Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Museum News

- Gunda Hardegan-Brunner -

I like to go to the Fransie Pienaar Museum. Like all places it has its own special atmosphere. Walking through the Museum garden and the various rooms, one can feel that a lot of love and dedication have gone into creating what the Museum is today.

The Museum concentrates on objects, events and features that have a connection to Prince Albert and the district. One can see intriguing things there, like the result of a process including visskubbe, milk and gold thread or the coffin that was never opened.

Thanks to the care and conservation skills of Debbie Badenhorst, the Museum’s Collections Manager and Technical Officer for the past four years, the collection is in excellent condition.

The relationship with the Museum’s benefactor, the Piet Basson Trust, has never been formalised and since the beginning of September there has been no more money to pay a full time employee.
Debbie is now teaching at Prince Albert Primêr. Thank you, Debbie, for all your input and we wish you all the best for the future.

Volunteers needed
Both the Provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and the Prince Albert Local Municipality each provide grants of just over R12 000 a year to the Museum. This is just enough to pay the water, electricity and telephone bills, the gardener and the cleaner and a salary for Lydia Barella to work for forty hours a month. Lydia spends a lot more time there on a voluntary basis. To be able to open the Museum daily, volunteers are now filling the gap Debbie left – a big thank you to all involved.

The Museum generates some income from entrance fees (for locals it’s free), from membership fees of the Friends of the Museum and from its little shop where you can buy all sorts of olive products, dried fruit, witblits stooked in the Museum still, books, postcards, prints and much more. This pays for administrative expenses and cleaning materials.

If you’d like to become a volunteer, please contact the Museum on 023 5411-172 or Lydia on 023 5411-350.

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