Waimate Cemetery,  South Canterbury, N.Z.

In October 1871, The Canterbury Provincial council set up a board of members to establish the Waimate Cemetery. The board members were: Michael Studholme, Leonard Price, John Manchester, James Bruce and John O'Keefe. The old Waimate cemetery covers an area of 2.33 hectares. The grounds are allocated in areas according to faith: Anglican, Catholic, Wesleyan, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Free ground. The Packers were among the first setters at Studholme in 1884. He was an Anglican, married Annie O'Halloran, a Catholic in 1879. In death they maintained their denomination division. Worthy is in the Anglican section of the cemetery, Annie in the Catholic section.

The earliest grave markers were of wood and Waihao stone. As the settlement prospered, other NZ stone including granite were used. In addition there is granite from Cathiners in Scotland and Carrara marble from Italy. Today the grounds are maintained by the Waimate District Council. Over the years some of the gravestones have fallen in to despair and have been lost. Roger Kett's grave, the first recorded burial in the cemetery in 1874, is one such grave. Kett built the Kett's Hotel later known as the Railway Hotel and then the Criterion, in Queen St, opposite the band rotunda. The hotel was built in just six weeks under penalty, using logs from the Waimate bush strapped together to form the foundations. As the logs settled the floor took on an undulating appearance.

Waimate Cemeteries online database. Photos of headstones are online. find a grave old 2005pdf wayback   history  pdf   NZ Cemetery Records - ancestry
There are six (6) cemeteries in the Waimate District in 2019:
Glenavy (closed)
Hakataramea cared for by the Hakataramea Cemetery Trust. a few headstone photos
Maori Cemetery in Waimate
Morven (closed)

Cemeteries hold stories. In 2011 an information board was erected at the old Waimate Cemetery identifying some of the more colourful characters buried there. A self guiding brochure of the old cemetery was produced by the Waimate Information Centre. The Waimate Cemetery has cemetery art, wrought iron art, stonemason art and flora and fauna and a RSA section, 12 CWGC grave registrations from WW1. A memorial photograph of Donald Grant McRae’s cemetery headstone, presented in a folding card by the War Graves Division of NZ Internal Affairs, circa 1922.

In Oct.- Dec. 1918 there were 17 deaths in Waimate from the influenza including Dr. Cruickshank, Mr. L. Giles and Mr Herbert Algar, a returned soldier. The returned soldiers attended this funeral and fired the salute over the grave. All three buried on the same day, it was a gloomy Friday, 29th Nov. 1918. On Dec. 3rd 1918 there were 38 patients in the Waimate Hospital with influenza and 10 in the Morven School which was commandeered. Gifts of milk, vegetables, etc were coming in freely. The hotels and tea-rooms were closed. The Technical School kitchen served 80 bed-ridden people in private houses with soups, beef-tea and puddings. Like the Great Master Dr. Cruickshank gave her life for others sake. If there be one women who is not dead, one who cannot die, it is she. Let us take courage in our grief, by her example. Every section of the community is affected by this calamity. Press, 4 Dec. 1918, Page 2

There are also urns, Celtic crosses, wrought iron fenced plots, sorrowing women and angels, scrolls and Sir William Jukes Steward. M.L.C. who died in 1912 is buried at Waimate and  the Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk headstone. [Toe Te Kupa, Toe Te mana Toe Te Whenua].  The proverb means: "When the work is established, the mana is established and the land is secured"

I suspect it is a spelling mistake / transcription error - harder to correct on a headstone than on paper! Toi tu te kupu, toi tu te mana, toi tu te whenua: This proverb was spoken by Tinirau of Wanganui. It is a plea to hold fast to our culture, for without language, without mana (spirit), and without land, the essence of being a Maori would no longer exist, but be a skeleton which would not give justice to the full body of Maoritanga (maoridom).

New Zealand Tablet, 31 January 1901, Page 15
At a meeting of the Waimate Cemetery Board on Thursday last a motion was passed expressing regret at the loss of the late Mr Nicholas Wall, who represented the Catholic body on the Board during the past 15 years, and expressing the Board's appreciation of his services. The meeting directed that a letter of condolence be forwarded to Mrs. Wall, also that the Rev. Father Regnault be requested to nominate a successor.

