The AGM, held last Tuesday, may have heralded a new era for the Otautau Museum. As with most organisational changes, some are met with ambivalence. Founding member, Muriel Brown, resigned at the AGM. Her resignation was accepted with great regret.
Muriel has done every job in our museum - chairing the board, creating displays, managing the collection, all aspects of fundraising, welcoming visitors, answering family history questions, community relations, and improving our standards of practice. She also kept the museum clean and the outside entrance tidy. In short, she was the backbone of our existence for the last 10 years.
Thankfully, Muriel will still be helping the museum in various ways but has left governance duties to the rest of us. In my opinion, this is the greatest loss. Her keen mind tracked the monthly issues of the Board better than anyone's. She knew who needed to retire by rotation, what letter should be written to whom, when the rent and power were due, and what policies needed updating. At the AGM, she found a mistake in my Collections report and corrected me immediately on it. Her attention to important details is second to none. I always felt that if she had been born in another time and place, she would've been the CEO of some big, humanitarian organisation, but living in rural Southland she had fewer options.
She has set a high standard for the conduct and capability of our members, and we can only hope to follow in her footsteps. Thankfully, she will still be around to keep us in line.
We thanked her at the meeting for her service to the museum. Truly, it has brought us to where we are.
Also at the meeting, we welcomed two new trustees: Merrin McCrory and Kevin Miles, both residents of Otautau. Merrin generously volunteered to take over as Treasurer. Previously, Cindy Bragg-Dooley managed both the Treasurer and Secretary roles so thanks Merrin for helping to lighten the load.
Kevin has suggested that we should have a Facebook page so keep a look out for that. We think both of them will bring much-needed creative talent and capacity to our team.
The AGM is a good marker - it provides closure on the previous year and opens the door to the coming one. If you missed the meeting and would still like to get involved, it's not too late. Please email us or come by in person. We're open Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-4pm.
Your comments are always welcome!