New rugby ex­hi­bi­tion opens space

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

The Ash­bur­ton Mu­seum’s new­est ex­hi­bi­tion space, the Kate and Hank Mur­ney Room, has opened.

The first ex­hi­bi­tion, which opened on Sat­ur­day, is Balls, Bul­lets and Boots: From Rugby Field to Bat­tle­field and Back, an in­ter­ac­tive ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plor­ing the legacy of World War One, as seen through the eyes of 15 New Zealand rugby play­ers and one woman coach.

Mu­seum di­rec­tor Tanya Robin­son said the tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion was an ex­cit­ing ad­di­tion to the mu­seum, par­tic­u­larly for rugby en­thu­si­asts.

‘‘Fifty All Blacks went away to WW1 and 13 died. No fewer than 728 pro­vin­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives served, 163 died and by late 1915 – be­fore con­scrip­tion – it was es­ti­mated that 10,000 ac­tive rugby club play­ers from through­out New Zealand had vol­un­teered for ser­vice.

‘‘This year marks the cen­te­nary of a num­ber of WW1 bat­tles, and while we may know the sto­ries of those ter­ri­ble con­flicts, there is some­thing very spe­cial about putting the faces and per­sonal sto­ries to those ex­pe­ri­ences.’’

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs through un­til Novem­ber 12.

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