Press, 16 September 1908, Page 7
Mr John Foley has been appointed a member of the Waimate Cemetery Board to represent the Roman Catholic community, the Very Rev. Dean Regnault having resigned.

Timaru Herald, 5 May 1900, Page 2
A meeting of the Waimate Cemetery Board was held on Thursday last. The members present were Rev. M. Gibson, Messrs Garland, Graham, and the chairman, Mr John Manchester. The report of the state of the cemetery as to fences, paths, etc., was satisfactory. The caretaker reported that rabbits had come into the cemetery and were doing harm to the graves. Mr Garland also said that he had seen tracks of rabbits and their scratchings. It was resolved to obtain a few traps suitable for catching rabbits, and have them set by the sexton.

Oamaru Mail, 20 September 1902, Page 4
The regular meeting of the Waimate Cemetery Board was held on. the 18th, in the Courthouse, at which there were present — Messrs J. Manchester (chairman), Rev. M. Gibson, A. Garland, and G. H. Graham. Mr Graham, as visitor, said that the cemetery paths, etc., are in fairly good order. A few trees, the boughs of which threateningly overhung the headstones, were ordered to be cut down. The work of clearing gorse on the by-road by the cemetery fence had been finished and the account may be passed for payment. The sexton reported that flowers had been plucked and stolen from two graves recently. The Rev. M. Gibson wished the Board could see its way to have a small mortuary erected in a convenient position in the cemetery, but no motion was made in the matter. The chairman said the necessity for a handy vehicle for the conveyance of heavy monumental stones to parts of the cemetery where the paths are too narrow for drays is urgently needed, and it was resolved that a suitable vehicle for such a purpose be obtained, and that the chairman see about it as soon as convenient.

Oamaru Mail, 5 April 1907, Page 2
A meeting of the Waimate Cemetery Board was held yesterday afternoon at the Borough Council Chambers. Present—Mr J. Manchester (chairman) and Messrs Carter, Garland and Graham. Mr Garland proposed and Mr Carter seconded
that Mr Manchester be re-elected as chairman; for the ensuing year. There was no business of grave importance before the meeting, and after passing accounts for £18 18s 6d, the proceedings closed.

Otago Daily Times 10 October 1916, Page 10
Following on representations made by the Ministers' Association, the Waimate Cemetery Board of Trustees, at its meeting held on October 4, decided (the Waimate Times states) that in order to discourage Sunday funerals as far as possible, an additional fee of £1 be charged for interments on that day, unless a doctor's certificate is produced to show that burial is necessary in the public interest.

Oamaru Mail, 9 September 1912, Page 3
A meeting of the Waimate Cemetery Board was held on Friday last. Present: Messrs A. J. Manchester (chairman) and A. Carter, J. Black, J. Foley, and Rev. Mackenzie Gibson. It was decided to raise the price of plots from from £1 to £1 10s. Mr Gibson, reported that the entrance gates were completed, and a motion was passed expressing satisfaction with the work of the contractor (Mr W. J. Wills). Accounts amounting to £98 12s 11d were passed for payment.


Lucretia Voyce  w/o William Voyce died April 1876 aged 21 years. "In the midst of life we are in death." Lucrectia Voyce was 21 last birthday. Her father was William Knight. Her mother's name I do not know. Her father was a carpenter. She was married the 1st of January, 1871, at Coronell in Chili. There are two males, her issue. Husband was William Voyce a blacksmith at Makikihi. The contents of the bottle produced is strychnine to all appearance. Mr Voyce had gotten a bottle of strychnine from James Tiffin for killing rats, it was sitting on the mantelpiece in the kitchen. The jury returned the following verdict Lucrechia Voyce died on the 8th day of April, 1 1876, from poison, but there is no evidence to show by whom it was administered.

The wrought iron gates where built in 1911. Probably King George Coronation gates but Waimate had a King Edward memorial committee that were responsible for the band rotunda in June 1911.

The new section has standardised grave markers on concrete beams.  One unfilled.

Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, PM of NZ for 20 months until his death 31 August 1974 at age 51 is buried in the new cemetery across the road along with his wife Dame Ruth, a signpost inside the cemetery gates points you towards their resting place He was born in Waimate. Big Norm.

Norman KIRK 1923-1974 

Born in Waimate on January 6th 1923, the son of a cabinet maker. The family moved to Christchurch in search of work when Norman was five. He was of working class origins. His first job was cleaning guttering at 77 cents a week. As a boy he joined the state-run railways as a cleaner before earning his fireman's ticket. A self-taught man. He worked as a stationary engine driver on mining sites in various parts of NZ. The hardships of the depression committed him early to Labour philosophies. Mr Kirk became a member of the Labour Party at age 20, New Zealand's youngest mayor in 1953 at the age of 30, a Member of Parliament at age 34, President of his Party at age 40, and the youngest Leader of the Opposition two years later, and  Prime Minister in 1972, and served in that post until his death in 1974. Prince Charles representing the Queen, attended the funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral, Wellington on Wednesday 4 Sept. Mr Kirk had died on Saturday after 20 months on office. His body lay in state in Parliament in Wellington and in Christchurch at the town hall. He was buried, 5 Sept. 1974, close to the graves of his parents. The simple ceremony was delayed when the RNZAF Hercules, carrying his body was unable to land because of low cloud. The cortege finally travelled by road from Christchurch. While he was PM he opposed the French nuclear tests in the Pacific and he banned all visiting sports teams from South Africa. He was a big man, unwell for some years, died suddenly from a heart seizure at the Island Bay's Home of Compassionon on Saturday August 31st 1974, less than two years after becoming Prime Minister. A man with impressive qualities of leadership. The Labour Party, unprepared, made finance minister Bill Rowling his successor. Wallace Rowling's rival was Rob Muldoon. "Big Norm" was a hit song by Ebony in January 1974.

He married Ruth Miller in 1941and they had three sons and two daughters. Dame Ruth Kirk, 77, died 20th April 2000 in Christchurch after a long battle with cancer and was buried beside her husband Friday 24 April at Waimate. About 180 people paid their last respects at a service in the St Peter's Anglican Church, Upper Riccarton. The church, consecrated in 1858, was Dame Ruth's parish church. She was raised in the King County, NZ. Dame Ruth was born Lucy Ruth Miller in Taumarunui on April 28, 1922, the youngest child of Margaret Miller, a teacher, and George Miller, the postmaster. She met and married Norman Kirk in Auckland in 1943, moving to Canterbury in the late 1940s and settled in Kaiapoi. In 1975 she was made Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, and received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.

Norman Kirk said people don't want much, just "someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for."

