William Coates was born in Ballarat in 1899. Despite being self taught, Coates became a schoolteacher, holding down a number of teaching positions around the state.
In 1929 he took up the law, later moving to Melbourne as an articulated clerk. In 1940 Coates took up a position as a solicitor in Preston. During the Second World War Coates was solicitor to the Netherlands Consulate in Victoria, his contributions being rewarded with the Order of Orange Nassau from Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
Coates participated in a number of community activities in Preston including the Preston Football Club, Ex-serviceman’s Association, PANCH, Preston Choral Society, and Preston Symphony Orchestra. He was also the founder of the Preston Children’s Library.
William Coates died in 1965.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.