Baby memorial blessed at opening ceremony

Families and contributors to Queenstown's new baby memorial gathered yesterday to mark its official opening.

Pictured with the memorial are (from left) Robert Williams, landscape designer Andy Rogers, stonemason Darrell Jefferies, Sands charity volunteer Natasha Murray, Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult, Queenstown Lakes District Council parks officer Maddy Dowman and Sands volunteer Ali Hanrahan.

Dozens of residents attended the ceremony, which began with prayers led by the Rev Ian Guy, Minister of the Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church, and a blessing of the new Lower Shotover Cemetery by Ngai Tahu representatives.

Mr Boult, who spoke at the ceremony, said the new cemetery and memorial held "deep significance'' and offered a place for families to "honour the lives of those who have passed on''.

Sands charity volunteers helped establish the memorial, which would be able to hold about 300 plaques.

The cemetery will be available for use from Monday. 

 - Joshua Walton

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