Sunday, 10 September 2017

Pompallier Mission Visit

Pompallier Mission Visit

On Wednesday 23 August 2017, the year 7 and 8’s of Glenbrae School set off to Pompallier Mission to learn more about this historical place as part of the Glenbrae School Camp!

We arrived at the Pompallier House and first saw the entrance, which looked quite vintage with restoration from a length of distance. The groups walked in ease and slight tiredness towards the inside of the house, which was the printer room. In that room lays the printer that was originally made by the resident, Bishop Pompallier and his French allies. In the printer room, the printer is there as well as a donation that was given by French missionaries, the Mary and Baby Jesus statue. I was given the opportunity to actually use one of the objects that Bishop Pompallier and his allies used, which was a concrete/sand mixer that was used to help the complete majority of the walls for the house!

From what I could see the printer requires led and I was told that led in the olden days was very valuable and used to create stink bombs! Obviously, that means Bishop had to have a hidden compartment for the led or some place to hide this precious item, well there was actually a hidden compartment or should I say open wall and from the looks of it, led was probably the hardest object they would've had to hide. The printer room is very fragile and delicate so we weren't allowed to touch anything or objects unless we were instructed to.

We moved on from the printer and went to the tannery, which is where the leather parts were made. We walked around the building until we all paused and smelt that rancid smell. I walked directly towards the smell following our tour guide in a disgusted awe and saw many sheepskins and some racks with brown leather and also a mysterious barrel! Our tour guide told our groups some information about a tannery and what the process consists of. In a tannery, sheepskin is made into leather by soaking the skin, after it has been cleaned and all the fat is removed, in urine, yes urine, for a few weeks then pulled out and placed into a bark and water mixture. I was so surprised when I saw some sheepskins in the actual barrel and in the bark and water mixture. My group and I moved onto the next open box that had some skin that was ready to come out and dry up, to be moved in the Gym known as the Leather Working Room.

I continued to waltz (not literally) and entered the “gym” which was the Leather Room! Our tour guide mentored the students around the room and showed us the different types of materials or tools they used to re-size the leather and design it into their desired size. I touched and lifted one of the objects that were there and noticed a little bit of burden, but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my desires, which was to stroke the leather with the wooden leather press block.

Our second to last stop was the book making room, which was an average travel, up to a long line of stairs! When we arrived I looked around the room and saw a lot of paper, which did look very vintage and also a machine that looked very antique but in good condition. Our tour guide told our students how the olden day people created book. I for example, well the majority of us, had the amazing opportunity to touch the books that were made and also look at the process. I learned some facts about those books, for example, all books that were made were all in the Maori Language. We all moved on and continued to learn about the books!

The last and final stop of the day was the adventure room, which was another learning room, but it was amusing! The room had a similar and more vintage look to an arcade look and had flashlights or things from the past that was used inside the box followed by a small information card that provided a little background story!

Overall that day was amazing and amusing! I learned a lot and definitely would want to go back to the Pompallier Mission House!


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