua District Community Awards.

Other award recipients at tonight’s Trustpower Tararua District Community Awards were:

Heritage and Environment
Commendation: Dannevirke Promotion and Development Society
Runner-Up: Eastern Manawatū River Hapu Collective also known as Te Kāuru
Winner: Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre Volunteers

Health and Well Being
Commendation: Ruahine Maori Wardens
Runner-Up: Lions Club of Dannevirke
Joint Winner: Eketahuna Health Centre Committee
Joint Winner: Pahiatua Cancer Support Group

Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Pahiatua Repertory Society.
Winner: Pahiatua Upstairs Cinema Society

Sport and Leisure
Commendation: Bush Netball Club Committee
Runner- up: Woodville Association Football Club
Winner: Eketahuna Rugby Football Club

Education and Child/Youth Development
Runner-Up: Bush Multi Sport Grass Roots Gym
Winner: Eketahuna Youth Group

Supreme Winner
Woodville Pioneer Museum Society

Youth Spirit
Winner: Natasha Bailey from Tararua College

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