A NAME THAT STILL LIVES ON 30 September 2006
Timaru Herald By Margaret Mather
    Norman Eric Kirk was born in Mrs Turner's maternity home at the end of Parsonage Road, Waimate, on January 6, 1923. His father Norman Kirk, born in Gore, was of Scottish origins and his mother Vera Janet Jury of Cornish descent. The family had strong Salvation Army beliefs and often attended three church services on a Sunday. His father was a cabinet maker but worked at odd jobs including cowman/gardener at the Waimate hospital. This was the Depression years, and when the job ended work was hard to find in the Waimate area so the family shifted to Christchurch. Norman Kirk became a foundation pupil at Linwood Avenue Primary School. Times were still hard and at age 12 he left school with his proficiency certificate and a lifelong passion for reading. His first job was with a firm of roof painters, cleaning out gutters, scaring his wrists for life. By correspondence he gained his stationary steam and river engineers tickets. At the age of 16 he was working at Frankton Junction as an engineer cleaner, the Second World War had begun but he was declared unfit for services because of a thyroid condition. In 1943, in Auckland, he married Ruth Miller, daughter of the Paeroa postmaster. Money was scarce and with a young family the decision was made to move to Kaiapoi, buying a section for 65 ($130). Here he set about digging a 70 foot well to source water so he could make the concrete blocks for his house. Norm Kirk joined the Labour Party in 1943 and in 1953 was invited to run for mayor of Kaiapoi on a Labour ticket. Winning the election made him the youngest mayor in New Zealand at just 30 years old. Kaiapoi was to receive new footpaths, a sewerage system, better roads, pensioner housing and a new rates system. Standing unopposed in the 1956 elections, his organisational and leadership ability was noticed in Wellington and saw him standing for Parliament in 1954. He lost, but was elected MP for Lyttelton in 1957. His maiden parliamentary speech was about New Zealand's place in the world, being an advocate of greater self-reliance for New Zealand. He was elected president of the Labour Party in 1963 and leader in 1965 after only seven years in Parliament. Labour under Norm Kirk's leadership lost the 1966 and 1969 elections. The next three years were spent in rebuilding the party and union movements and in 1972 Labour won with a 23 seat majority. Norman Kirk, at just 50 years, was Prime Minister of the third Labour Government. He excelled in international affairs and had a broad, sweeping vision but was narrowly suspicious of his colleagues. He became a significant international figure but the domestic economy was heading for oil shocks and the start of inflation. The Kirk Government established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, stopped visas for a racially selected South African rugby team, urged the French to cease nuclear testing in the Pacific and sent a New Zealand frigate into the test area in protest. The early months of 1974 were hectic with the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch attended by royalty and heads-of-state, inflation causing industrial unrest, abortion and homosexual law reform causing divisive factions. A heart scare and dysentery contracted while in New Delhi had been hidden from the public but surfaced when varicose vein surgery in April resulted in blood clots and heart complications. Attending the May Labour Party conference, delegates were shocked to see a gaunt Prime Minister walking with the aid of a stick. On June 10 he was given a medical clearance to resume full duties but his health never returned to full strength. August 28 saw him admitted to the Home of Compassion Hospital in Island Bay for a complete rest as ordered by his doctors. August 29 a bulletin was issued saying the Prime Minister had a comfortable night with no reference to his condition. On August 31 the country was shocked to hear of Mr Kirk's death. Norman Kirk was laid to rest in the Waimate cemetery 32 years ago on September 6, 1974. A state funeral was held in Wellington Cathedral, next day a service in the Christchurch town hall. An RNZAF Hercules aircraft with the casket and two Friendships carrying the official parties was to fly to Timaru airport. The funeral procession would then drive to Waimate for the burial service at 3.15pm. A thick, misty drizzle was hanging over the whole area like a shroud of sorrow, that preventing the three planes from landing at Timaru. They were diverted back to Christchurch where a fleet of 15 cars were assembled to drive everyone the 126 miles in approx two-and-a-half hours.
    Margaret Hayward recorded in her diary: "It was an undignified, distressing race against time because by law no burials can take place after sundown". A crowd of about 4000 people were waiting in the wet at the cemetery to pay their last respects and welcome him back to the area he loved. Guards of honour, a Maori challenge and singing, a Pacific Island Tapa cloth placed at the front of the grave alongside a mass of floral tributes were all part of the ecumenical service in tribute to him. The Kirk name is still evident in Waimate today, the Kirk Memorial Swimming Pool opened in 1978, a scholarship established at Waimate High School in 1997, business and farming activities, also a street name. Waimate Museum frequently gets asked for information on Norman Kirk and is keen to add to their archival records. If you have anything you can add to the collection the museum would be most appreciative. Photographs, etc, can be copied and originals returned. Waimate Museum is situated at 28 Shearman Street and is open from 1.30pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 2pm to 4pm Sunday. For further information phone 03 689-7832.

