President's Column President’s Column: May 2023 15/05/2023 0 Ann Walker, one of your executive committee members, has been creating contacts with other New Zealand Friends organizations of which there are a very large number. This contact has been universally welcomed and lead to a visit by the Friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery to Te Papa hosted by the Friends of Te Papa and a visit recently to Pātaka by Friends of Te Papa hosted by the Friends of Pātaka in Porirua. The event was an exhibition of pounamu and a talk by Dougal Austin who is a senior curator at Te Papa. Morning tea was provided. The Friends of Te Papa are rather like the Friends of the National Museum of Wales:http://friendsmuseumwales.org.uk/ That set of Friends support the museum financially, have a programme of talks, go for walks and tours and provide the outreach to members that the Friends of Te Papa do. If I was Welsh, I’d be a member. All the Friends organizations’ aims and operations are as various as the museums and galleries of which they are Friends. Some provide guides for their gallery or museum. Some help in back-of-house capacities. In Thames with its library of genealogical material, they help people search for their ancestors. All provide support. All rely on volunteers with a wonderful degree of commitment. In the economic scheme of things their value could be measured in monetary terms by adding up all the hours they put in but their real value is in the way they provide essential support. Volunteer labour requires commitment in terms of time and effort. Your committee members give that commitment. In return they get the satisfaction of knowing that their organization is successful in providing its members with a great programme of events. The programme provides Te Papa with a knowledgeable public who know what it does. We welcome expressions of interest from members who would like to join the committee. The committee is ably supported by the Friends’ administrator who is funded by the membership subscriptions of all the Friends’ members. That’s a virtuous circle; you, the members, support the committee and the administrator, and, in turn Te Papa receives support both financially and by way of outreach. This year the Friends are financially supporting a Te Papa project Interconnected Spaces and Materiality: Exploring German Pacific Trans-Tasman Relations The Friends of Te Papa also need your support. Specifically, it needs new members. The easiest way you can help here is to give your friends and relations a gift membership. If think of people who would like to be members then it is a small membership fee with a lot of benefits. https://www.friendsoftepapa.org.nz/gift-friends-membership/. Koenraad Kuiper, President.