Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Discovery and Rediscoveries - History Through Art

The theme for the 36th annual National Trust Heritage Festival 2016 is ‘Discovery and Rediscoveries’. Discovery can encompass the experience of discovering something for the first time or rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed.   This theme can be explored through archaeological experiences or any type of cultural heritage. To participate in this year’s festival the Museum has chosen art as its medium.   
Painting by Betty Laing
Art of Norfolk Island – rediscovering history through art.  This one hour presentation is an illustration of our history.  Look through the lens of the artists to visualise the island as it appeared to the settlers from the First Fleet in 1788 and sense the hardships of the second British Settlement from 1825, then appreciate the island culture since the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856.  Realise the island’s natural beauty is the only common thread throughout our island’s painted history.   Gaye Evans delivered this presentation last Thursday, 20 April at the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) Research Centre at No. 9 Quality Row.  There was no charge for this event and everyone was welcome to attend.   
Painting by Betty Laing
Janelle Blucher

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Condition Assessment of the HMS Sirius Collection

The Norfolk Island Museum applied to the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS) to provide for a condition assessment of the HMS Sirius Collection.  Rebecca Dallwitz, Objects Conservator for the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) arrived on the island last week to undertake this assessment. 
The MMAPSS is funded by the Australian Government and managed by the ANMM, the Norfolk Island Museum have been fortunate to receive assistance through this grant scheme over the past number of years.  Some of the projects funded by the scheme has provided for the development of  educational resources; a Norfolk Island maritime research project post 1856 including our whaling heritage and the story of the Resolution; it has provided for the writing of maritime significance statements and the conservation of our collections.
Rebecca spent over a week on the island examining the HMS Sirius artefacts on display and in storage and now has the enormous task of pulling the information together and producing a report.  Her study not only includes the assessment of the actual objects but also considers the environment, housing, collection maintenance and documentation.  It will provide a valuable document to confirm existing best practice museum standards, but more importantly identify what needs to be addressed to ensure the long term preservation and care of such a significant collection.  She has already identified necessary activity to address the environment, display material and documentation; this report will be a tool to assist us to procure resources for these necessary projects. 
Many thanks to Rebecca for your time and professionalism, to the ANMM for sparing her from an extremely busy existing work schedule and to the Australian Government funded Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme.

Janelle Blucher

Monday, April 11, 2016

Caulking, undercoat and keelson

Note: This post continues from earlier Ribs, roves and rivets
The ribs are complete and the entire lighter is caulked and undercoated. Dean Burrell drives the fork lift to gently raise the lighter so that the keelson can be hammered into place. Work will then continue on the inside of the lighter. 

 Regular posts on the building of the lighter will be uploaded to this blog.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New Installations at the Norfolk Island Museum

We are really excited to announce two new installations this week.   A short term display in The R.E.O. to compliment a story on Roy Bell featured in the current Your World Magazine and new display material in the Pier Store Museum to enhance our Norfolk Language display.

Roy Bell was born in 1882 on Raoul Island in the Kermadec Group east of Norfolk Island, coming here to live in 1911 it is now fifty years since Roy was laid to rest in our cemetery at Kingston.  Being born into the Bell Family on isolated Raoul was the beginning of an incredible life story for Roy.  The hardships the family endured and the immense appreciation for nature were no doubt inspirational for his life’s work as a photographer, ornithologist and a naturalist.  On Norfolk Island he was also known as a spiritualist. Roy is remembered for his work supporting Tom Iredale and a group of scientists studying birds, molluscs and shells on Raoul Island.  On Norfolk he continued to be a natural history collector making contributions to Gregory Mathew’s valuable publication ‘Birds of Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands’ published in 1928.  Today on Norfolk we can be grateful for a wonderful collection of Roy’s photography that has captured the visual history of our island.   
Masked Booby's by Roy Bell
Call into The R.E.O at Kingston to see our display commemorating the life of Roy Bell.  Then come across to the Pier Store Museum to see the new iPad installed at our Norfolk Language display.
The app design provides an easy to follow audio and visual for visitors to experience, learn and play with the Norf’k language.  It begins with an introductory page that prompts you to learn the Origins of Norf’k (Wesaid Norf’k kamfram); Old Folk – Food and Whaling (Oel Salan – Wetels en  Wielen); Language of Love (Laengwij’ Law); Humour (Kasedri); Modern Education (Lernen Norf’k Des Dieh); Teach Yourself Norf’k (Tiich Yusaelf fe Tork Norf’k)
Mary Cooper enjoying the Norf'k Laengwij App

The Origins of Nor’k features audio and visual showing four men speaking a single passage in Tahitian, English dialect, Pitcairn and finally Norf’k itself.  The Old Folk – Food and Whaling is a group of Norfolk Islanders talking in the 1960’s about gathering food, cooking, whaling and the younger generation.  The Language of Love is a story written by Rachel Nebauer-Borg about a young couple courting and the Humour features a poem composed by Andre Nobbs titled Baswaagas that depicts the Norf’k sense of humour in describing a man and a woman who overcome their dislike for each other to fall in love.  Modern Education is an audio of three school students learning the language at school and to illustrate the difference one student is Australian, the other a New Zealander and the third a Norfolk Islander.   And finally Teach Yourself Norf’k is a set of simple language lessons progressing from simple greetings, questions and phrases through to full conversations, all with written translations and wonderful images.  We also have colouring in and lettering activities for the children.
The Norfolk Island Museum offers thanks to both Eddie Hooker and Ron Edwards for providing information to develop our Roy Bell story and many thanks also to all dem sullen who have contributed to the content for this wonderful Norf’k Language resource in the Pier Store Museum. 
We also sincerely thank Nicky and Wally Beadman for giving generously and freely so much of their time and expertise to develop the Norf’k Language app and to Peter Muhlhausler for his continued support of Norf’k Language in the Norfolk Island Museum. 

Janelle Blucher