Sir William Jukes Steward

Evening Post, 1 November 1912, Page 2
The late Sir William Jukes Steward, who died at Island Bay yesterday evening, was a native of Reading, Berkshire, England, where he was born in 1841. He was descended from a well-known Nonconformist family. His early education was obtained at King Edward VI. Grammar School, Ludlow, Shropshire. He arrived in Lyttelton in the ship Mersey on 26th September, 1862. and proceeded to Christchurch. Before he left England he had been interested in the then popular Volunteer movement. The spirit of this movement he brought with him to New Zealand, and on settling in the City of the .Plains, he at once set himself the task of raising and commanding the first rifle company in Christchurch, then known as No. 6 Company, and later as the Christchurch City Guards. Sir William Steward then purchased the North Otago Times, and removed to Oamaru. From the first politics attracted him in. North Otago, and he was soon elected to a seat in the Provincial Council, and before the provinces were abolished he had attained to position on the Executive under Superintendent Macandrew. In 1871 he fought and won his first Parliamentary election, entering the House as member for Waitaki which then included the Borough of Oamaru. At the election in 1875, owing mainly to his advocacy of the abolition of the provinces, he was defeated. In Oamaru he had much to do with the raising of the No, 1 Company. Subsequently several county and cadet corps were formed, and Captain Steward became Major of No. 3 Battalion, which he commanded from 1873 until 1879, when he left the district to reside at Waimate. In 1875 he was elected Mayor of Oamaru, and as such carried out a number of public improvements, not the least of which was the introduction of the water supply. Having purchased the Waimate Times, he left Otago in 1879, and once more became identified with Canterbury. Here politics again claimed him, and he entered the House for Waimate as a supporter of the Liberal Party, and continued to represent that district under different boundaries and varying names until his retirement at the last General Election. During all these years the late Sir William has been a conspicuous figure in the political hi6tory of the country. Favoured by a commanding appearance, and blessed with the gift of fluent and graceful speech, he was ever prominent in the eye of the House. It is doubtful if any member has been so prolific as he in the matter of private Bills and amendment to public Acts. As early as 1872 he brought in the Deceased Wife's Sister Marriage Bill, and for four successive years carried it through the Lower House, only to find it sent back by the Legislative Council For his services in pioneering the way Sir William received the thanks of the English Marriage Law Reform Association. On his again entering Parliament for Waimate in 1881, he at once turned his attention to the reform of the Legislative Council, and he had the satisfactory of seeing his ideas adopted by a Ministry in recent times, and one of the last speeches he delivered in the Council was in favour of the Reform Bill brought down by the present Government. After the election of 1890, on the defeat of Sir Maurice O'Rorke, he was appointed Speaker, a position he filled during that Parliament. In 1902 he received the honour of knighthood, and, at the close of the last Parliament, owing to advancing years and failing health, he decided to retire from the strenuous arena of party politics. As a graceful acknowledgment of his long and faithful service to the Dominion, the Mackenzie Government recommended bib appointment to the Legislative Council to which he was called by Lord Islington in this year, when he had earned the honourable title of Father of the House. In 1873 Sir William married Miss Hannah Whiteford, daughter of the Rev. Caleb Whiteford, rector of Harford, Worcestershire, by whom he has a daughter and two sons.
Of the literary side of his life, thirty years were spent in journalism, he having owned and edited successively the North Otago Times, the Waimate Times, and the Ashburton Guardian and Ashburton Mail. In addition to "Carmina Varia," he published in 1904 "Parliamentary Procedure in New Zealand," and "The Vision of Aorangi" and other poems in 1906, while there were few important public events that were not honoured by a poem from his pen. Outside the House he was equally active, and in addition to municipal affairs he added educational duties as a member of the South Canterbury Education Board and the Ashburton and Waimate High School Boards. He served on three important Royal Commissions appointed to consider the subjects of Federation, Friendly Societies, and Tariff Reform. A man of cultured tastes and kindly sympathies, he will bemused by a large circle of personal friends, while his demise creates a gap in the public life of the Dominion that will not be readily filled. The Legislative Council adjourned yesterday out of respect to his memory.

15 Mar 1969 WA-68488-F "Whites Aviation Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library".

Cemetery Memorials
Part 1 Structures
Part 2 Fauna &Flora
Part 3 Symbolism of objects
Part 4 Symbolism Christian
Part 5 Symbolism other
Grave concerns

