DEATH OF KATE COHEN .........1972     
                                                                                              By  Elliot Dawson

With the death of Miss Kate Cohen recently, a chapter in the history of Reefton has closed and an era of the business community of the town has ended.

Miss Cohen’s many friends with their fond memories of her, extend well beyond the Inangahua County, even beyond the West Coast, and all who knew her will recall with affection the part she has played in their lives and in the life of the district.

Miss Cohen, who was in her 86th year, had been a well-known and well-loved figure in her book and stationery shop in Broadway for many years-( further back than many residents can recall!) She had become so much a part of the Reefton way of life, that the name of Miss Cohen was almost that of the town itself.

She came from a Jewish family, her father, Israel Cohen, (later known as Charles),being born at the Portuguese Jews’ Hospital in Stepney, London, in 1841. He was the son of Moses and Rebecca Cohen, (nee Hyams), who had a tailor’s business, traditionally the trade of Jews in the East End. Charles Cohen came to the West Coast in 1861 as a member of Tom Fawcett’s Theatrical Company, and it was said of him that “he quickly took front rank in the histrionic art”From his experience he was later able to organise many social and theatrical activities in Reefton.  
After some years of mining on the Buller, Mr Cohen began a bookshop and newspaper agency in Reefton in the early 1870’s, delivering papers by himself many miles up to the mines working then.
It is this business that Miss Kate Cohen has carried on to make close on 100 years of commercial history, thought to be a record of its kind. Certainly the Christchurch Star and Gordon & Gotch Ltd, have honoured Miss Cohen as their longest established agent.
Miss Cohen’s father also played a prominent part in the social life of Reefton as a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Oddfellows, and was a J.P, a member of the Reefton Charitable Aid Board, and the District High School Committee. He was also  chairman of the hospital board for many years.    
     In 1905, he began a long illness, resulting in his death in 1914.  During this time, his wife Julia, (nee Dimant),carried on the shop with her son Percy, and two daughters, Myra and Kate.
On Mrs Cohen’s death in 1919, at the age of 62, Miss Kate Cohen managed the business        until the very day  of her death.

Miss Cohen had literally made hundreds of friends, and was always eager to hear news of those who had left Reefton. When they returned on holiday she would welcome them warmly. She had known generations of children who had come into the shop and had seen them grow up and bring their own children to her. She had a remarkably sound memory for details of those she had known and for the intricacies of her business life. Miss Cohen never
forgot a kindness extended to her. She was generous and thoughtful to her friends, and especially to the sick. During the1914-18 war, she was involved in Red Cross work, and she was always particularly concerned for those in hospital.

Reefton will be the poorer for her passing. A link has been severed with the earliest days. All who knew Kate Cohen throughout her many years will be proud to be numbered among the friends of this great little lady, who has enriched their own lives with her kindness generosity and love. All  were her friends and she was a friend to all.



The Honourable Roderick Nugget

	This nugget was found by Meessrs Scott and Short at ross on Sept. 11th. 1909.
It was raffled for Patriotic funds during the First World War and won by the late Percy Cohen of Reefton.

The Governent of the time puchased it, mounted it on greenstone and presented it as a Coronation gift from the people of New Zealand to the late King George V .