Recently elected president of the Silverdale & Districts Historical Society, Murray Sampson, says key to the future of the organisation will be attracting more volunteers.
The Society is responsible for the running of the historic Pioneer Village. Murray says it has a full committee in place, is well structured and solvent but is running out of people to spread the load.
During his term as president, he also plans to increase awareness of what the facility offers. “It is the biggest concentration of historic buildings in the region and as such immensely valuable to the community,” he says.
The land, near the top of Silverdale Street, was gifted to the Council of the day by the Lloyd family and became a way of preserving local history. Historic buildings that were in danger of being lost to the community were brought there, starting 49 years ago. They were restored and maintained by Society members.
Among the buildings on the site are a bushman’s hut, the Dairy Flat Post Office, Upper Waiwera School, a Wesleyan Chapel and Firth Cottage.
The Pioneer Village is open on weekends only through the winter, but through the week in summer. Volunteers are needed to spend a short time each on site, showing people around and answering questions. Maintenance of the buildings is under control, but a little gardening and general tidying up is needed.
Murray says if more people don’t step forward to help, it’s difficult to say what will happen to the village. “It’s so important to look after our heritage,” he says.
Anyone who can give a little time to the Pioneer Village can email firstname.lastname@example.org