June Goodwin (b.1931) was born in Pigeon Bay on Banks Peninsula and grew up there. After marrying her neighbour Donald Hay in 1952, the couple continued to live and farm in the Bay where they raised their own family.
June’s mother Beatrice was a home dressmaker, and June followed her mother’s example making her own clothes, or altering bought or gifted items.
Since June lived in a large farmhouse, she always had plenty of storage space and, as a result, retained many of the clothes from her adult life. This legacy of clothing, along with June’s fashion sense, gained local renown long before 2009, when June gave her clothing collection to Akaroa Museum.
Just short of 180 items, the June Hay Clothing Collection has been described as an “autobiography in outfits”. It spans from when June was an unmarried woman in her late teens, through her life as a wife and mother.
Along with underwear, shoes and accessories such as hats and handbags, the collection includes dressmaker’s patterns, one of her sewing machines, and other sewing equipment.
The June Hay Collection offers an insight into shopping, how fashion was absorbed into daily life in a rural community, how the household budget was stretched by making, mending and altering, and how June’s clothing choices changed with her age and roles.