20 September 2019
NPDC’s Puke Ariki has brought nearly 100 years of All Blacks history together as the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan this weekend.
All Blacks jerseys belonging to father and son Handley and Ross Brown and current star Beauden Barrett are on display in the Museum’s foyer as the All Blacks prepare to defend the Webb Ellis Cup.
The Museum was gifted an All Blacks jersey belonging to legend Handley Brown earlier this year from his famous ‘Invincibles’ tour of 1924-25 and will display this alongside a jersey from Ross from 1956 and a 2018 jersey from local legend Barrett.
The display will also feature a clip from the All Blacks’ ‘Invincibles’ tour of the UK, Ireland, France and Canada when the team won all of their 32 games.
Museum Manager Colleen Mullen says Puke Ariki was proud to be able to display the jerseys from three generations of Taranaki-born rugby legends.
“We’re expecting this to be a big hit with All Blacks fans during the World Cup,” she says. “The donation was perfect timing with the tournament in Japan this year. It’s also great timing as we celebrate 100 years of museums in Taranaki.”
Handley’s jersey was donated by Ross Brown’s widow, Vivienne Brown, in April after she talked with the Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre about preserving it for future generations. “My family and I wanted the jersey to remain here in Taranaki. Handley was born here and it is only right that his jersey from the tour remains in the place he called home,” says Mrs Brown.
- Handley Brown wore the All Blacks rugby Jersey worn during the 1924 – 25 tour of the UK, Ireland, France and Canada.
- They won all of their 32 games earning their nickname “The Invincibles”.
- Handley Brown was one of the youngest players on the tour at aged 19.
- Handley Brown played 20 times for the All Blacks between 1924 and 1926.
- He also played 49 times for Taranaki between 1923 and 1930.
- Ross is the son of Handley Brown.
- Nicknamed Pascoe, he played his first All Blacks test match in 1955, aged 20.
- He continued being a regular choice for the All Blacks into the 1960s, playing 25 matches in total.
- He played all four All Blacks test matches in their historic 1956 series win over the Springboks
- Pascoe helped Taranaki win and defend the Ranfurly Shield from 1957-59 and then captained the team to again defend the Shield from 1963-65.
- Beauden made his first All Blacks cap in 2012.
- He is already one of the All Blacks top points scorers and won World Rugby Player of the Year in both 2016 and 2017.
- He was part of the All Blacks team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
- Beauden first made the Taranaki team in 2010, aged 19, and signed with the Hurricanes in 2011
- He helped Taranaki win the Ranfurly Shield in 2011, and the Hurricanes win their first Super Rugby title in 2016.
Puke Ariki fact file
- Puke Ariki first opened on 15 June 2003.
- The total number of visitors to Puke Ariki and district libraries in the 2017/18 year was 801,703
- In that same period, Puke Ariki and community libraries issued 779,908 items.
- It is the world’s first purpose-built, fully integrated museum, library and visitor information centre.
- Puke Ariki has three long-term galleries (Takapou Whāriki, Taranaki Naturally and the Gallery of Taranaki Life) and components of these get changed out regularly.
- The temporary exhibition space shows touring exhibitions that are either curated in-house or brought in from other museums.
- Te Pua Wānanga O Taranaki/Taranaki Research Centre is also housed at the site.