‘He loved sharing music and giving enjoyment… It was total dedication’
Moving tributes have been paid to music guardian and living museum creator Lloyd Whittaker, who died on Sunday aged 88.
Lloyd and wife Joan shared their world-class collection of working instruments with the public after establishing Whittakers Musical Museum in Oneroa, 25 years ago.
“I have just lost the love of my life, but I can only be happy for him,” said Joan, “as he is where he has wanted to be for some time and out of all suffering and pain. He has accomplished much and I praise the Lord for the wonderful life we have had over 68 years.
“We have always done everything together and have been so blessed. I will miss him greatly of course, but the Lord will help me through.”
Visitors to Whittakers Musical Museum could tickle the ivories of a Bechstein concert piano grand once owned by Ignacy Paderewski (the Lloyd-Weber of the 19th century) or play New Zealand’s oldest Steinway. Some of the instruments were brought to the country on sailing ships and dragged up-country on bullock carts, others were collected from second-hand shops, antique dealers and various old sheds located around the country.
Fittingly, Lloyd and Joan were both named Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, cited for services to heritage preservation and music education.