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Worthy of celebrating .. South Canterbury Historical Society, South Canterbury Museum and St Mary's Church representatives (from left) Philip Howe, John Shoaf, Ray Bennett, Desley Hayward, Heather Bailey and Murray Gibson, pictured with images of days gone by, are among those organising a celebration of Pioneer Hall's 50th anniversary. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

by Alexia Johnston

A celebratory market day is being planned for the 50th anniversary of Pioneer Hall – the octagonal part of South Canterbury Museum.
Plans for the event, to be called Heritage Alive, were under way thanks to a committee of nine, who represent the South Canterbury Historical Society, South Canterbury Museum and St Mary’s Church.
The Pioneer Hall building was designed by South Canterbury architect Ron Doig and was opened on December 10, 1966.
It replaced the former museum which was located in a house on the same site.
Museum director Philip Howe said while some details had yet to be confirmed for the anniversary, planning was well under way and a date in December would be finalised soon.
The event will feature market stalls of various wares from crafts, plants and Christmas gifts, along with a heritage vehicle display, music and cultural performances, historic costume photo booth, church building tours, church tower climb, museum competition and prize draw.
The celebrations will take place on the lawn between the museum and church, weather permitting. If wet, celebrations would move indoors, museum director Philip Howe said.
He said it was great to have members of the church on board because they were an integral part of the community’s heritage.
Organising committee member and South Canterbury Historical Society president Ray Bennett said the celebration was not just about the past.
“It’s a living church and living museum.”
The group now wants to hear from potential stallholders who would like to take part, or people who want to be involved in some other way if appropriate, Mr Howe said.
For more information Mr Howe can be contacted on 687-7212 or to inquire about stalls contact the St Mary’s Church office on 688-8377.