Community group disbands

Joining forces . . . Lawrence women (from left) Tracey Hen› derson, Jess Weichler and Jo Ager are helping amalgamate vital Lawrence community bodies into one entity. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

The Tuapeka Lawrence Community Company (TLCC) has disbanded after 30 years of activity.

Spokeswoman Mel Foster said the TLCC had been touch› and›go in past years, struggling to remain open due to financial difficulties in 2018.

However, in 2020 the company resolved those challenges and was back on track.

But Mrs Foster said the community company recently wound up because of a lack of new directors in the area.

The Tuapeka Goldfields Museum has agreed to take over management of the Clutha District Council grant and the running of the Information Centre.

Existing staff will retain their positions and oversee its local newsletter, the Lawrence website and its tourism brochure, along with several other responsibilities.

‘‘The Tuapeka Lawrence Community Company has run its course, and it is in a place now where its duties can be handled by the museum,’’ Mrs Foster said.

‘‘It’s a good outcome and we’ve put a lot of time and effort into the TLCC, so I’m delighted the museum will be picking up the baton.

‘‘I look forward to seeing the development and growth from passing on the TLCC to a new entity.’’

Museum manager and education officer Jess Weichler said she was ready to step into a new era with taking over responsibilities for the TLCC.

‘‘We’ll be making the information centre and the museum the one›stop›shop for all of Lawrence’s heritage, and we’ll maintain the services and other aspects of the TLCC,’’ Ms Weichler said.

‘‘With Jo and Tracey as well as Kirsty Garner as our information officers, along with the small team of volunteers as our boots on the ground, we’ll create a marriage of both the information centre and the museum.’’

Ms Weichler said a key goal for the new entity would be boosting visitor numbers to Lawrence.

‘‘I really want to combine history with the current engagement of our community and further out of the area too,’’ she said.

‘‘I see a lot of people who come here are people of nature or history, and we’re always wanting people to stay here.

‘‘People that pass through Lawrence or come to live here are people trying to find their place in the area, and they’re always welcome here.’’