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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sumner saves its history

Sumner saves its history

Published: 7:53PM Tuesday March 08, 2011 Source: ONE News

Members of search and rescue teams joined with volunteer firefighters and residents of Sumner today to help save a piece of its history.

The building that houses the local museum will have to be pulled down, but not before all the treasure it holds were removed for safe keeping.

Volunteers formed a human chain to retrieve the items and stored them in their new home, a cargo shipping container.

Ashleigh Rule, the granddaughter of museum curator Topsey Rule, was on hand to help out today.

"This is important to a community. These are items you can't replace, they are a cornerstone to the history of the place," Rule said.

Rule describes her grandmother as the 'Queen of Sumner' and says it was her "job" to collect the gear over the years.

Old mayoral chains were among the items salvaged. Rule said they were battered, but so was "everyone else in Christchurch at the moment".

An 11 tonne steel pipe, similar to the one used by Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams working in the Cathedral, helped to keep people safe from any falling bricks.

USAR member Richard Hobbs said his team were happy to help with the project, finding it a pleasant contrast to the work they have been doing for the past two weeks.

"Over the first 36 to 48 hours these guys have dealt with more trauma than they would ever imagine to see in their entire Fire Service career, so to do something like this where people are happy to see you here, you get a good result, it really does send them home with a good feeling," he said.

Boxes full of goods were able to be saved in the operation. It is hoped they can be displayed again for future Sumner generations.

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