Coromandel - the town, the harbour and the peninsula - was named after HMS Coromandel, a British Royal Navy Ship that transported convicts to Australia in March 1820 and then sailed on to New Zealand to collect timber spars and undertake coastal survey work. A model of the HMS Coromandel is housed at the Coromandel School of Mines & Museum. Meanwhile, a working group, "Coromandel 200", has been established to help mark the commemoration. The group is made up of: Peter Pritchard, Val Macdonald, Wailin Elliot, Judy Bronlund, Bill & Glenys Chadderton, Diann Cade, Jan Autumn, Liz Cameron, Barbara Peddie, Daniel Smith, and Keith Stephenson. The group are currently were seeking expressions of interest from anyone who wants to create a commemorative piece to be sited at the Whangarahi Reserve to acknowledge the bicentennial. Whangarahi Reserve – Wharf Road Local Coromandel Town artist Rebekah Pearson has been selected to create an art piece which will be revealed next year when it is installed at Whangarahi Reserve, to mark the 200 year anniversary of the naming of Coromandel Town. Four submissions were received, after calls for Expressions of Interest to artists to come up with ideas for the commemorations. "The selection panel chose the most suitable piece of art work," says Peter Pritchard, one of the members of the Coromandel 200 group who are helping to organise commemorations. "The actual art piece will be kept a secret and revealed as part of the celebrations next year," says Mr Pritchard. The commemoration to celebrate the visit, of ‘Coromandel,’ after which the town and our peninsula is named, will also tie in with Coromandel Town's next Illume Festival on May 30 2020. In other developments, the Coromandel 200 group have plans to establish a forest on the Albert Street Reserve, where the planting of 105 kauri trees will be planted in recognition of the spars that were taken from Coromandel Town. A model of the HMS Coromandel can be seen at the Coromandel School of Mines and Museumat 841 Rings Road, Coromandel Town. In conjunction with the commemoration, the Coromandel School Of Mines is pulling together a historical account of the HMS during its Coromandel visit. "With all of this to plan, we are seeking support from volunteers to help support this historic event," says Mr Pritchard. "We have roles for a variety of volunteers and all help is appreciated. There will be general preparation and setting up duties on the day, along with pre-planning and innovative ideas that will add flavour to the whole community event," says Mr Pritchard. The event will also provide opportunities for stall holders to set up and sell their goods. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact Margaret Harrison.