Exhibition to tell story of hero
To commemorate the centenary of WWI in 2014, The Kauri Mu-seum has been granted funding for a travelling exhibition of Matakohe’ s most famous soldier.
“The Man from Matakohe” will tell the story of Joseph Gordon Coates, P.C., M.C. (AND BAR) (1878-1943), statesman, administrator, and Prime Minister.
Opening at The Kauri Museum at Matakohe in October, the exhibition will run for two summers before travelling to Wellington.
The exhibition will be showing memorabilia from “Ruatuna”, the Coates’ home at Matakohe, on loan from the Historic Places Trust as well as from the museum’s own collection.
“Precious old film footage and radio interviews that show Coates as Prime Minister will make this exhibition very real,” says Kauri Museum CEO, Betty Nelley.
Professionally re-searched by Mary Stevens of Matakohe, “The Man from Matakohe” is the first travelling exhibition the museum has produced. It will cover Coates’ early years, home and family, community leadership, WWI soldiering, political career and his Prime Ministership, through to the legacy that he left when he died in office on May 27, 1943.
“The Museum is so grateful to ASB and Lotteries for funding this exhibition,” Betty Nelley says. “It is an important story that needs to be told and it is a big story to tell.
Joseph Gordon Coates was an amazing man.”