Helping to improve the damaged grave of early Dunedin surveyor Charles Kettle are (from left) cemeteries heritage advocate Stewart Harvey, Otago University Surveying Students Association president Rob Mears, and Emeritus Prof Martin Ferguson. Photo by Linda Robertson.
University of Otago surveying students and Dunedin surveyors
have joined forces to help repair a grave left in a ''totally
shameful'' condition, in the city's Southern Cemetery.
The grave is that of Charles Kettle, who was Dunedin's first
He contributed much to the city, laying out its distinctive
pattern of streets, including its central Octagon.
In April, Otago University Emeritus Prof Martin Ferguson, who
had been studying Kettle's life, contacted the Otago Daily
Times and raised concerns about the grave, which had been
badly damaged through years of neglect and vandalism.
The situation was highlighted in an ODT story, in which
Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand
chairman Stewart Harvey lamented the grave's ''shameful''
Otago University Surveying Students Association president Rob
Mears said association members had responded by raising about
$1500 for grave repairs, through a recent annual quiz night
and associated fundraising auction.
The coastal Otago branch of the New Zealand Institute of
Surveyors backed the auction, and branch member donations
lifted the total to $1900.
''It's great to see it happen. It's appropriate for
Dunedin,'' Prof Ferguson said about the fundraising. Dr Mick
Strack, an Otago University surveying academic and Otago
branch executive member, was ''extremely proud'' of the
Mr Harvey, the chairman of the Historic Cemeteries
Conservation Trust of New Zealand, was ''ecstatic'' about the
support by students, surveyors and the wider community.
A further $3000 had been pledged by community sources, and
the grave would be restored later this year, he said.