Hokitika Lions Club

We Serve

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.