Well, we have been enlightened as to the owner of the fur stoles that were left at our doorstep a few weeks ago. It turns out they were originally owned by a native Otautau-ite. She had married a farmer and lived in Bayswater. She died suddenly after an operation at Riverton Hospital in 1929. Her father was a blacksmith through the turn of the century, and mother owned a draper's shop in the Main Street from 1916.
Now the Trust will have to decide whether to keep the stoles or give them back. They are visually striking and would be excellent for display. But on the other hand, they may require special care to get rid of the musty smell. On top of this, there is the issue of storage space. If we continue to collect clothing, we will soon run out of space.
So these are just some of the things that the Trust has to take into account when accepting items from the public - whether we have the resources to care for and store the item properly, and whether the item adds value in terms of Otautau's heritage.
What would you do?
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