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Former Pemberton Museum curator wins award

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The former curator of the Pemberton and District Museum and Archives has won an award of merit from the British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA).

Florence Bilenduke, who has served the Pemberton Museum and surrounding communities full-time for 18 years, has received the award in recognition of her leadership of collections management practices at the site, as well as consistency in record-keeping.

Her work, says the BCMA, has ensured the “continuing legacy” of the museum, which began as a Centennial project by the Pemberton Women’s Institute in 1958.

Bilenduke played a big role in the development of a gift shop and hosted several events, managed administration for the society, trained summer students and completed grant writing for the society.

She was first asked in 1989 to take on the role by Margaret Fougberg, then curator for the society. Bilenduke had been working as a teacher and librarian within the community but decided to take on the role of curator — a voluntary, full-time position. Sixteen years after she started, she received her first paycheque for the job.

Bilenduke retired in January of 2008. As part of the award, she’ll receive a “Museums in Motion” sculpture by Kelowna-based sculptor Geert Maas. The sculpture is cast in bronze and shows a group of people in mid-stride, working together.

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