Photo by Craig Baxter
A brighter future now seems likely after years of
vandalism and neglect left an important grave in Dunedin's
Southern Cemetery in a ''totally shameful'' condition.
About $5000 has been pledged to repair the grave of Charles
Kettle, an influential Dunedin early settler.
Dunedin heritage advocate Stewart Harvey recently took issue
with the ''shameful'' state of the grave, and its condition
was highlighted in a story in the Otago Daily Times late last
Kettle was Dunedin's first main surveyor and contributed much
to the city, laying out its distinctive pattern of streets,
including its central Octagon.
University of Otago Emeritus Prof Martin Ferguson, who has
been studying Kettle's life, noted Kettle Park was named
after him, but no public memorial marked his major
contribution as ''the architect of Dunedin''.
Prof Ferguson last month contacted the ODT and Mr Harvey, the
chairman of the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New
Zealand, to raise concern about the state of the grave.
Its main headstone had fallen and its concrete apron was
Mr Harvey was encouraged that since the ODT story appeared,
some city organisations had pledged about $5000 to repair the
He hoped the repairs could be carried out over the next few
months, depending partly on availability of monumental
masons, and the weather.
Much more repair and restoration work needed to be done in
Dunedin's cemeteries, but there was also a growing community
awareness about the importance of the city's history, he
Prof Ferguson was ''very pleased'' the money had been
pledged, that people had been supportive, and that the
community was at last giving more recognition to Kettle, who
was an important figure.