What's Happening

Waikumete Cemetery Open Day

1 Comment 14 January 2016

Cemeteries tell so many stories

Open Day Waikumete Cemetery. 28th Feb ’16 10:30 – 4:30.  Map  It’s free!

Waikumete CemeteryI’ve always been fascinated with cemeteries.  Walking through the different decades with their own stories you can get a real feel for what a place was like.   From women dying in childbirth to families owning cars and death by road, they are all fascinating.

‘Learn about interesting grave sites, the cemetery’s ecology, the influenza epidemic, the iconography of headstones, the stories of people buried there and much more.’

It’ll be in ‘What’s Happening

‘Go behind the scenes to find out how a cemetery works. See a grave-digging demonstration or tour the crematorium. You can also learn about eco-burials, how to clean a grave or the burial practices of different cultures.’

  • To get around the cemetery, feel free to bring your bike.
  • A shuttle bus service will also be operating within the cemetery on the day.

Full details. 

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Graeme Webber. says:

    Very interesting item Bobbie. My Father-in-law, Rex Smith, used to service the Crematorium there (working with Council). If you’d like some grisly info, he can provide it!
    Members of that side of the family are buried there.
    When you mention those interred and their stories, one is Mrs Kate Smith from London (nee Wheatley,Rex’s Grandmother) who was a passenger on the SS Wairarapa that smashed into “Miners Head” on Great Barrier Island just after midnight 29 October 1894. NZ’s 3rd worst maritime disaster.
    Captain J S McIntosh was commanding at nearly full speed – 13 kts (24 mph) in thick fog. Its said he was trying to beat the record for the Sydney / Auckland voyage.
    121 lives were lost but Kate was swept overboard along with cargo that included horses, and sheep. Some lost their lives in the rough sea by being trampled by the panicking horses. Local Maori helped and looked after survivors. It was 3 days before the news of the loss reached Auckland – so isolated was Gt Barrier. Kate went on to live a fruitful life in NZ though her original aim was to settle in San Francisco sailing via the Pacific Ocean. Not sure if she ever got to Piha !! Kind regards, Graeme.


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