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Donate to Auckland Museum

Make a Bequest

Leave your mark

Leaving a gift to the Auckland War Memorial Museum in your will, no matter what size, is a wonderful way to show your support. The most useful bequest is an unrestricted gift for the general purposes of the Museum. This permits your gift to be used wherever it is most needed at the time. Or, you may wish to direct your gift towards an area of interest at Auckland Museum closest to your heart:

• Auckland's War Memorial
• heritage building and collections
• community engagement
• innovation, learning and research
• world class digital museum experiences
• leadership and collaboration.

The Māori dimension (He Korahi Māori) and Pacific dimension (Teu Le Vā) of the Museum are interwoven across all the areas of interest.

Today we invite you to follow in Ray Shannon’s footsteps, and join others by remembering the Auckland Museum as you plan for your future.

R. T. Shannon Bequest, 2009

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

The Ray Shannon Butterfly Collection

Ray Shannon was a war veteran and collector with a passion for exotic butterflies. He generously donated his entire collection and funds to Auckland Museum in 2008. Ray started collecting butterflies while stationed in the Solomon Islands during the Second World War, and built his collection to 13,000 specimens - mostly from Australasia, South East Asia, and South America.

Ray Shannon graduation.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

John Early, Curator Entomology at the Museum, first met Ray in the 1990s and now manages this astonishingly beautiful collection. The income from Ray Shannon’s estate allowed the specimens to be scientifically classified and properly stored by collection technician Rosemary Gilbert.

The Museum is now home to a stunning display of exquisitely-coloured butterflies which is also an invaluable resource for identifying protected species. One particular specimen, papilio sinoprinceps benguetana, is on the CITES list (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which controls the importation of butterflies that are in danger of becoming extinct. When contacted by border control, Rosemary can check the sample against the collection to see if the butterfly in question is an endangered species.

The generosity of Ray Shannon is threefold in that he gifted his beautiful collection for future generations to enjoy, provided funding to ensure the collection is appropriately stored and classified and enabled a reference source for a worldwide audience.

We would love to hear from you

Codicil Form.pdf

Bequest Form.pdf

If you would like a copy of the Museum's bequest programme brochure contact The Auckland Museum Foundation, either by emailing or calling +64 21 945 938. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. All discussions are in strict confidence.

The Auckland Museum Foundation is a registered charitable trust, registration number CC21147.

Please note that The Auckland Museum Foundation is a charitable organisation and does not provide any legal or tax advice. Please contact your legal or tax professional if you have any questions.