Eltham and Beyond: Showcasing Eltham and its Land Usage at Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki in Patea is a new exhibition showcasing the various land uses and pioneering discoveries which occurred in the South Taranaki township of Eltham. From Chew Chong’s discovery and commercialisation of fungus into a roaring trade, to businessman turned politician Charles Anderson Wilkinson, to the modern battle against predators with the establishment of the Lake Rotokare Scenic Reserve in 2004; Eltham has often shown a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
The exhibition includes extensive photography, ephemera, moving images and artifacts from the collections of Aotea Utanganui, Puke Ariki, Alexander Turnbull Library, Te Papa Tongarewa, TVNZ Licensing, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Whanganui Regional Museum, Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, and private collector Mike Coils. The moving images include the World Championship Axeman’s Carnival in Taumata Park in 1911, and footage from Eltham’s 75th Jubilee in 1959. Footage supplied by TVNZ Licensing from a Country Calendar episode tells the story of farmer Ernie Tippler farming his slice of paradise in Eltham for over 50 years. Also featured are some Texas Toys from Eltham inventor and toy-maker Gunner Burger.
This exhibition has been generously funded by the Taranaki Regional Council with media providers TVNZ Archive, and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Content has been provided by the Whanganui Regional Museum, Puke Ariki, Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, Manatū Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki with additional support from the South Taranaki District Council. The exhibition season is 2 March 2015 – 2 August 2015. This exhibition is free entry however Koha is always appreciated.