Annual Reports

Trustees’ Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2014

This has been another pleasing year for the Trust. Our finances show income for the year of $26,193, of which $20,925 comes from sales of the book R.A. Lawson, Victorian Architect of Dunedin which we published during the year.

Other income is well down on previous years because we have not undertaken any major new fund-raising this year, nor any major restoration works.

Legal Framework for Burial & Cremation in New Zealand, A First Principles Review, Law Commission, October 2013 We made a lengthy submission to this review, and met with Wayne Mapp and the Commission officers in Dunedin on 28 November 2013. We await the next round of consultations.

This has remained relatively constant and we thank all those who continue to support us, but subscription income is now subject to GST. As we have not increased our subscription to counteract that effect we have lost some income.

Cemetery Tours
No tours were offered this year.

School Liaison
There has been no further activity in this field in this year..

Friends Groups for Northern and Southern Cemeteries
Friends Groups for Northern and Southern Cemeteries In spite of trustees agreeing to establish these two groups, no real progress has been made so far.

National Conference
We are hosting a national conference on War Memorialisation and the Nation from Wednesday 19 November to Saturday 22 November, 2014, at the St David’s Street lecture theatre complex, University of Otago.

Standing up headstones and removing trees
Further work has been carried out in Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery utilising grants from various local charities.

Headstone Photography Project with Dunedin City Council
The photographing of every headstone in Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery has almost reached its finale but we are held up waiting for DCC to expedite the loading of the images to their website.

Donald Warrington expects the project to be completed this year.

Larnach’s Tomb
There were no guided tours through the tomb in the last year. There have been continuing problems with the cameras monitoring the tomb, which the DCC are supposed to be maintaining.

Morgue Conservation Plan
There has been no progress on this conservation project since March 2011, but we have in hand $1,000 granted by The Dunedin Casino Trust which is held towards the cost of a Conservation Plan. A viable reason, a purpose, for its restoration, is still needed.

Speaking Engagements
There have been no speaking engagements in this year.

Our occasional Newsletters have become very occasional.

Biography of architect Robert Arthur Lawson 1833-1902
Biography of architect Robert Arthur Lawson 1833-1902 After some 9 years in the making, R.A. Lawson, Victorian Architect of Dunedin was published on 25 September 2013 at a very successful launch function hosted by the Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull in the Municipal Chambers.

Feedback has been very positive and some 700 books have been sold to date.

Working Parties
There have been no working parties in this year.

Our website continues to provide a wealth of information on cemetery conservation and the activities of the trust, and forms a valuable resource and information reference for many people from throughout New Zealand.

It is presently being enhanced by the uploading of our Stories in Stone series of articles which originally appeared weekly in the Otago Daily Times over the last 3 years.

Friends’ Reports
Linwood Cemetery Christchurch (from Alexandra Gilbert)

The Friends of Linwood Cemetery are now in their 14th year of operation. The Christchurch City Council (CCC) has completed the 'Make Safe' programme of ensuring all headstones and grave furniture are the right way up and on the correct graves following earthquake damage. Hopes for financial assistance for EQ damage repair have been dashed due to the Council overspend. The CCC also revised their Cemetery By-Laws in June and the Trust was successful in getting the policy of purchasing the Exclusive Right to Burial for a Paupers grave over 60 years old, removed.

During the winter, we had a student from Canterbury University identify those who signed the Suffrage petition and are buried in Linwood Cemetery, further increasing the cemetery's heritage value. Another volunteer has corrected the location of 50 of the 450 Block Markers that were installed about 6 years ago by the CCC.

We are now back in regular contact with the Cemeteries Unit, our Chair having a formal meeting twice a year, and are hoping to move forward with our aims at a quicker pace now. Having said that, Trustees are weary following the disruptions of the past few years and are planning to only hold two events this year; our ANZAC Commemoration on Sunday 20th April - where the names of those who gave their youth or lives to military service and are buried or memorialised in the cemetery, are read out followed by the playing of the Last Post and a piped lament and, in October, the 130th Anniversary of the opening of the cemetery. We continue to help descendants find their ancestors in the cemetery and hope to complete the Oral History project and future proof our data as soon as possible.

Those interested in our work can follow us on Facebook and via our Website

It has been a quiet year, with few conservation enquiries, but we believe that our role as the independent authoritative body for conservation of headstones and graveyards is still seen as being very necessary.

I extend my thanks to my trustees and management board.

Stewart Harvey
Chairman, 2 May 2014