News

11 July 2013

Routine cleanup uncovers meeting minutes from 1881

A routine cleanup of the basement at the Gore District Council’s civic administration building has uncovered gems from the town’s past.

Three minute books chronicling the efforts of Gore’s founding fathers to establish a public library and reading room were discovered by administration manager Susan Jones.

The minutes of the Gore Athenaeum Committee date back to its first meeting on 19 September 1881 and they are the oldest records held at the Council’s main office. The first minute book also includes a newspaper cutting of the first meeting, from the Mataura Ensign.

Found by chance

Mrs Jones said she found the books purely by chance, tucked away in a brown envelope on a shelf.

"They initially would have been housed with other minute books in our main filing room but probably inadvertently ended up in the basement."

The books were a fascinating discovery and contain the names of many community leaders from the early days, such as Thomas Green, James Beattie and Alfred Dolamore, she said.

"The beautiful penmanship and detailed minutes give a delightful insight into how the forefathers of Gore worked to establish an athenaeum."

Mrs Jones said the minute books will be given to the heritage research centre for safe keeping.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz