Annual Reports

Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2010

This has been an excellent year for the Trust. Our finances show income for the year of $104,429. In the last six years we have raised around 4350,000 for the purposes of conservation of historic cemeteries. Our administration expenses are minimal and we still have $115,668 unexpended, including $10,000 for the Chinese Graves Project in Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery, and Larnach’s Tomb in the Northern Cemetery $72,600.

This has remained relatively constant and we thank all those who continue to support us.

Glenore Cemetery, South Otago
Alan Williams of the Glenore-Manuka Trust has been active employing labour from the Milburn prison to remove grass and vegetation.

Cemetery Tours
Tours were held as follows:

3 October 2009 – Southern
11 November 2009 – Northern – Broad Bay School
21 November 2009 – Northern – Engineers
15 March 2010 – Northern – Russley Probus Club, Christchurch

Standing up headstones
This work continues in Dunedin’s Northern and Southern Cemeteries with grants from various charities.

Headstone Photography Project with Dunedin City Council
The photographing of every headstone in Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery has commenced.

Some difficulties emerged over the cemetery maps not actually agreeing with what is on the ground, however we are working around this problem.

Chinese Graves Southern Cemetery
Stage 2 of this project has been completed in the new year with expenditure of some $10,000, making the total spent so far around $35,000.

The final work, Stage 3, has been surveyed and we will seek further funding from the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust to complete the restoration and conservation work.

Larnach’s Tomb Fundraising has been completed with $345,000 being raised for this restoration project. This will be the largest conservation work undertaken in a New Zealand cemetery. The stone mason has started work and the security system has been agreed upon.

Here is a summary of those who very kindly supported this project - Exc GST:
Dunedin $59,914
McKay Bequest NZHPT Dunedin $5,000
McMillan Trust $20,000
Lotteries Heritage $150,000 (incl GST $16,666) $133,333
Community Trust of Otago $75,000
The Southern Trust $50,000
William Downie Stewart Charitable Trust $2,500

Morgue Conservation Plan
We have in hand $1,000 granted by The Dunedin Casino Trust which is held towards the cost of this project, leaving a further $7,000 to be raised.

Speaking Engagements
19 September 2009 – NZSG Mosgiel Branch
2 November 2009 – Dunedin East Rotary Club
5 November 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Probus Club
5 November 2009 – NZSG Balclutha Branch
15 March 2010 – Logan Park Rotoract Club

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.

The Newsletter goes to almost 50 bodies responsible for the care and maintenance of cemeteries and approximately 280 interested individuals the length and breadth of New Zealand.

‘Stories in Stone’
Our column in each Saturday’s Otago Daily Times continues to attract much favourable comment and a wide readership.

Working Parties
25 July 2009 - Waikouaiti
25 April 2009 – Northern Cemetery
29 August 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Cemetery
3 September 2009 – Southern Cemetery – Conservation Corps
26 September 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Cemetery
31 October 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Cemetery
4 November 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Cemetery – BNZ Workday
30 November 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Cemetery - Kings High School Workday
1 December 2009 – Anderson’s Bay Cemetery – Kings High School Workday
2 December 2009 – Northern Cemetery - Kings High School Workday
3 December 2009 – Anderson’s Bay - Kings High School Workday
27 March 2010 – Northern – Rotoract Club

The tomb of John Turnbull Thomson, Surveyor, in Invercargill’s St John’s Cemetery has been fully restored and made vandal-proof.
Funding for the work was kindly donated by a descendant, David Hall-Jones, who owns Surveyor Thomson Wines.

The new group, Friends of Linwood Cemetery, has been active and they are an enthusiastic bunch who will achieve much.

Mount Street Catholic Cemetery
The Friends group has gathered together a committee under the leadership of Karen Adair and they have tapped into much local support, holding working parties and preparing for a major fundraising programme to begin the conservation of this historically important graveyard.

It has been another very busy year with Larnach’s Tomb being our major project, and with conservation enquiries coming in regularly from all over New Zealand. I extend my thanks to my trustees and management board, and also to Dunedin City Council Councillors, 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 has also been very supportive as usual.

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.

Stewart Harvey
Chairman, 1 May 2010