Three people have been singled out for their years of service to the Moncur Gallery in Boissevain.
The Moncur Gallery opened in 1986, consisting primarily of artifacts from the private collection of Bill Moncur. This collection took a lifetime to gather and shows the great esteem that Bill had for the history of his hometown and the area. Today’s exhibit titled “The Peoples of the Plains” also displays artifacts that have been donated by other amateur archaeologists, which has aided in the enrichment and expansion of Bill’s original collection.
Through these combined efforts, the Moncur Gallery presents an image of the transition of life in the Turtle Mountain area over 10,000 years.
Phyllis Hallett and Shannon Moncur have been part of the board since the beginning. Those board members along with Perry Hallett were recognized for their efforts with the erection of a plague at the entrance of the Gallery located at the Wildlife Museum near Tommy Turtle.
Phyllis Hallett has enjoyed her decades of service. “I was working at the Boissevain Library back in the early 1980’s when the Moncur Gallery opened, and part of our job description was to welcome visitors and take them to the basement where the gallery was located.”
“I was able to talk with Bill Moncur when he was still alive and learn about and appreciate the collection. From there I started doing tours and went from there and it has worked out.”
The Moncur Gallery made a move to the Wildlife Museum in 2014 and it’s a move that has really exposed the museum artifacts to more people.
“It was a difficult move going from the basement to this location, but it has been a good move because it’s more visible and there’s more traffic. Most of the artifacts are from Bill Moncur’s collection and they’re from the Dakota Sioux who were in this area many years ago. There are many, many projectile points some date back 12,000 years ago. We also have ceremonial items and other objects unique to the gallery,” said Phyllis Hallett.
Education is the primary goal of the Gallery therefore, both guided and interactive audio tours are available.
“We didn’t do this for recognition we did it because it needed to be done.”
Perry Hallett is married to Phyllis and played a major role in getting the gallery move to its present-day location. “We did have movers, but Perry was able to take the displays apart and get them put back together which proved difficult for some of the displays.”
After 40 years with the Moncur Gallery Phyllis Hallett plans to step back to make room for someone with more energy and a better grasp of technology.
“It’s time to pass it along to someone else who can make it more user friendly than it is now.