Oamaru Mail, 17 June 1912, Page 2
Mr and Mrs George Dash were on Friday evening entertained at a complimentary social by the Waimate W.C.T.U. and T.R.U. In spite of the unfavorable weather conditions there was a very representative gathering. The chair was occupied by the President of the T.R.U. (Mr T. Brown), and on the platform were the President of the W.C.T.U. (Mrs Graham), the Rev. F. Isitt, representing the New Zealand Alliance, and others representing the different centres around Waimate. The Rev. J. Guy, of behalf of the W.C.T.U., spoke iu praise of Mrs Dash's work in connection with that body. Years before he came to Waimate the name of Dash was known to him as inseparable from temperance work. Mr Strack (Studholme). Mr Barnett (Morven). Mr Meredith (Waihaorunga), and the Revs. Stockwell and Morrison also spoke to similar effect, Mr Barnett and the Rev. A. S. Morrison making special reference to Mr Dash's great ability and grasp of public matters, which would entitle him to a high place should he see fit to enter political life. The Chairman then handed Mr Dash a silver tea and coffee service, suitably inscribed, as a tangible token of the esteem in which Mrs Dash and himself were held. The audience accorded musical honors and cheers. Mr Dash, in replying, reminded those present of the story of the man who got tired of his farm, after owning it many years, and placed it in the hands of agents for sale. Thinking to buy a better place, he watched the papers, and presently read a description of a place for sale, which struck him as being ideal. On enquiry he found-that this superior and desirable property was his own farm, as described by the agents. He decided there and then not to part with such a satisfactory property. Had the speaker heard all that had been said that night, and been in the dark as to the person about whom it was spoken, he would have been saying to himself, now, if I could live my, life over again, that is the sort of citizen I would strive to imitate that would be something much more desirable than what I have been and am. Knowing that these things had been .said of himself, he knew that in their kindness of heart that the speakers bad practised the land agent's descriptive coloring. He felt that it was worth living to have been associated with the many earnest, able, and devoted men and women whose names were written large on the history of the temperance movement in Waimate. As far back as 1868, 44 years ago, the near temperance meeting was held in Waimate. Flax and tussock were prominent in the now busy portion of Queen street, and a noble totara tree stood at the bush edge where now is the corner of the hall we meet in to-night. This was before the advent of resident doctor, lawyer, editor, or clergyman. It was Christmas Day, and George Henry Graham, who for 40 odd years was the heart and soul of our total abstinence movement in Waimate, recited at that meeting an original poem cheering the settlers and bushmen on in temperance effort. The spark .struck at that meeting was not allowed to die. Four years later. 40 years ago, a little building tailed the Temperance Hall was erected, and still exists as the centre of this present hall. Here developed regular meetings, social evenings, a Good Templars Lodge, and a coffee stall. My earliest recollections of temperance work are centred round the names of George Henry Graham, whom you all knew and respected, and Samuel William Goldsmith, whose memory is kept green to me by many kindly encouragements to a ''new chum" boy. I can remember attending, 34 years ago, a Juvenile Temperance Lodge in the anteroom of this building. This was conducted by Mr E. Bahnerman, whose influence for good has been, continuous and far-reaching. I have a pledge-card of the Wesleyan Band of Hope given me in 1879, and have many memories of the meetings and of their workers. Twenty-three years ago came into existence the Gospel Temperance Society, which, for eight years, did splendid service in both town and country places. Twenty-one years ago the Sydenham prohibition agitation brought into existence the Waimate Prohibition League. Mr Graham was its first President, followed by Mr W. Manchester, and in the third year by Mr T. J. Brown, who has stuck to the position through good and evil report right on till now. Fourteen years ago the amalgamation of the Gospel Temperance Society and the Prohibition League brought into existence the present Temperance Reform Union. Reviewing, in memory, the years of my association in this district with temperance effort: I recall the faces of very many men and women whose unceasing sacrifice of time and money in earnest effort to benefit their country and its people made it an honor and a pleasure to know them. In conclusion, he thanked them for the compliment of their presence at the gathering, and thanked them heartily, on behalf of his wife and himself, for their valuable present. The Temperance party owed little to him in comparison with the many advantages he had derived from his association with the party. The work had been a pleasure and had played a great part in his own development. During the evening musical items were rendered by Miss Stewart, Ferens and Thorns, and Messrs E. Wilson, W. L. Hay, and A. Macdonald. Mr J. Strachan contributed a recitation, and Miss A. Miller acted as accompanist to the singers. Supper was handed round at the close of the addresses, and a most successful gathering broke up at 11 p.m.

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