Tue 23 Oct 18.
Council seeks families of vandalised grave stones
Ruapehu District Council is asking for the families who had grave headstones vandalised at Raetihi Cemetery recently to contact them about their reinstatement.
RDC Team Leader Community Property, Rebecca van Orden, said that seven grave sites were damaged in the attack with some of them being quite badly damaged.
“We have had a memorial stone mason company quote to repair the grave headstones with the costs ranging up to $1,850 each,” said Mrs van Orden.
“Unfortunately Council does not have the resources to pay to have the broken headstones fixed although we will be paying to have two headstones that were knocked over but not broken to be re-erected.
As headstones are owned by the family the responsibility for repairing them would rest with any relatives if they can be found.
Council will however do what we can to reassemble the pieces and lay them on top of the graves as best we can.
We will research our records and try to ascertain who their descendants are and whether they can be contacted however with the graves dating back as far as 1918 this might be quite difficult.”
Mrs van Orden said that it was really disappointing that people would do this sort of mindless act.
“These graves embody part of the history of Raetihi and the Waimarino,” she said.
“Unfortunately there is a minority who for whatever reason don’t have enough pride in themselves or our town and do this sort of thing.
As well as the physical damage and cost this sort of act can affect family members quite badly.
If anyone has any information about the vandalism that occurred prior to 5/10/18 they should report it to the Police which can be done anonymously if people prefer.”
The graves affected by the vandalism are:
- Murson (Hester) - Row 4 Plot 1
- Dunlop (Colleen) - Row 13 Plot 23
- Keary (Patrick Thomas) - Row 11 Plot 22
- Tepeke (Te Ata Marama) - Row 23 Plot 8.
- Drake (Harry) - Row 24 Plot 11
- Pearson Robert BC - Row 23 Plot 27
- Irwin (Ean Howard) - Row 31 Plot 30