Friday, January 20, 2012

Thames (NZ): Tararu Cemetery Photos & History

In recent weeks I have heard from several people asking about Tararu cemetery, so thanks to Dave for climbing the hill and getting these great photos.

In past years accessibility was challenged due to slips, but steps are in place to still allow access to the hillside graves. Remember if you need any burial or monumental inscriptions, these are available in the first instance from TCDC, in Thames at The Treasury and Library, as well as on fiche at many public libraries

Top: Looking south, with Tararu Point in the distance
Middle: looking North, up the hill
Bottom: Looking south, showing the steep edge of the cemetery
To date it is unclear when the first burials took place, but it was pre July 1873. In the Daily southern Cross 30/7/1873, there is concern expressed for the need for a bridge over the Tararu Creek and the need to sort out the native land title, so that the cemetery could be used again.
The first recorded burial records that exist today are:
William Thomas STEEDMAN aged 14wk buried 19/8/1873
Hannah ROSS aged 84 buried 31/8/1873
Julia GOODALL aged 14 days buried 7/9/1873
Lilias Mary JOHNS aged 6 wks buried 19/9/1873
James DARROW aged 4 buried 21/9/1873
Frederick WYLIE aged 5wks buried 5/10/1873
Isabella Balfour CORLETT aged 35 buried 25/11/1873
George LEITH aged 15 buried 5/12/1873

Interesting to note that in 1874, it was noted that very few burials were taking place at Tararu. Given that the majority of the population were some distance away, this is not surprising. Remembering the logistics of getting to Tararu from Shortland or Grahamstown would have been daunting for even the fittest of funeral processions.

Thames Star 22/5/1874