The museum is named after the first Catholic bishop, who came to Russell, NZ in 1840. At the house which is now the museum, the priests printed books in the Maori language. As I understand it, until then the Maori did not have a written language, and the French priests worked with Maori leaders putting their oral language into writing. So Father Pompalier had a very significant impact on the Maori people.
We shared our guided tour with a student group, and the expert guide was outstanding in engaging the students, allowing them to hold and use items which were part of the many stages of turning animal hides into book covers, printing, gluing, stitching and binding the pages.
Many people visit Paihia and take the ferry to Russell, or stop in Russell after a cruise to the Hole in the Rock, as we did. It is definitely worth a visit to Pompalier House for anyone interested in history.
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