New treasures for Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum

The Shell Museum in Jeffreys Bay was shown some sisterly love by its neighbour, Bayworld’s Port Elizabeth Museum, with a donation of shells weighing almost 40kg.

The official handover happened last week at the Shell Museum Complex in Jeffreys Bay.

The process was initiated in May by Petro Meyer, the Treasurer of the Humansdorp Museum Association (HMA), under which the Shell Museum falls. She had visited the PE Museum’s Cinderella store – where shell collections of different kinds are stored – to take a view.

She discovered many specimens among the large mixed collection which she believed would add value to what the Shell Museum had on display.

On return to the store, Meyer brought along fellow committee member and expert Philip Steenkamp, who helped with the selection of the varied and unusual specimens. He said the shells would expand the aesthetic, educational and interest value for locals, learners and tourists to the Shell Museum.

On 15 August, the manager of the PE Museum, Luvuyo Mini, agreed that the selection, weighing 38,9kg, could be donated to the Shell Museum.

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Speaking at the official handover, PE Museum Collections Manager Gill Watson said they recognised that the shells would be optimally used by the Shell Museum rather than being boxed and locked in a storeroom.

“We believe the shells will be well used by the Shell Museum, which specialises in the display and appreciation of the large number of species, colour variety, size range and marine importance of shells for the education and promotion to all visitors about the diverse natural marine heritage of the Eastern Cape,” she said.

Watson added that this kind of support also helped to build relations between the Eastern Cape Museums and indicates a willingness to combine expertise and resources for the benefit of all.

Kouga Tourism and Creative Industries Portfolio Councillor Frances Baxter thanked the PE Museum for the gesture and paid tribute to the members of HMA, in particular Meyer, for leading the initiative.

“I am forever enticed and excited by programmes that seek to preserve our natural heritage for current and future generations to appreciate the beauty that nature has provided,” said Baxter.

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