South Otago Museum in Renfrew St, Balclutha, has prepared two new displays ahead of Anzac weekend.
The first, which will greet visitors in the lobby, is a temporary memorial featuring selected stories of how global events reached local families, and moving examples of how ordinary people honoured lost loved ones, and coped with their absence.
Deeper within the museum’s collection, a 6m x 3m alcove will permanently display military kit, weapons and memorabilia, alongside contemporary photos and a historic Red Cross fundraising quilt made in 1916.
Research by the late Jim Wilson of Otago Red Cross said the Stirling-made quilt had been given back to a Kiwi who had visited a convalescence home in England near the end of World War 1.
Each 15cm x 15cm square had been sold for one shilling to well-wishers to have messages such as ‘‘Accept my lifelong gratitude’’ and ‘‘Rule Britannia’’ embroidered.
The patches were assembled into blankets to be dispatched to Red Cross facilities to comfort those in their care, and each quilt raised the equivalent of $3,600 in today’s money.
‘‘We’ll always continue in that tradition,’’ Mrs Pringle said. ‘‘Last month, through our shop and meals-on-wheels, the Balclutha sub-branch raised thousands for the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.’’
The new attractions will be inaugurated with an exclusive event on Saturday 23 featuring historical presentations by Red Cross, and will open to the public from Sunday April 24.
South Otago Museum is installing two new exhibits as part of Anzac commemorations, including the permanent arrival of an embroidered quilt that survived World War 1 intact.