Stafford Cemetery Access Road
Cemetery access improved
James Steele Grave
The Stafford Cemetery restoration is progressing well with the James Steele grave surround almost ready to have the headstone returned. James Steele was one of the earlier Irish colonists, amongst the first to arrive in Hokitika. He died in 1910 age 83 and is buried in the Anglican section.
The grave surround had sunk and twisted causing the cross to snap off. The lean was approximately 30 degrees.
A trench was dug around the grave. We were going to jack it up – rather like doing house piles, but this was an epic fail due to the state of the concrete and uneven lower surface. So we used the Archimedes principal of levers to lift and level the surround and placed packers to hold it in place.
To keep it intact, ratchet tie-downs were used.
Thanks to Graeme Wallace for his expertise and Andrew Corson for helping with the concreting. And Jim Barnes for the concrete mixer
And yes, it’s now level.
Henry Peacock Grave
Henry Peacock was another Irish miner – this time a Catholic from County Limerick. He died age 48 at Westland Hospital.
His headstone has been cleaned and is being joined together.
The rods are fiberglass.
We have started the trenching and will do a similar process to the Steele grave.
Stafford Cemetery Concrete Pour
Update on Water Family Graves Stafford Cemetery June 2017
Waters Family Grave
Shirley Godfrey and her son Ross, have been redoing the foundations of their family grave – that of Christianna and George Waters who arrived in Hokitika 150 years ago in July. This has involved removing the granite surround (Granite is an unusual material to be used in a surround – it’s certainly the only grave at Stafford that has one), digging out the grave and backfilling with compacted gravel – all done by the family, with some Lions labour for lifting. Each granite block weighs several 100kg – took 6 of us to lift one onto a trailer – and there are 3 large and 2 small. These were taken down to Thompsons for cleaning at no charge. On Saturday at 11am we will be putting them back – a few Lions will be involved in this again assisting the family. If anyone else is available, please join us – even if you just come to take photos and offer moral support! The headstone cleaning has also started – of more interest Christianna came from Cornwall, and the headstone was imported from Cornwall The family lowered the headstone onto a pallet in order to complete the foundation- this will also be stood back up on Saturday This grave is one of the ones with cast iron that has missing pieces – which were on the list for casting. We’re hoping to show a significant improvement in stability and longevity (future proofing) once all items are back and in place.
June 2017 Oscar Bottom Memorial
Oscar Bottom Cenotaph
Heritage Hokitika Inc, in association with the Hokitika Westland Returned & Services Association, request the pleasure of your members’ company for the re-dedication of the Oscar Bottom cenotaph, in recognition of your assistance in fundraising for this project.
The event will take place at Stafford Cemetery, 12 kms north of Hokitika on Saturday 12th November 2016 at 11:00 am.
Due to the very limited parking available at the cemetery site we request that attendees who are able to walk up the hill to park along one side of Stafford Loop Rd at the base of the hill and walk up. Should anyone have mobility problems we will provide transfers or a mobility parking space if we are informed ahead of time.
The unveiling ceremony will be followed by refreshments at the new RSA club rooms, Sewell St, Hokitika.
Please send your RSVP response, with numbers for catering purposes, by 28th October 2016.