Group restoring Glenore cemetery

The final resting place of 91 souls will be restored in a project that will also involve a book on the site's history.

The Glenore Manuka Trust - the group behind the restoration of the Mt Stuart Reserve - has now set its sights on the Glenore cemetery.

Trust chairman Alan Williams said the project had been several months in the making.

The cemetery was known to contain 91 bodies but only 11 graves still had headstones.

A conservation report by the New Zealand Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust was completed in January and the trust, with help from the community probation service, recently began a tentative tidy-up.

Mr Williams said the cemetery, 10km west of Milton off the Manuka Gorge highway, had become "extremely overgrown" after years of neglect.

The first task was to try to mark out the cemetery's layout.

Trustees found this a hard job as only incomplete records were available, but research by Mr Williams had uncovered more details to help guide workers.

The first interment there was in 1862 but it is unknown when the last body was committed.

As well as getting his hands dirty in the restoration, Mr Williams has also started compiling a book on the cemetery's history.

He is also involved in producing a history on Otago gold prospector Edward Peters, also known as Black Peter, who is widely thought to have made the first discovery of payable gold in Otago in 1860.

The trust was responsible for building a statue of Peters, commemorating his place in Otago history.

This monument was unveiled at Easter.

Mr Williams said any relatives of people buried at the cemetery were welcome to provide him with information for his book. He can be contacted on (03) 417-8170.

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