Henry ThompsonPath through Cemetery headstonescross

Bringing Linwood Cemetery Alive!

Army Youth Development Unit

August 21st, 2012 by Alexandra

Army Youth Volunteers help restore damaged artwork in Linwood Cemetery

The Friends of Linwood Cemetery are very grateful to the Army Youth Development Unit at Burnham for allowing several members of the Limited Service Volunteers (LSVs) to help re-paint the damaged artwork protecting the Peacock Mausoleum following a recent, vicious attack of tagging.

The YDU had planned their second working bee in Linwood Cemetery for Saturday 25th August and were willing to detail some of the LSVs to help with this upsetting and time consuming task.

“In June ,40 young people on the Youth Development Programme spent an afternoon in Linwood Cemetery weeding, and tidying. On their return to camp, the Unit Instructors were put under pressure by those who stayed behind to also get a ‘piece of the action’, said Jen Goldsworthy, Treasurer of the Friends who liaised with the Unit.

“We were delighted to be told that this time, 80 young people were on their way – twice as many as before! The amount of work that forty of these young people (aged 18-25) did in July was phenomenal and made a huge, positive difference to the appearance of Linwood Cemetery. We were stoked that they wanted to return – and so many, so soon!”

The New Zealand Defence Force is linked with three youth development programmes. Each is funded by the government, and uses the expertise of Defence Force staff to help motivate young New Zealanders to enter the workforce. The YDU at Burnham is the only Youth Development Unit in South Island.

“The extent of the interest in the cemetery, respect shown of the grave plots and the sense of pride when the young people left was a surprise to us”, added Jen.

Sadly, not all people understand that those buried in cemeteries are also someone’s parents, grandparents, child or baby. The mean-spirited and disrespectful covering of Anne Holloway’s wonderful artwork, originally sponsored with paint from Dulux NZ, has been reported to the Police and the City Council.

The only distant relatives of The Hon John T. Peacock MLC (1827 – 1905) who was an influential and generous citizen of Christchurch, are in their 70’s and were distraught when they heard about the damage.

“Everyone, who has seen or heard about this recent act of vandalism, has been furious – not only by the senselessness of it but also for The Friends who have spent so much of their own time improving the look of the Mausoleum for everyone to enjoy.” said Jen Goldsworthy.

The tagging that fully covered two sides of the mausoleum, took 18 person hours to remove so that the original artwork could be revealed enough to be re-painted. Materials used cost around $75 – a significant part of the Trust’s small operational budget.

The Friends had been trying to find a sign-writer to complete the project before putting on a graffiti resistant coating. Digby Gemmel from Gemsigns was very saddened by the vandalism and offered to complete the sign writing at no charge, as soon as the panels have been re-painted.

All the Friends have ever wanted to do is to provide a splash of colour that will inspire the local community and those with ancestors in the cemetery to visit more often to help take care of it.

Click on Army Youth Development Programme for more information.

More information about Gemsigns contact Digby Gemmell 365 1262, 027 221 0948 gemsigns@xtra.co.nz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing