Tina White and Cindy Lilburn were recipients of awards from the Palmerston North Heritage Trust for their contributions to local history at Caccia Birch House on Sunday 29 July 2018. See the attached citation for more information.
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- Tina White and Cindy Lilburn
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Citation: Tina White
Tina White is the 2018 recipient of the Palmerston North Heritage Trust's 'Local Historian of the Year' Award.
Tina is a journalist by background, and this award especially recognises her immensely popular 'Memory Lane' column in the Manawatu Standard. Tina started writing this in October 2004 with an article on the Palmerston North Hospital, and since then she has explored an immense number of topics. Some columns focus on buildings and their histories; others on people, including some of Palmerston North's early settlers, or famous residents who 'made it' elsewhere, such as singer Rosina Buckman, or its more notorious citizens, such as Joseph Pawelka. She has covered topics as diverse as city scandals, royal visits, waste disposal and devastating fires in Palmerston North's past. In some of her columns she has simply taken a particular year, and looked at everyday life in Palmerston North. In 2018 alone she has written on the first winter show in 1903, on 'furry heroes', on the naming of Fitzroy Street, and how Palmerston North celebrated the marriage of the Duke of York to Princess Mary of Teck in 1893. She often links a contemporary event with a parallel one from the past. Everyone will have their favourite article and Tina gets frequent feedback from those whose memories have been jogged by the columns that she writes.
The Palmerston North Heritage Trust acknowledges Tina's longstanding contribution to the city's history through her newspaper articles; the clarity and accessibility of her writing, which draws in even those who might not otherwise engage with this history; and the range and versatility of her interest in the city's social history. Her articles are sparkling gems in the rich treasure of our city's past. She contributes in additional ways, by giving public talks and leading cemetery walks, for example, and is ever generous in publicising other historical publications and activities in Palmerston North.
Citation: Cindy Lilburn
The Palmerston North Heritage Trust's special award for Cindy Lilburn recognises that she is a person who devotes her life to heritage matters in Palmerston North and the surrounding areas.
Cindy was originally from the Wanganui area and attended Wanganui Girls' High School and Massey University, where she studied history. Practically all of her working life has been at Te Manawa, where she has outseen several directors. This is important to note, because it indicates the longevity of her connection with the Palmerston North historical scene, and the depth and richness of her contribution.
Cindy's role as registrar or collections manager - the title has changed over the years - has given her an impressive knowledge of Te Manawa's collections, and of the material culture of our region. She is generous in sharing this knowledge, and a huge number of publications acknowledge her assistance with research that draws upon Te Manawa's holdings. Her unstinting and good humoured help can always be relied upon. She frequently appears in the media talking knowledgably about items as diverse as Shetland rugs, WWI bicycles, historic wedding dresses, and the Maori taonga of our region. She provides a strong voice for the material culture of our region on a number of other bodies, including the Heritage Trust itself.
But Cindy's contribution does not end there. She joined the Manawatu Branch of the Historic Places Trust around the same time as she commenced work at Te Manawa, and has been chair of it, and its successor, Historic Places Manawatu-Horowhenua for at least ten years. She knows a huge amount about the historic places and sites of our region and has devoted years to their protection and promotion. Whenever there's a rumour that a historic building is endangered, Cindy is in her car to check it out and photograph it for the future record. She is the person who makes submissions to the planning processes of the Palmerston North City Council, and the Horowhenua and Manawatu District Councils, and liaises with like-minded bodies. She does the research and follows through with great tenacity. She also leads well-researched tours of historic sites and precincts and is a regular contributor to Local History Week. She provides the institutional memory for many historical endeavours in our area.
Cindy Lilburn has devoted her life to the heritage of our region, and has done so without any sense of self-aggrandisement for more than 30 years. Her dedication underlines the value of those who acquire a depth of knowledge and sense of place over many years. Individuals like Cindy are community treasures.