Hokitika Lions Club

We Serve

Thank You from the Conway-Keenan family

Just letting you know that I credited $625.00 into the Lions club account for the great work that you are doing up at the Stafford cemetery.
Our Keenan family really appreciate you getting the Conway-Keenan grave site in grand condition for Sunday’s unveiling and with the old and new headstone’s looking a million dollars now
Regards – Mike

Stafford Cemetery Access Road

Cemetery access improved

Stafford Cemetery access road apparently initially led to a sports field at the rear of the cemetery. The sports field fell out of use as the population declined and is now overgrown.

The bitumen sealed road has also been subject to climate and vegetation damage with a thick layer of dirt and grass covering the surface making access difficult in wet weather. The growth of the large Japanese Cedar at the gate also added a dangerous camber to the road.
Thanks to Lions President Peter Nancekivell, the access has been improved and should now allow access in all weather allowing less-abled visitors to visit graves.
Gravel donated Phoenix and BRM

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

We’re mixing and pouring concrete at 9am on Saturday at Stafford Cemetery.
The reinforcing has been inserted. We’re now bending the rods flat, tying the mesh in place and pouring a smooth layer over the top.

Update on Water Family Graves Stafford Cemetery June 2017

Thank you to everyone that has helped thus far
The photos are a progression from what is was, family digging out granite surround, dug out and compacted and backfilled, headstone cleaning started.
Cleaned granite arriving back being lifted by family, Lions members and volunteers. Headstone being put back in place.
Granite surround back in place, braced and waiting for concrete pour which is planned for Saturday 24th.
Thus far has not cost Lions anything except some time and sweat.

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 Memorial

The memorial before renovations.

Lions assisted with paying for the gilding

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.