The North Huron Museum Group made a delegation to the Township of North Huron council on February 4th, 2019.
The presentation transcript was as follows:
Honourable Reeve and Council members…
Following the staff report made at the last council meeting regarding the North Huron Museum, an informal meeting was held last Tuesday at the Library for groups and citizens in support of moving and reopening the North Huron Museum at the Wingham train station.
Representatives from the Wingham Community Connectors, Friends of the Museum, the Barn Dance Historical Society, the Wingham Horticultural Society, the Alice Munro Festival, and the Wingham BIA were all in attendance at the meeting. There were approximately 25 citizens of Wingham attending.
We are here tonight to ask council to consider creating a “Museum Committee of Council” with terms of reference to be worked out with the Township of North Huron council and staff.
In general terms, the intent is that the Museum Committee would do: Planning, Volunteering, and Fund Raising to cover the hard costs involved with preparing the train station for becoming a museum; this includes relocating the existing 1200 SF garage to the north side of the museum, and preparing it to be used for additional museum display space.
The committee would also work with staff to minimize the cost of deaccessioning, documenting, and moving to the train station the museum displays and artifacts that will be kept.
We are not asking the town to hire an additional full time staff person to operate the museum… North Huron’s commitment would be to relocate a staff person to the train station, where that staff person would continue their current responsibilities, and be available to greet people looking for tourist information and/or looking to tour the museum. The staff person would also be the point person for volunteer museum guides and various tasks at the museum that can be done by volunteers.
We expect that raising the funds and moving the museum from the old post office to the train station will take 2-3 years. The costs of deaccessioning, documenting and moving artifacts would be spread out over 2020 & 2021. (There would be zero impact on the 2019 budget)
Wingham has a rich history, citizens of international fame such as Alice Munro and George Reid, CKNX Radio & TV, the barn dance, and other bits of history that are important to preserve and to be able to show to the public.
We can repeat the success of the reopening of the Wingham Town Hall Theatre. This was accomplished by a committee of council composed of volunteers who worked extremely hard, applied for grants, and raised corporate and business donations. This was all accomplished with zero taxpayer dollars.
Please give us the opportunity to do the same with the creation of a Museum Committee of council. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work to make this happen. We just need you to support and empower us to do the job.
Immediately following the presentation the council moved to create a “Museum Committee of Council”. Spontaneous applause was given to the council!