Step back in time for Heritage Month

Looking back . . . At the first Mondays at the Moonshine Museum event are John Dennison and Joanne McConnell, who are observing work by the late Gore-born artist, Trevor Moffit. Mr Moffit created several works relating to the Hokonui Moonshine story. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Gore, Mandeville and Lumsden are among the Southland communities taking a step back in time this month.

Events for Heritage Month 2023 are already under way across the region, one of the first being Mondays at the Moonshine Museum in Gore. Every Monday this month, the museum will host a different event on local history.

In Mandeville, the Waimea Plains Railway Trust will be offering rides on a fully restored steam train this weekend and again on March 25-26, from 10am to 3pm.

Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre visitor services officer Lucy Letie said the train had been hugely popular in the past.

‘‘People have really enjoyed the chance to try the train and I think because it has been restored from such a state, coming out of a river, too, it’s such an amazing thing to be a part of.’’

An all-day pass was $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. Cab rides are also available for $25.

‘‘[The money] goes to the Waimea Plains Railway Trust. . . the purpose of these running days is to help restore the track and the yard.’’

In Lumsden, heritage enthusiasts Chris Henderson and Jenny Campbell are hosting a free event they have called ‘‘Back to the Future’’, starting at 1pm this Sunday.

Mrs Henderson said it was an opportunity for people to learn more about the town’s rich history and explore its heritage buildings, including a former bank that made national news.

‘‘We’ll be on-site at the railway station to welcome people officially and encourage them to take a brochure and potter off and have lunch and see historic places. If there are any questions we’re happy to answer them or to send them to particular places if they’ve got interest.

‘‘There’s heaps of things to see and do in Lumsden, including looking around the museum.’’

Anyone was always welcome to come along to the event, she said.

‘‘We always have fun. They’re always worthwhile.’’

The Hokonui Pioneer Village in Gore also has an open day planned on March 26.

Heritage South chairwoman Stephanie Herring said the group was thrilled with the diverse and exciting programme for Heritage Month 2023.

‘‘We encourage everyone to get out and discover the breadth and depth of the South’s heritage on offer.”

For more event details, visit Heritage South’s Facebook page and keep an eye out for a copy of the Heritage Month brochure.

Moonshine and old recipes offer a taste of district’s past

A taste of the past is among the Mondays at the Moonshine Museum events happening in Gore for Heritage Month.

A guided tour of the Hokonui Moonshine Museum was the first of a series of events happening every Monday in March.

Museum officer Stephanie Herring said a small group of people got a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Moonshine Museum redevelopment.

‘‘[District curator Jim Geddes shared] how the project’s developing and . . .a bit of back story behind it but also some of the stories about the Moonshine Museum itself and lots of exciting stuff going on around that.

‘‘One highlight was learning about the contribution of local businesses with their talent and capabilities which will be on full display.’’

The next event happening at the museum was on March 20, inspired by the Mondays at the Maruawai Centre event they held a couple of years ago, catered by Jude Taylor, Ms Herring said.

‘‘We had an evening where Jim and I shared some local stories and Jude matched it up with a dish. So we’re going to revisit that again . . .with a special focus on Brennan’s Kitchen.

‘‘Jane and Ned Brennan were really our first hoteliers in Gore and we’re going to have a bit of a focus on them. They were around in the 1870s and they were renowned for their hospitality. For all of those men that built our railway bridge, they catered and took care of them, among other people who came through the town.’’

Ms Taylor would be making food inspired by their recipes and that era of Gore’s history, Ms Herring said.

Tickets were $25 and numbers needed to be confirmed by Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the next Mondays at the Moonshine Museum event on March 13 will be organised by the Gore Historical Society.

‘‘They have organised a tour of some of the local cemeteries and learning stories about our people who may have gone before,’’ Ms Herring said.

It would conclude with a visit to the Waikaia Museum.

Rounding off the month was a free event at the library on March 27, which would give people the opportunity to explore their ancestry and learn how to do it themselves with the resources available at the library.