Lloyd and Joan Whittaker were a renowned and beloved couple whose legacy lives on at the local musical museum. Phillipa Karn Photography

The Whittaker family have reacted with shock and concern after learning through social media that Whittakers’ Musical Museum’s name had been changed.

“It was agreed that the name would remain Whittaker’s. I feel like my grandparents’ memory is being disrespected – when they were so highly respected in the Waiheke community,” says  grand-daughter Kirstin Whenan (nee Whittaker). Learning of the change through a Facebook post had been a “complete shock” to the family, she said.

The board of the museum’s charitable trust voted unanimously to change the name from Whittaker’s Musical Museum to the trust’s legal name, The Waiheke Musical Museum, at a meeting on 23 January, says Waiheke Musical Museum Charitable Trust chair Ann Kinghorn. She says she was not aware of a promise to retain the Whittakers’ name that Joan and Lloyd’s daughter Maree Standen says was made to her parents, who founded the museum. The trust is committed to honouring the Whittakers’ memory and meant no disrespect, says Ann.

The museum was first established on Waiheke by Lloyd and Joan in 1996. The Waiheke couple were well-respected and beloved members of the local community due to their unique musical instrument donations and their passion for spreading musical knowledge to museum visitors.

In 2020 the Whittakers were honoured with a membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit for “services to heritage preservation and music education”. • silva Massa

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… out Now!!!

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