Taita Public Cemetery

page 5

For many years after Christ Church was built, Methodist and Presebyterian members of the Taita community were buried in the churchyard beside their Anglican neighbours. A question was asked at a Vestry meeting in 1886 about ”non-members of the Church being interred in “Christ Church” cemetery at the Taita, there being a public cemetery there but not used”.

Investigations revealed that although an area for a public cemetery had been set aside as early as 1857 (sic),trustees had not been appointed. (13)

By 1891 the necessary steps had been taken to remedy this oversight and after the public cemetery was opened at Taita, burials in the Christ Church churchyard were restricted to Anglicans.

Notes and References page 12

(13) Vestry Minutes 1886, 1888

from ”Christ Church, Taita and the Christ Church Preservation Society. An outline of the their history. Written by Marion Knight in 1999.”

Evening Post 7 April 1888

grant in aid public cemetery, Taita

Evening Post 9 August 1887
The question of opening another cemetery at the Taita was brought before the Hutt County Council this morning by a deputation, consisting of Messrs. W. A. Fitzherbert and R. Cleland. Mr. Fitzherbert explained that a site for a cemetery had been set apart by the Provincial Council, but no steps had yet been taken to open it. The County Council had power to appoint trustees, but the deputation thought it would be better if the trustees were appointed by a meeting of settlers called for the purpose, as all denominations could then have a voice in the management. On the motion of Councillor Speedy, seconded by Councillor Perkins, the Council decided that the Chairman should take the necessary steps for holding a public meeting.

Evening Post 13 September 1887

The chairman referred to the late pulic meeting at the Hutt, re the Taita public cemetery, and said that it was likely the local public bodies would be called on to bear the expense of putting the site in a fit state for use.

Evening Post 10 August 1891
Tenders will be received up to Noon on Friday, the 15th instant, for the formation and gravelling of seven chains of road line in the Public Cemetery, Taita.

Chairman, Board of Trustees,
Taita Public Cemetery

EP 5/4/1897
The funeral procession of the late Mrs. Hope, Miss Hope, and Mrs. Hope”s infant child,

The final ceremonies were performed at the Taita public cemetery by the Rev. Mr. Jones

EP 15 June 1897
From time to time the attention of the Petone Borough Council has been called to the wretched condition of the Taita Public Cemetery, and at a recent meeting of the Council the Mayor, in reply to a question, stated that the Trustees had been written to asking for information, but no reply had been received by the Council. The last number of the Hutt and Petone Church Circular calls attention to the matter, and urges the necessity of something being done to improve the condition of the ground. After almost every funeral bitter expressions are heard as to its condition and the unsuitability of the site for a cemetery. It seems that the land, about 12 acres, was a reserve made by the Provincial Government about 30 years ago for the purpose of a cemetery, but it was not until 1886 or 1887 that the reserve was taken up. When the cemeteries at Lower Hutt were closed a public meeting was called to consider the position, when the fact of there being such a reserve was pointed out by Mr H. Damant, an old settler of the district. At the meeting a trust was formed by appointing two members of each of the four religions denominations then in the district, of whom Mr. H. Jackson was appointed chairman. At their first meeting it was decided to apply to the Lower Hutt and Petone Town Boards and the Wellington Highway Board (since absorbed in the Hutt County Council) for financial assistance. This was granted, and the ground was surveyed, when it was discovered that in the centre of the plot was a piece of freehold ground which the trustees had to buy out. Their funds being exhausted, a second application for assistance was made in 1889 to the same bodies. By this time Petone had been formed into a borough, and the Council refused the application, on the ground that it intended to procure a site for a cemetery for the borough nearer than Taita. On receipt of this, the trustees felt it would be unfair to tax the two smaller bodies, which had responded to their appeal while Petone stood out, and, being so circumstanced, the trustees were powerless to do anything in the way of improvements. This position was notified to each of the religious bodies, with permission from the trustees to do what they could with their respective plots. Since then but little, if anything, appears to have been done. The trustees explain that no discourtesy was meant in not replying to the Petone Borough Council”s recent request for information. Soon after receipt of this letter a meeting of the trustees was called, but after so many years a quorum could not be obtained, two of the trustees being ill at the time and four others not putting in an appearance. Last night, however, the Petone Council voted £10 in aid of the work required. The funds accrued from burial fees now in the trustees” hands amount to about £5. It has been suggested that the representatives of the districts interested should confer upon the question of putting the ground in order and its future maintenance; while in Petone there is a strong feeling towards adopting the idea of the first Council and procuring a site nearer to the borough. Whatever may be done to the present cemetery, its distance from Petone, between six and seven miles, renders it a most inconvenient site. Up to the present time owners of vehicles in Petone have kindly lent them upon occasions of funerals, but it is easy to see that as the population increases this will soon be out of the question, and the cost of interments will be a heavy burden upon those who may have occasion to bury a relative or friend, and to the majority of Petone residents any after visits to the graves of their loved ones will be almost an impossibility. Under the present law no cemetery can be opened within the boundaries of any borough, but there is a suitable site available within half an hour”s walk from the centre of the township.

Evening Post 20 October 1906
Mr. Henry Jackson, one of the early settlers, passed away at his residence, Lower Hutt, this morning, at the advanced age of 77 years. Mr. Jackson joined the Indian navy as a midshipman at the age of fifteen, and remained in that service till its abolition, by which time he had attained the rank of captain. He came to New Zealand in 1861, and at once entered the Survey Department under the Provincial Government, retiring in 1874 as Chief Surveyor of the Wellington Province. He was elected to Parliament as member for Hutt in 1880, but only served in that capacity for a brief period. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years, chairman of Taita Public Cemetery Trustees, and a prominent member of Lower Hutt Anglican Church. His end was somewhat sudden. He caught a cold last Monday, took to his bed on Friday, gradually became weaker, and expired at an early hour this morning. He is survived by a widow, six sons and two daughters. The sons are — Mr. R. K. Jackson, solicitor, Masterton; F. W. P. Jackson, accountant to Messrs. Nimmo and Blair, Dunedin; Mr. E. H. Jackson, of the Union Bank, Timaru; Mr. C. C. Jackson, sheep farmer, Mauriceville; Mr. Percy Jackson, in the office of Messrs. Wilford and Levi, solicitors, Wellington; and M. E. 0. Jackson, of Mr. R. J. Thompson”s staff, Lower Hutt. The daughters are Mrs. Barclay Hector and Miss Adele Jackson.

Hutt Valley Cemetery Records Henry Jackson, Date:

29 Oct 1906, St. James Anglican, Lower Hutt, Monumental Inscriptions: 23, Burial Record

Probate Henry Jackson, Place: Lower Hutt, Oc: Retired Naval Lt, Date of Death: 29/10/1906, AAOM 6029 10341, Filed: 16/11/1906, Will, Archives NZ, Wellington

Evening Post 26 July 1907
The Rev. Joshua Jones has been appointed a trustee of the Taita public cemetery, vice Mr. Henry Jackson, deceased.

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