Museum Circle event highlights 2012 highlights Conservation, Restoration and Library tours Several Circle Members joined Bruce Ralston for a tour of the Museum Library, which included time spent behind the scenes. Members were able to view documents purchased, with Circle support, from the Pycroft collection and they were also able to see the work going into a major photo scanning project. This initiative, which will scan 20,000 archival photos, will make the Auckland Museum's photo collection one of the largest online collections in New Zealand. Storage of old newspaper and documents was discussed and Members were able to see posters and billboards from the early 20th Century which are stored in deep trays at the rear of the Library. High Tea on Level Three Our second High Tea saw 280 Circle Members and guests enjoy a delicious High Tea in the Museum's Events Centre. A string quartet provided background music and the Auckland Museum's Director, Roy Clare, introduced the afternoon. The MC for the event was Circle Executive, Tim Hannah. Our guest speaker, celebrated New Zealand playwright, Roger Hall, delivered a wonderfully interesting talk on his entertaining career. On display were items acquired for the Auckland Museum through the generous giving of Members of the Museum Circle. These included papers and books from The Pycroft Collection, photographs of our late Patron, Sir Edmund Hillary with his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay and the Marsden mere. Tour of the Art Store Circle Members were given the opportunity to visit the Museum's Art store with Shaun Higgins from the Museum's Collections and Research department. There were some very interesting works of art in the Museum's collection like Simpson and his donkey Murphy pictured. 2011 highlights The Inaugural High Tea on Level Three Over 200 Museum Circle Members and guests enjoyed a delicious High Tea in the Museum's Events Centre. A string trio provided background music and Lyndy Sainsbury (former Museum Circle Chair) delivered a wonderfully interesting talk on the huge building and renovation programme that was very much the vision of past Director Dr Rodney Wilson. On display was the stunning Samoan Wedding Ensemble purchased as the Circle's acquisitions gift for 2010. Aqua Members enjoyed a cocktail evening held in the Museum's majestic Grand Foyer followed by a private viewing of this wondrous AQUA exhibition. AQUA was a highly engaging and interactive, multisensory experience inviting our guests to explore water - our planet's most precious resource. Conservation and restoration tours We were given the opportunity to visit the Conservation and Restoration department at the Museum. Members were intrigued by a talk given by Heike Winkelbaur from the Collections team on how restoration work is carried out behind the scenes. Following the presentation light refreshments were served in the Members' Lounge. 2010 highlights Upstairs and downstairs at the Museum This was an exclusive opportunity for Members and their guests to enjoy a combined preview of the exhibition, Kai to Pie, upstairs before it was officially opened to the public. This was followed by a tour by Laura Vodanovich of some of the archived goodies stored downstairs in the basement. It was a unique opportunity to see part of the vast collections in storage. Hillary Lecture: The Best Man for the Job This was an informative insight into the personalities contending for the job of the Auckland Supercity Mayor. John Hudson was the MC for the evening with Simon Prast, Andrew Williams, Len Brown, John Banks, Colin Craig and Vanessa Neeson all delivering speeches on why they were the best man for the job. Contenders were also asked questions from the audience which made for an entertaining evening. 2009 highlights Hillary Lecture: New Challenges in an Uncertain World Sir Donald MKinnon, speaker for the 2009 Hillary Lecture looked at some of the outstanding characteristics that Sir Edmund Hillary brought to bear on his life's work and how we could apply lessons from his life and achievements to the challenges facing New Zealand today. Sir Donald, who boasts a distinguished career in diplomacy and international government, has recently been appointed as Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in recognition of his outstanding service as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. This followed a 21-year career in New Zealand politics. An African Adventure In May 2009 the Museum Circle took an 18 day luxury fly-in Safari taking in the best that Southern Africa has to offer. A visit to Cape Town where rugged coastlines meet towering mountains creating breathtaking views at every turn. We stood on top of the highest sand dunes in the sheltering deserts of the Namib, glided through the crystal clear channels of the Okavango Delta spotting abundant wildlife and birdlife along the way and thrilled to close wildlife encounters in Chobe National Park. We experienced the majestic power of the Victoria Falls, one of the natural Wonders of the World. We stayed at intimate private reserves set in the heart of the bush where wildlife abounds, without compromising comfort as time-honoured luxuries are still offered and the standards of Africa of Old are upheld. This was a world-class experience with exceptional accommodation in Africa's most beautiful wilderness locations. Lunch with a ghost and a phantom or two The Museum Circle in association with the British New Zealand Trade Council, and supported by the British Consulate-General and Independent Prestige-Bentley Auckland, enjoyed an exclusive luncheon. It was held at Meadowbrook, the home of the Richard Langridge Collection of over 30 fabulous vintage and modern Rolls-Royce (including the famous Silver Ghost and Phantom Series) and Bentley motorcars together with other rare marques. It was a day at a glorious country estate complete with delicious cuisine, live music and plenty of fun. Photo: Chris Devereaux and Chuck Sisodia with an Mk IV Bentley in the background. Gannet Colony Tour and Garden Luncheon at Muriwai Our first event for the year was a visit to Muriwai Regional Park to view the fascinating gannets and their chicks in their natural habitat. Auckland Museum ornithologist Brian Gill presented an informative and entertaining guided tour of the colony. This was followed by a relaxing luncheon in the beautiful gardens at Nurse Hill Farm. 2008 highlights The Hillary Lecture Cape to Cairo, Then and Now, presented by George Cunningham, Charge d'Affaires of the European Commission Delegation to New Zealand. George described his epic 27 month journey walking the length of Africa including how the experience had shaped his future as a diplomat. Opera Cabaret Following on the success of the previous year's - Opera Soirée - the Museum Circle hosted an evening of Opera and Broadway showstoppers. This was performed by Auckland's Opera Factory Quartet to a sell-out audience. Patron's Lunch The support of our Patron members was recognised in a very special visit to and lunch at Fossil Cove, a superb Waiheke home which showcases a fine collection of Pacific and Polynesian artifacts. The Guest of Honour was Museum Director, Dr Vanda Vitali. Hotspots Dr Michael Tobias the writer/ director of this film introduced us to areas of our planet which are populated by unique plant, animal and insect species at risk of going extinct and what is needed to negotiate a sustainable future for this life. Some New Zealand locations were featured. AGM and End of Year function We ended the year with an enjoyable and memorable evening which included a special viewing of Between the memory and the silence Falls the Shadow, a ceramic installation by Helen Pollock. The installation was created to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. 2007 highlights China Tour 2007 This was a repeat of the Museum Circle China tour of 2005, organised by Joshua nd Francis Xu in collaboration with Webb's Galleries. The Museum Circle Foundation farewells Dr TL Rodney Wilson On Friday 17 August 2007 Museum Circle members gathered at Auckland Museum for a Black and White celebratory dinner to farewell Dr. T. L. Rodney Wilson CMNZ, after 13 years as Director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.