Several military treasures from the past, including ''trench
art'' from World War 1 and a rocket launcher from Vietnam,
have been unearthed during a preservation project at the
Mosgiel Memorial RSA.
As redevelopment plans at the RSA complex gain momentum,
North Island museum consultant Bridget Wellwood has been
Backed by funding from a New Zealand Lottery Grants Boards
grant, Ms Wellwood has spent the past three weeks
painstakingly identifying, cataloguing, digitising and
preserving more than 3000 pieces of wartime memorabilia.
They were donated to the RSA over the years.
Ms Wellwood, of Eketahuna, believes it may be the first time
a New Zealand RSA has brought in an expert to professionally
catalogue and preserve its collection to museum-quality
People at the RSA had shown ''great vision and respect'' for
the collection by having it sorted out and further protected
before it was too late, she said.
Everything in the collection was donated by servicemen or
women, or their loved ones, over many years and reflected
family stories and ''Taieri's rich history'', she said.
She completed the initial work at the RSA last Friday.
Catalogued memorabilia has been boxed up and is being moved
into secure storage until it will be better protected in a
planned climate-controlled area at the RSA complex.
Building redevelopment committee chairman Doug Jackson said
the redevelopment project carefully balanced the
organisation's ''special roots'' and its drive to become a
''community hub'', with modern surroundings and facilities.
John Crosbie (83), who has co-ordinated care of the Mosgiel
Memorial RSA's library and memorabilia in recent years,
welcomed the move to better protect the collection.