It’s museum time! But this is a museum with a difference.
I’ve been to a few museums which are a little bit different than the most famous ones like the Louvre. Places like the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Robert Louis Stevensen Museum in Samoa.
All of these are inside a building with carefully curated collectables and all sorts of stuff. But I really like one that I visited in the Solomon Islands.
It’s called the Peter Joseph Museum, and it’s located near the town of Munda.
It’s run by this really awesome bloke – Alphy Barney Paulson, otherwise known as ‘Barney’.
He probably looks after one of the best World War 2 Museums I’ve ever seen!
The reason I like it is because it’s a collection of Japanese and American military artefacts that he has found by himself just by pottering around the land near his house.
It’s like his ‘private collection’ which he stores underneath a big shed.
The reason he called it the Peter Joseph Museum was because the very first World War 2 dog tags he found in the field belonged to a ‘Peter Joseph Palatini’.
And the rest they say, is history. Here is that very dog tag he found.
But have a look at all of the other stuff he has managed to find! Wow!
There’s all sorts of stuff here, from both the Japanese and American campaigns. Things like anti aircraft guns, bombs, grenades, helmets, jerry cans, water bottles, and even money and medals!
And it’s painstakingly kept tidy and all in once place underneath this wooden enclosure!
I really like this museum – it’s completely unpretentious and it’s a testament to Barney’s passion and commitment to recovering the fragments from the past!
I was also lucky enough to have a chat with Barney!
Check out my interview with Alphy at the Best World War 2 Museum Ever!
Here it is. And believe it or not, Peter Joseph, the man and dog tag who the museum is named after, is still alive at the age of 96! (at the time of writing in November 2017).
You can’t handle grenades like this in a museum in the Nanny State! Barney assured me that all of these were disarmed. I trusted him because this grenade, and the rest of the ones I held, didn’t go off!
See, I completed trusted Barney! I decided to take on more than one grenade! So if you’re ever in the Munda area of the Solomon Islands, definitely go and visit Barney and the Peter Joseph Museum for a unique insight into World War 2 history!
It’s not far from the Agnes Gateway Hotel, where I stayed.
See more at the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau.