The Death of Mr Coker - Coker's Hotel, Christchurch, NZ 1894
I found this in the Manawatu Herald dated 6th Sept, 1894 via paperspast site, National Library of New Zealand.
A Remarkable Episode
The death of Mr Coker calls to mind a romantic episode in his career, and a still more romantic incident in the life of a young English squire who, for some months made Christchurch his home. The facts are stated to have been somewhat as follows:
A yound scion in one of the oldest families in England had made his way to New Zealand, and became stranded in this city. The late Mr Coker, with that keen insight into human character for which he was remarkable, and with that kindly feeling for which hundreds will revere his memory, befriended the young Englishman, set him on his feet, and aided him in returning to his ancestral home. Now comes one of the strangest parts of the story. There were three lives between this young fellow and the ?, and in a few months these were all sleeping with their fathers. One perished in a railway incident, one in a yachting fatality, and the other was killed in the hunting field.
The younger son then came into the estates, and one of the first things he did was to repay Mr Coker for his kindness, as far as the mere money was concerned: and added a warm invitation to his benefactor to come and see him in England. Mr Coker paid the visit when he went to England, and the young fellow devoted himself to his old friend in a way that stamped him as a thorough Englishman. He did more, taking Mr Coker into the old hall, he begged him to select from the trophies and old oak carvings there-in, something to place in the hall of Coker's Hotel in Christchurch. Mr Coker hesitated, objected, remonstrated: but all to no purpose. He made his selection, and the old oak carvings and other valuable relics stand today in the entrance hall of the hotel. Soon after Mr Coker's return, and when the glorious old trophies and carvings were placed in their new home, our late townsman was distressed to hear that the generous heart of the young Englishman had ceased to beat. He also had been killed in an accident. Verily, truth is stranger than fiction.