While I was at the Westland Industrial Heritage Park on the 23rd of November I saw Mort Cruickshank and Jim Butzbach putting on the finishing touches to the replacement ship’s wheel for the Tambo Shipwreck Memorial. The original memorial had a plaster plinth which was vandalised and was in such a state that it had to be removed and the wheel was taken away for safekeeping. As you can see the new upright is made from metal and should survive a lot of abuse. A week later the ship’s wheel was having the bolt holes drilled in the base by Jim Butzbach with Reuban supervising. By lunchtime the wheel was installed by the Tambo.
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.