Monday, 19 September 2016

Women's Right to Vote

Forty-seven Otautau women signed the petition for the right to vote in 1893. As far as we know, the petition never reached Ohai, Nightcaps, Wairio, Aparima, Wrey's Bush, Gladfield, Ringway, Fairfax, Isla Bank and the rest of our corner of the world.

Thanks to these ladies and many others around the world, the cause of women's rights is still a flame that burns brightly.

Acheson, Jane
Blatch, Ellen M
Cameron, Margaret
Cameron, Catherine
Campbell, Catherine
Carmichael, Marie (Strathmore)
Clothier, A L. (Louisa Alice Clothier?)
Cotter, Ellie. F. 
Croft, Annie 
Cupples, Jane (Strathmore)
Cupples, Jemima (Strathmore)
Forbes, Margaret 
Forbes, Mrs
Forbs, Isiballa
Gaines, Alice 
Gardiner, Jessie
Gilchrist, Annie
Greenslade, Jessie 
Hill, Annie
Hill, Elen
Hogan, Mary T
Johnstone, M. P.
Ketteg, Mrs Anne
Keveney, Catherine
Lawson, Jane (mother of Jessie Gardiner)
Lee, Jane (Riverton?)
Lindsay, Barbara (Strathmore)
Manson, Mary
Matheson, Louisa Catherine
McAfee, Margaret
McDonald, Florrie
McLaren, B. S.
McNeil, Catherine
Morrison, Jane
Norman, Elizabeth
Pankhurst, Jessie (Riverton)
Parmenter, Isabella
Price. Elizabeth
Railton, Mary
Rogers, Emily
Shaw, Jane
Sinclair, Sarah (Eastern Bush)
Smith, Jessie
Swap, Alexandra
Thomson, Mary
Walker, A. (Charlotte Agnes?)
Wohlmann, Rebecca

As ever, we are interested to get photos of these women to continue remembering their good deeds. If you have a photo or a story of one of these women, please drop us a line.

Note: We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm and by request.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Women of the Otautau WDFF

Were you in the Women's Division of Federated Farmers?

The WDFF Otautau Branch formed during the tough economic climate of 1930. Their brief was to make life a bit easier for the farming women and children of the district. Soon came the Second World War where they provided aid to the troops overseas.

In 1956, they celebrated the Southland centennial by creating an embroidered tablecloth honouring their own members. This year is the 60th anniversary of this unique piece of women's history. There are 91 names embroidered on it in very simple letters. We hope you will help us identify who they are.

Affleck, R
Allan, A
Allan, M
Allan, V
Anderson, O
Ashley, S
Ayson, E
Ayson, E M
Baird, C
Baird, R
Barnett, J
Baxter, M
Beck, J
Beck, M
Braxton, H
Brown, B
Brown, M
Brown, M J
Burnett, J
Campbell, M
Carran, H
Chisholm, C
Clayton, R
Coats, K
Collie, E
Collie, F
Collie, M
Coster, A
Coulter, E
Coulter, R
Dahlenburg, M
Donnan, M
Duncan, L
Fisher, H
Flett, A
Flett, M
Flett, M J
Gough, I
Gould, E
Grant, C
Grant, W
Gutschlag, M
Hamlin, M
Hedley, M
Hogg, O
Humphries, A
Irwin, R
Kennedy, J
Kennedy, N
Laurie, J
Lindsay, A
Lindsay, A L
Low, C
Mackay, A
Mackie, M
Maley, E
Manson, M
McBryde, M
McKenzie, S
McPhee, K
McWhirter, P
Millar, D
Mitchell, M
Mudge, M
Muir, I
O’Driscoll, M
Paterson, A
Richardson, A
Robson, G
Ryan, G
Ryan, M F
Ryan, M S
Shaw, C
Skeggs, O
Smart, J
Smellie, I
Smellie, M
Smith, G
Smith, M
Smyth, M
Smyth, S
Sproat, J
Swap, M
Taylor, C
Thomas, F
Trotter, K
Walker, D
Walker, F
Wesney, L
Wright, G
Young, V

The Otautau Branch closed in 1980 and since then we have been given a few remnants of their work. The tablecloth has been in protective storage for well over 10 years - far too long! Our new Collection Manager, Suzie Best, plans to feature it in the 'Celebrating Women' display which is coming up in October.

If you know the names of these women or have any photos that you'd like to share, please get in touch with Suzie: ph 225-8286, cell 027-211-4675 or by email.

We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm and by request.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

'Role of Women' - Valmai Robertson

We're looking for stories and accounts from former pupils of Valmai Robertson that can be included in the new women's display, Role of Women, at the museum. This will be a tribute to her and all the decades of effort she put into teaching the young and older girls of the district dancing and ballet. Please contact Suzie Best asap on ph 225-8286; cell 027-211-4675; or email: 
If you know of other women, past or present, that you would like to see featured, please get in touch asap.

'Role of Women' Display - Call for Photos

Celebrating the Role of Women in the Otautau Area - Past & Present is a display being developed by our new Collections Manager, Suzie Best. 

Women have made a difference in Otautau and surrounding communities from the moment they arrived right up to today.

To get things going, we need your input. We want to know who you would like to see included in this display and why. Do you have photos, recollections, memorabilia or records to loan us? 

We are looking for anything to do with (but not limited to) the WDFF branches in this area (especially photos), midwives, anybody and everybody who you feel should be part of this.

Please get in touch with Suzie ASAP, on ph 225-8286; cell 027-211-4675; or email: 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Low-cost Monitoring

These little gauges are a low cost way to monitor temperature and humidity in your home. Humidity above 55% could cause moisture or mould damage on photos, fabrics and natural materials over a long period of time

In this photo, the reading on the bottom left is for temperature, and the one on the right is humidity. Forty-five percent humidity is pretty low. You wouldn't want it lower than that. But some rooms in your house may be as high as 80 or 90% humidity. 

If you can keep the room where your family valuables are stored at an even temperature and humidity most of the time, that would be ideal. Big fluctuations in temp and humidity throughout the day, can lead to brittleness in things such as paper, fabrics, and plant or animal-based materials. 

If you have a woodburner in the livingroom, you might want to store your valuables elsewhere as the extreme daily fluctuations (from cold and damp to hot and dry) may be too much. Creating an environment where the fluctuations aren't too extreme is a good target to shoot for. 

Look for these gauges in garden centres or hardware stores.

Note: We're open Sundays, 2pm-4pm and by request.