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Treasure Hunting at Dove Hospice

An interview with Terry, Glen Innes Dove Hospice Retail Assistant

You may all be familiar with the quote; ‘One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure’. Well here at Dove Hospice, we sell preloved goods for our cause …and among them are items that may be worthless or indeed valued by someone else.

From a pair of socks to a pair World War 1 binoculars, the items that are donated to Dove Hospice are respectfully honoured. How do we do this you ask?  We ensure that every item donated is sorted and appropriately redirected to one of our 8 sales outlets, ensuring that it is placed in a location where we hope it will achieve its market worth and also the new owner who will love and cherish this item.

One of our staff members Terry, a long time employee at our Dove Hospice Glen Innes shop on Apirana Avenue, is dedicated to supporting our local community and repeat and regular customers in their hunt for treasures.

We thought you might be interested in hearing from Terry as to what sort of things he has found at Dove Hospice over the ten years in which he has been working for the Dove Hospice organisation since moving here from England. Who is keen?  We hope you enjoy this quick Q&A with Terry…

Q. The Dove Hospice stores receive a broad range of product to resell on a daily basis at the Glen Innes shop.  What are the product areas that you are personally responsible for researching and pricing?

I first started researching furniture when I started working at Dove Hospice all those years ago. This developed to more specialty items like cameras, electronics, vintage items, toys and musical instruments.

Q. When you are assessing items, how do you know they are of value and quality?

I have a gut feeling.  I can tell straight away if something is special.  We have product that arrives to me in great condition, beautiful items that you can see have been loved and cared for throughout it’s life before it arrived to Dove Hospice.  In contrast to this I can receive a box of items that have some or even a lot of wear… but can be exactly what someone is looking for and they will buy them like this too.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!, and this is often one of the exciting parts of the job, meeting the buyers who are so excited to be finding these treasures.

Terry often receives items that may need a bit of love and attention, so to give them their best presentation to sell them in store he will give them a bit of love and attention that he can see they would benefit from.  Perhaps a polish… or a tightening of a screw… they are then ready to go into the shop.

Q. What are some of the most interesting items you have had to research over the years?

A camera which was made in 1906, some WW2 German binoculars, a vintage wooden ice fridge from the 1900’s and a pair of military stretchers… the sort of thing you would see in the old tv series MASH*

Q. Tell us a story about a memorable item that has been given to you to research?

I am known as ‘Mr Research’ here at Api (our nickname for the Glen Innes shop, being located on Apiriana Ave).  When the shop is not busy, I take a moment to do some research for the latest items that have been sent to me.  I research the item for age, history, quality and to get an estimate price for resale.  I have contacted people all over the world to ask about items, because it is part of my duty to the donor to ensure that we honour our donations and raise as much funds as we can for our cause of supporting people with a life threatening illness.

My most memorable story that I can tell you is of the binoculars I found about three years ago.  A box came to me from our distribution centre.  The team at the DC are amazing in finding items to send me.  In this instance the box was filled with all sorts of items.  A few retro vintage metal toys, some speakers and among these items was a pair of binoculars.  

As soon as I picked up and started looking at these binoculars I thought, hang on a minute.  These were very old and there was an inscription on them.  On further research I found this item to have belonged to a New Zealand soldier who had been at the Gallipoli landings in WW1. When I looked down the lens of the binoculars, it gave me a shiver at the thought of what these binoculars had seen.

Read more about this donation to the Auckland Museum in this article

I straight away felt that the best place for such a historic item would be in the Auckland Museum, and with the approval of our management I contacted the Auckland Museum team who were very excited at the opportunity to be able to display such an item. On further research by the Auckland Museum staff, it was realised that the soldier that these binoculars belonged to had donated some other military items to the Auckland Museum in the 1930’s.  Here we were 90 years later and these binoculars turned up at the Dove Hospice distribution centre and found their way to be reunited with the other items on display already at the Auckland Museum.

This research and discovery has given me the most satisfaction at my time here at Dove Hospice.

Terry has been a pivotal member of staff here at Dove Hospice, and with the help from the distribution centre staff and with the research he has put into items over the years he would have helped to raise thousands of dollars for the Dove Hospice cause, which he is very proud of.  And should be!!!!  

Q. So Terry, you have been working at Dove Hospice for a while now.  What do you enjoy about working at Dove Hospice?

I enjoy making money for a good cause.  I also enjoy the satisfaction of the relationships formed with our local community and regular shoppers.  At times, when my role as Retail Assistant allows it, I look out for items for regular and new inquiring customers.  From barbie dolls, to high fi’s, I get great pleasure out of finding treasures for people.  Seeing their faces when they find their favourite item they have been looking for.  

I also can’t stress enough how amazing the team is at the Dove Hospice distribution centre. We are a great team!

Although Terry does miss a good corn beef and pickle sandwich from his home town in England, he is very happy here in New Zealand and especially to be helping to raise funds for the work that Dove Hospice does.  This is one of his biggest passions.

If you have some special items that you would like to donate to Dove Hospice that you think Terry might like to research and sell in the Api shop to raise funds for Dove Hospice drop us a line at .

Otherwise, pop into our Api shop … ask for Terry and see what he might be able to find for you.  He wanted to add… he does not work on Sundays or Mondays… he will be relaxing on these days with this family.

…and please come and visit our Dove Hospice webstore during lockdowns for your essentials. We really appreciate your support!

Stay Safe. Stay Well.

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Date: 23/04/2024

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Date: 23/04/2024

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