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Bringing Linwood Cemetery Alive!

Past Working Bees

We used to have four Working Bees a year; one for each season.  Anyone could join us and there were always activities to suit all abilities and levels of energy. Unfortunately we have aged and there are less of us so currently we are unable to run Working Bees.  Groups wanting to do work in the cemetery should contact the Cemeteries Administrator at Christchurch City Council (CCC) for information and the relevant permissions.  As the land is owned by the CCC and there are safety issues no one is allowed to work in the cemetery without CCC permission.

Any future Working Bees will be listed on our Events page.

June 2012

When tidying the area of the Old Tram Line in preparation for the ANZAC Commemoration it became clear that the grass is encroaching on either side of the tar-seal by at least a metre.  As the tram line is probably the only one to go into a cemetery in the world and is a main throughfare for funerals in the Jewish section, we feel that this feature should be kept properly edged and well swept.  Three Trustees were joined by Jen’s grand-daughter and a volunteer, Mark.  This is the third time that Mark has biked from the other side of town to help us in the cemetery.

December 2011 and March 2012

As the painting of the plywood surround of the Peacock Mausoleum developed into a beautiful trompe l’oille on all four sides, so the surrounding area looked more and more unkempt!  The past two working bees have focused on the area surounding the Peacock Mausoleum but the weeds are plentiful and we were small in number!

We were joined in December by 3 members of the public and 3 Friends.  Two helped blocking in colour for Anne on the Mausoeum, the rest of us had a go at tidying the graves in Block 32.

The gardening exercise was repeated in March but due to rather late publicity, only Trustees came along.  This area suffered greatly in the February earthquake and would benefit from some being able to use heavy lifting gear to tidy the stones onto their graves.

June 2011

We felt it was about time to tidy ‘up the hill’ and did a very satisfying job of removing pine mulch from much of Blocks 1, 2 and 3.  Sandra and Jenny from NZSG joined us.  Shirley visited for a while, gave us a generous donation and took some photos for us.  We were 10 people in total.  Despite not being able to do anything about earthquake damage, our work really made a positive difference to the look of the ‘top end’.  Coffee and scones at Anne’s, now a regular and rewarding part of the proceedings, always brings up interesting memories and connections confirming there is really only 2 degrees of separation in Christchurch!

March 2011

Due to the extensive damage to, and questions of the stability of the cemetery land, we decided to walk the cemetery, assess and start to photograph the damage from the earthquake on 22 February.  It was heartbreaking and after an hour we had had enough.  Shirley joined us so we could help her to locate her ancestors and was delighted to have had help finding where they are.  Anne once again provided coffee and scones to accompany our wound licking.  We are resolute that we will continue to act as ‘self-appointed guardians’ of the cemetery.

November 2010

Knowing that we get more visitors over Christmas than probably any other time of year, our Head Gardener Judy, arranged for a huge pile of mulch from the City Council so that we could make the beds around the main car park look tidy and suppress weeds.

Judy, Anne, Jen and Alexandra were joined by Richard Greenaway and Austin Ebert as well as Jen’s two grandchildren.

Some of us shoveled the mulch and others weeded a the graves in Block 36A.  The mulch and weeding made a huge difference to the look of the car park area.  We finished just in time as the rain started.  Judy and Mr Ebert refused to stop until the whole pile of mulch was distributed around the beds. The rest of us however, hobbled home after scones and coffee at Anne’s,  for a lathering of Voltarin!

September 2010

The working bee scheduled for September 2010 was postponed because of the Canterbury Earthquake and aftershocks.

April 2010
On Saturday 24th April we held a Working Bee to plant spring bulbs in the cemetery. The City Council had donated 1000 daffodil bulbs to us. A member of the public also donated a washing basket full of gladioli and ‘paper whites’ after seeing about the event in the Bromley Community Newsletter.

After a week of uncommonly hot weather, Saturday bought a change and a much needed downpour. Trustees Anne, Judy, Jenny and Alexandra were joined by our first official member Richard Greenaway. We really appreciated him joining us and enjoyed his knowledgeable company as always.

First we planted bulbs in the ’roundabout’ by block 38 and 35. The ground was extremely hard having been compacted by vehicles over the years. We then went to the side of the roundabout where the graves are. Luckily the ground was much softer here and, despite the rain, we made good progress.

A few members of the public stopped to chat as they passed through, one young boy asking why were “planting potatoes”!

A few more bulbs were planted on the bank above McGregors Road.

After just over an hour we were all soaked through, despite our wet weather gear, and happily adjourned to Anne’s for tea and scones, sitting on towels as we dried out! I think we actually spent longer at Anne’s than we did in the cemetery that day!

Having got halfway through planting the bulbs we decided to finish the job the next day and met up again at 10.30am on Sunday, feeling it was appropriate to be in the cemetery on ANZAC Day.

This time Linda Rutland and Jenny’s daughter joined us in bulb planting at the border between the cemetery and the playground in Bromley Park. From there we went up the hill to Block 12 and finishing the lot off in about an hour and a half.

Although the weather was very autumnal, the anticipation of the bulbs appearing next spring kept us going, and as always it was a great time to get together and chat informally about cemetery business without the constraints of time or Agenda.

February 2010

Our first Working Bee for 2010 was successful.  The weather started off cool but warmed up and was glorious!  Organised by Linda, we based ourselves in Blocks 22 and moved on to Block 26.  Head Gardener Judy told us what was to go and what was to stay!  Alexandra made a record of the event and was also seen to pick up the occasional weed!  Two volunteers arrived; Norman and John, and we are grateful for their sterling efforts and hope to see them again.  Linda re-oiled our new seat.  Judy’s wonderful efforts over the years really show.  The lavender, gladioli and geraniums  look spectacular and although the roses are coming to an end, they were obviously a delight.  We were surprised by a couple from the UK looking for a relative and were able to help them (see Comment on Flinders, Elizabeth).  All in all, a perfect Working Bee!

© The Friends of Linwood Cemetery Charitable Trust

Updated 17th June 2018 by Alexandra