Sunday, September 11, 2016

Janet Frame Eden Street Trust - Janet Frame Eden Street Trust

It is a pleasure to report on the 11th year’s operation of 56 Eden Street where the mission is to celebrate Janet Frame, protect her childhood home and promote the appreciation of Literature.
New Board Appointment
Conscious of the need to ensure succession, the Trust is delighted to welcome new board member Chloe Searle. Chloe has a master’s degree in museum and heritage and is thus well placed to advise us on displays… both with updating our web-site and in the real world where we follow the philosophy of endeavouring to create as authentic a re-creation of the Frame household in the 1930s as we can.

In October, our Northern-most board member Roger Hall was honoured by the Prime Minister’s award for literary achievement. The Trust congratulates Roger for his achievement and thanks him for continuing to support the Janet Frame Eden Street Trust.
Tour Season
The house opened daily from 2-4pm from 1st November 2015-30th April 2016 under the supervision of Lynley Caldwell and 40 loyal volunteers who are called on so that Sundays can be days of rest for our curator/host.
Lynley reports that the number of visitors remains at a steady 400 (or so) visitors per season. Sometimes the Trust is called on to facilitate visits from overseas groups, such as the party of students and lecturers from Franklin University in Switzerland in May. Tour guide Helen Stead showed the group around sites in Oamaru which are referenced in Frame’s writing.

The Trust notes with pleasure that Dunedin’s designation as a Unesco “City of Literature” has started to result in an increased international awareness of such cultural landmarks as 56 Eden Street , particularly as such properties as Charles Brasch’s home in Dunedin could not be acquired. It is difficult to make a case for maintaining such acquisitions and it is thanks to the contributions made by our Friends, Volunteers and Funders that our operation succeeds.
Literary Events
Anna Smaill, whose novel “The Chimes” was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015, delivered a public lecture on “Janet Frame and Dystopia”. The venue was packed out and we record our appreciation to the Oamaru Library staff for their continuing support for co-hosting such events.

Anna also led a creative writing workshop which enabled participants from our community to explore new challenges in their own writing.

An interesting new event for the Trust in November was to participate in the Oamaru Showcase of books which was a treat for booklovers from all around the country.

House Maintenance
Thanks to the capital fund which was set up last year as a way of marking our 10th year of operation, the work on replacing badly rotted window frames has continued.

Grants to fund the operational costs of running the Trust have been made by the Otago Community Trust and the Lion Foundation. Such grants are the lifeblood of community projects such as ours and we record our gratitude for these donations

In addition, the Waitaki District Creative Communities Scheme helps to fund the events which we organise, enabling us to bring NZ’s brightest and best writers to Oamaru to share their ideas.

Gifts this year to our Trust have been both valuable and intriguing:
Bruce and Joyce Comfort donated several items from their extensive private collection of “Depression Glass” (so called because it was made cheaply in the USA and sold to NZ householders in the mid to late 1930s). We are not ever going to turn 56 Eden Street into a museum with “Please Do Not Touch” signs everywhere but such items with their authentic character really enhance the house.

Ralph Sherwood has continued to give his artistic talents to the Trust with his brilliant posters and scrapbook lay-outs.
Jeanette Adams from Wellington has donated her skill and time to the Trust by auditing our financial reports from Crowe Horwath.

Crowe Horwath have donated a considerable slice of their local Chief, Gordon Scott’s time to our operation which means we are most carefully checked on all financial fronts as a Charitable Trust is obliged to be.
Pamela Gordon has donated several copies of Frame’s books which are available to visitors to browse through when exploring the house

I thank the Friends of the Janet Frame House, whose encouragement and financial support continue to be invaluable to the Trust.
I also thank my fellow trustees (Alison Albiston, Roger Hall, Karen Ross, Gordon Scott and Chloe Searle) for their ideas and their hard work and I record the Trust’s gratitude for the support given by our advisors, Bill and Peggy Tramosch, Owen Jones and Pamela Gordon.

 Carol Berry
Chair, Janet Frame Eden Street Trust

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