Local historian, Ron Cooke and KCET CEO, Dennis A. Smith are on the move with the arrival of their first container following eviction from The Memory Bank.
Dennis says that with the sale of the building that has housed Cookie’s Collections for the last thirty years, new premises are required. “The new landlord gave Ron only sixteen days to clear out his collections last year, which created a severe crisis, but fortunately we have until September 2019 to clear out his offices.”
KCET’s recent incorporation has secured the future of the precious memories of the King Country which had an uncertain future when The Taumarunui Museum Trust sold up last year. The first of KCET’s containers arrived on Thursday 16 May, 2019 and will get kitted out over the next few months.
KCET’s resources will eventually be housed in custom-designed ‘High Cube’ container pods with modern-looking stylish curved roofing, air humidity and heating control which is suitable for long-term semi-museum quality archival storage.
“It will be a long process but as the saying goes, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’,” Dennis says. “A deadline is always a challenge, but it also motivates you.
“While Ron was an inch away from giving up following the loss of his storage and the office facility, I will ensure that failure is not an option for KCET. It thrills me that Cookie is now upbeat following a hugely challenging time with the upheavals of last year.”
“There’s no politics or any infighting now.” Ron says. “Nisi and I just talk about things and then get on and do it. It’s great!”
Over the coming months Taumarunui residents can expect to see the first KCET container get cleaned up, painted in the black and white KCET livery and then get lined for multi-purpose use. The location is on private property directly behind the old Memory Bank building and has been graciously been provided, gratis, by Baraq, who has the Taumarunui Pharmacy.
The public are welcome to pop in at any time in the afternoons or when someone is working on-site.
KCET’s current proposals are to use these pods for a mixture of archival storage, training rooms and offices. Our eventual destination is not yet decided but will likely be outside of the CBD but less than one hour’s drive from Taumarunui. KCET is currently in discussions with various landowners and we are still looking for an ideal location.
“For me it’s sad that we’ve gone from owning the premises to having to lease now, but we can really work anywhere, in a rural or commercial environment doesn’t matter to us,” Dennis explains, “As long as we have strong Internet and power.”
“And that’s dog-friendly!” the ‘old man’ adds with a smile.
KCET will advise the public when our new location has been confirmed.