This has been an excellent year for the Trust. Our finances show income for the year of $72,022. In the last five years we have raised $226,095 for the purposes of conservation of historic cemeteries. Our administration expenses are minimal and we still have $45,733 unexpended, including $10,000 for the Chinese Graves Project in Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery.
This has remained relatively constant and stands now at 15 corporate and 34 individual members.
Glenore Cemetery, South Otago
After a site inspection with Alan Williams of the Glenore-Manuka Trust a Conservation Report for the historic Glenore cemetery was prepared and submitted to the Trust for their action.
Tours were held as follows:
3 April 2008 Northern – U3A
16 April 2008 Southern – Bayfield High students
17 April 2008 Southern – U3A
16 May 2008 Southern - Bayfield High School test Education Module
18 May 2008 Southern – OSM - Chinese Garden opening
23 May 2008 Southern - Bayfield High School test Education Module
30 May 2008 Southern - Bayfield High School test Education Module
23 March 2009 Northern – OSM - 'Artists, Writers and Architects'
29 March 2009 Northern – Heather Bray’s Family History Group
Early in 2009 this project was brought to a successful conclusion. Ann Trewern finalized the modules for use by teachers and these were uploaded to our website. This resource was promoted to teachers and the general public and the response has been very encouraging. Ann is to be congratulated on her excellent work. And we are also indebted to Ian Stevens and Gillian McFarlane of Dunedin Teachers College for their guidance.
TVNZ’s CloseUp programme spent some two hours on March 5, 2009, filming with us and Bayfield High School students and their teacher Chris Homer in the Southern Cemetery. This resulted in a 4.5 minute slot in the nationwide programme on Wednesday March 18, which we have now placed up on our website for general viewing. We thank Bayfield High School’s Chris Homer and his students for their great enthusiasm and support in developing this resource.
Standing up headstones
This work continues in Dunedin with grants from various sources.
Headstone Photography Project with Dunedin City Council
It is planned to pilot the photographing of every headstone in Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery and upload the images to the DCC cemeteries search website pages.
In December 2008 very positive preliminary discussions were held with DCC Information Technology staff and the way forward has been clarified. It is unlikely that any progress will be made until later in 2009.
Chinese Graves Southern Cemetery
Many broken stones have been pinned and glued together and stood up, and progress has been made on the installation of new granite headstones to replace those which were not repairable or not able to be identified.
Much work has gone into investigation, inspection and preparation of accurate specification and costing of the work required for the conservation of the tomb. The best estimate is some $350,000.
After our well-received presentation to the Council’s Public Forum asking for support in funding the tomb restoration we were asked to apply to the DCC Heritage Fund and were subsequently granted $40,000. The McKay Bequest administered by the Local Branch Committee of NZ Historic Places Trust has also promised $5,000. With this great support we can now begin fund-raising in earnest.
Morgue Conservation Plan
We were pleased to receive $1,000 from The Dunedin Casino Trust towards the cost of this project, which leaves a further $7,000 to be raised.
27 March 2008 - the 2 hour Seminar Series which ran over 4 weeks for the Mosgiel U3A, was well received.
24 April 2008 – Stewart visited with the Senior Net Digital Photography group
23 June 2008 – Stewart spoke to the Balmacewan Lions Club
21 March 2009 – Stewart spoke to the NZ Society of Genealogists Southland Branch.
Our occasional Newsletters continue to be well-received. They are a very good way of keeping everyone in touch with what is happening in the world of cemetery conservation.
‘Stories in Stone’
Our column in each Saturday’s Otago Daily Times continues to attract much favourable comment and a wide readership.
Dunedin author Norman Ledgerwood has agreed to write the biography of Robert Arthur Lawson, architect, and Longacre Press have quoted to publish it.
11 October 2008 – Andersons Bay Cemetery
13 December 2008 - Andersons Bay Cemetery
28 February 2009 - Southern Cemetery
28 March 2009 – Southern Cemetery
The tomb of John Turnbull Thomson, Surveyor has been in need of repair for many years. This year we commissioned local monumental masons to inspect, specify work needed, and tender to bring it up to standard. We were successful in securing funding for the work from David Hall-Jones who owns Surveyor Thomson Wines and the repair work has commenced
Southland District Council
During the year SDC completed a condition survey of all their cemeteries and this will form the basis for a conservation work programme.
Christchurch City Council continue their bold initiatives in cemetery conservation with the production of an excellent Conservation Plan for the Barbadoes Street Cemetery, and the formation of a new friends group, Friends of Linwood Cemetery.
Mount Street Catholic Cemetery
Ian Bowman has recently produced a fresh Conservation Plan for this cemetery, and the Wellington City Council and the Friends group are now planning the next move.
Funds were raised and 10 badly eroded base stones have been replaced with granite and the historic headstones re-erected.
It has been another very busy year with our major education project and conservation enquiries coming in regularly from all over New Zealand. I extend my thanks to my trustees and management board.
Thanks also to Dunedin City Council councillors, and Alan Matchett, Team Leader, Botanic Gardens and Cemeteries, and Cemeteries staff, for their support and help in so many ways.
The local office of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust have also been wonderfully supportive.
Historic cemeteries are now seen as increasingly important to the spirit, life, economy, and sense of history of their local community. They have become valued parts of the fabric of local history and their conservation is a way to recognize contributions made by earlier generations.
Chairman, 26 April 2009