"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday 4 February 2011

"A Fact Unknown to Some And Lost To others".

Not 'OUR' Artifacts has left a new comment on your post "H.E.A.T.":

"Where the hell are our artifacts?"

The artifacts being stored in the cultural centre are the property of the Aurora Historical Society. They are NOT the property of the Town of Aurora and, therefore, do not actually 'belong' to the residents of the town.

This is a fact unknown to some and lost on others.


And will come as a nasty shock to many others. People who have donated precious memorabilia to Aurora Historical Society, in trust, for safe keeping and sharing with the community for more than fifty years. The Town of Aurora has provided funds for the purchase of items when they became available, on the understanding they would be part of the museum collection, given proper respect and used for enlightenment and enjoyment of the community.

I have heard from numbers of people who are disappointed donations they made are hidden away. They will not be particularly impressed to hear Aurora Historical Society regards them as private possessions of the Society.

Aurora Historical Society are the registered owners of Hillary House. It hasn't stopped them from requesting funds to meet their business plan as a line item in the town's budget.To be raised by taxation on property owners. Whom it is now claimed do not own their own artifacts.

A new executive of the Society withdrew from a legal agreement requested by a previous executive to manage Church Street School as a museum first and space for other activities second.

It was certainly not suggested when the Historical Society was raising funds in the community to renovate Church Street School and accepting donations to the collection that the facility and the collection were actually privately owned by the Aurora Historical Society.

Nor when the Society was given space for meetings and storage for a small collection fifty years ago in the old town hall. Or space for a museum in the old waterworks building after the police vacated in 1971. Or in Church Street School in 1976.

At a time, when we are having to go to extraordinary lengths to re-claim the museum's rightful place, we most certainly do not need to be dealing with spurious and shadowy claims of separate ownership of artifacts freely given for safe keeping to an organisation trusted by the community to serve the community's best interest for the past half century or more.

And until now by the way, having kept that faith without question.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually ever go to Hillary House? It never changes so if you've gone once there doesn't seem to be a lot of reasons to go again. I think I probably would go if there was displays that changed and something new and interesting happens. They own all the items but they don't display anything new at Hillary House to pull visitors. That seems like a no-brainer to me.
Other museums around the area have compounds with other old buildings and picnic spaces and lots of activities and displays that change. That could be done at Hillary House with the space they have at the back. Do they own that?
A quick google search says it is a National Historic Site so doesn't that mean federal money?
So we're storing their items for free and we don't even own them so why are we doing that and why are they asking for more town money when they are already getting all this for free. Shouldn't we put a value on storing all their stuff for free. I'm so confused, so forgive me if this rambles.
How many members do they have? Please ask them Evelyn because that should tell us how interested people are to join their organisation. I'm sure we'll think of more questions to ask them to explain.

Anonymoose said...

"Does anyone actually ever go to Hillary House? It never changes so if you've gone once there doesn't seem to be a lot of reasons to go again."


DING,DING,DING We have a winner!!!!!

And that is exactly the problem with using church street school excusively as a museum. It will get very little use and be a financial burden. As a cultural centre it will get more use and the meseum artifacts can be brought out on a regular bases for different shows that keep people coming back.

Doesn't anyone remember when the museum occupied the top floor of the school previously? It got very few visitors then. Why in the world would we want to subject ourselves to that again? The cultural centre is a great way to get people to continue to come back. It's a pity that Buck is so opposed to it. It is a terrific resource for our town. She should be looking at how we can make even better use of it. Not get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what the "culture" or Aurora is in the first place?

I have not been to Church St School, Hillary House, or any of the so called "culture" places in Town. I have no idea what the culture is that they are trying to tell us about.

Fred said...

Anonymous 12:04 it's easy to check out what goes on at the church street cultural centre. You can get on their mailing list like I did.


I'm going to the Farmer's Market again, and Dorothy Clark McLure's show is very interesting. And I've been to one of the many Jazz concerts and there wasn't a St. Kitts in sight!! Hooray.
I agree with Anonymoose about the museum. If there is to be one, it doesn't need to be at Church Street. That building's use has adapted and changed as has Aurora. Our town has changed a lot and is changing rapidly with new developments and with social, ethnic and cultural diversity, so holding on to our small-town middle-class whitebread version of culture doesn't fit the mold anymore. We aren't all tea-socials at churches anymore.
I agree with Anonymous 10:31 - Hillary House seems preserved in aspic and there isn't anything interesting to bring you back. If there were regularly changing displays of Aurora items then I'd be more likely to go and pay my few bucks to get in, otherwise, been there, done that.