Museums director grateful for donation

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

As director of Cassidy Park Museums, Lorraine Bourn welcomes any charitable donation, whether large or small.

Bourn received a rather sizable donation Friday morning to go toward the Pioneer Museum to enrich its Heritage Craft School.

Local attorney and Friend of the Museums at Cassidy Park John Gallaspy presented Bourn with a $5,000 check from the Knight and Day Foundation, a charity established by Delos “Kip” Knight III and his wife, Peggy Day Knight. Knight was born in Bogalusa and currently lives in southern California and is the president of U.S. Retail Operations for H&R Block Inc.

During a recent trip home to Bogalusa, Knight told Gallaspy how he wanted to make a community contribution that would benefit all Bogalusa citizens.

The donation is made in honor and memory of his grandparents, Delos Knight Sr. and Ruth Vineyard Knight, and in honor of his parents, Delos Knight Jr. and Margaret Rucker Knight. The elder Knights operated Delos’ Market on Austin Street for many years and were well known in in social and business circles. Delos Jr. and Margaret were active in both radio and print media in the city until 1968 when Delos Jr. advanced to director of public relations for Crown Zellerbach Corp., which required them to relocate. Both Delos Jr. and Margaret are currently retired and live in Alpharetta, Ga.

Bourne said the contribution from the Knights will be well used.

“One of the things we’re doing right now is purchasing a kiln for the Heritage Craft School,” Bourn said. “(The kiln) runs over $3,000. We

are getting the appropriate tools for making pottery that will run us to $5,000 just to get the pottery department started.”

Bourn said the school has lessons in a number of crafts.

“The funds will go toward teaching pine needle basketry, crochet, knitting and papermaking. We’re anxious to get the pottery going again.”

Bourn said the museum’s pottery program was discontinued two years ago. She said a new teacher will handle the program.

“For Kip, the primary motive was not to seek recognition for himself, but to honor and commemorate his parents and grandparents,” Gallaspy said. “This is coming at a very opportune time.”

Bourn said there are many locals who desire to see the museums flourish.

“We have a lot of people around like John who like history and want to preserve it,” Bourn said. “We are a self-supporting organization. We have to raise our own operating funds. We do this by memberships, our cook-off fundraiser and donations.”

Bourn said the Pioneer and Native American museums at the park stay busy.

“We get over 5,000 visitors a year coming in,” Bourn said. “We’re only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., so that’s a lot of people.”

Bourn said the museums do open at other times for special groups like the Boy Scouts, church groups, home school groups and family reunions.

“We keep busy and try to run the museums like a real museum,” Bourn said. “We are an official museum.”