Friends of Falkland Islands Museum and Archives (FIMA) have donated £225,000 to the museum in recent months, to go towards the costs of building the new Lookout Gallery.
FIMA Chairman and former governor Colin Roberts explained this will enable the Museum to house and display some of its larger holdings, and more generally to expand. More news of this can be found in the FIMA newsletter which is circulating.
This has considerably reduced the funds available to FIMA Friends said Mr. Roberts but they have retained enough to continue their work of locating and purchasing items relevant to the history and heritage of the Falklands.
Museum Director Andrea Barlow said: “The support that the Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust has received from FIMA since its inception is highly valued and greatly appreciated by all staff and Trustees.
“The donation of £225,000.00 towards the Lookout Gallery and Exhibition Hall is simply mind blowing!
This significant donation means more than just having the ability to complete the project it also highlights the confidence and trust that FIMA has in the work that we, the FIMNT do. So on behalf of the team, thank you FIMA for your unwavering support.
A remarkable letter FIMA has also bought a remarkable letter at auction, complete with its stamped envelope, which describes the tensions and fears surrounding the risk of a German attack on Stanley in November 1914.
Written by the then Governor, William Allardyce, the typed letter to a friend in the UK reflects on the risks of a German attack, the spirited response to the threat by local people and the Governor’s sadness at the death of so many men at the Battle of Coronel, including Admiral Cradock, who had stayed with Governor Allardyce at Government House.
There are few other contemporaneous accounts of life in the Falklands and the challenges facing the territory as they faced the grave threat of attack by a powerful German naval squadron.
Hugh Osborne, who acted for the Friends at the auction, described the letter as, “A truly fascinating piece of Falkland history, reflecting the views, fears and defensive plans of the Governor at a time of great risk. It is quite extraordinary that it has survived.”