Solution sought for Every mystery

Pictured (from left) The grave of Simon Frederick Every in Andersons Bay Cemetery; the land in...
Pictured (from left) The grave of Simon Frederick Every in Andersons Bay Cemetery; the land in question in Silverton St; Mr Every. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
An Every man or woman could be the key to solving a more than 100 year-old Dunedin mystery about a tiny parcel of land owned by a man long since buried.

Public Trust this week announced it had been approached to become manager of a 186sqm parcel of bare land, at present used as a driveway and thoroughfare for multiple properties, in Andersons Bay.

The land is listed as being owned by the late Simon Frederick Every, who invented a bendy broom which improved the lives of chimney sweeps and after whom Dunedin’s Every St is named.

Mr Every died more than 100 years ago, on April 24, 1888, but through some quirk or another still owns the parcel of land.

A notice in the Otago Daily Times said Public Trust was seeking to become manager to "regularise" the ownership.

It was previously believed to have been part of an adjacent property.

That property, at 74 Silverton St, was previously a kindergarten which has fallen into disrepair and is now abandoned with a broken windows and filled with dust and building debris.

Asked if a descendant of Mr Every could claim the parcel of land, Public Trust chief executive Glenys Talivai said if someone was a beneficiary of his estate and believed they had entitlement to the land they should get in touch.

Public Trust would ask to see evidence of this entitlement.

Mr Every’s parcel of land is zoned as residential but vacant.

It is the top section of a long asphalt driveway which leads to several residential homes and the Elliot St Oranga Tamariki facility.

The unclaimed section has a rateable value of $11,000, and the ratepayer is listed as Simon Frederick Every (Estate).

A Dunedin City Council spokesman declined to comment on whether the section had being paying rates and referred the ODT to section seven of the unclaimed property provisions of the Public Trust Act 2001.

This allows the trust to take possession of and administer properties where the owner or owner’s agent is dead or unable to be located.

Mr Talivai said the independent Crown entity was "bound by strict obligations of confidentiality and privacy".

The process of the trust taking charge was usually commenced after receiving a request from a third party and the unclaimed land was preventing them from developing or utilising the land, she said.

Mr Every emigrated from Derbyshire, England where he was the younger son of a baronet and received a gold medal from Queen Victoria in 1851 after inventing a bendy broom that improved the lives of many young chimney sweeps.

He died aged 84 and was known in New Zealand as a farmer and artist who produced many sketches of Dunedin.

Every St, where the Bain family murders took place, was named after him.

oscar.francis@odt.co.nz

Comments

Not too sure why there is a need to bring the Bain Family into this article, no relevence.

 

Advertisement

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter