The legacy of Reuter Emerich Roth at the Australian Museum.
On 12 May 2015 Kim McKay, our Director and CEO, hosted a morning tea for Louise Minutillo and her husband Tom Reinhold. Louise is the great granddaughter of Reuter Emerich Roth who, among the many roles he played in Australian public life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was a trustee of the Australian Museum (1906-1921).
Louise is studying her family history, especially the life of her great grandfather. At the same time the Australian Museum is appraising his legacy in the context of the anniversary of WW1. For it turned out that Brigadier General Reuter Emerich Roth, AAMC, DSO, KCMG was the highest ranking officer among four trustees and five staff of the Australian Museum involved in the Great War.
But Roth was energetically active in numerous fields of community life, including public health, hygiene, physical activity, education, social wellbeing and promotion of science. Through his extensive travels he collected artefacts which in our Museum would inform the Australian public about other countries and the diversity of cultures especially in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Addressing her guests and a group of the Museum staff Kim outlined Roth’s achievements and the importance of human connections which make a history of our nation as much as a history of the Museum meaningful. Reuter Roth was a man of great progressive ideas and he actively put them into practice in the army and civilian life. And so, Louise, Kim and our staff remembered his legacy, recalled anecdotes, reflected on the past and projected ideas for the Museum’s future.