A Friends of Purewa group has been established to encourage local interest and help support the work of the Purewa Cemetery Trust Board.
The inaugural Coordinator is Sue Cooper, a former librarian and information manager with a special interest in history and cemeteries.
Sue’s last role was Heritage and Research Manager at Auckland Libraries operated by the Auckland Council. She is also the Chair of Remuera Heritage – a local historical society whose purpose is to recognise, appreciate, preserve and share Remuera’s past and present.
She has spent the last four years researching the Remuera men and women who served in World War One and blogging about them on the Remuera Heritage website.
“I’ve always been interested in cultural, built and documentary heritage and cemeteries, which are a wonderfully rich source of local history and fascinating stories,” Sue says.
“I’m very much looking forward to exploring the history and stories of Purewa Cemetery, which was founded in 1889 by the Anglican Church,” she says.
The Chairman of the Purewa Cemetery Trust Board John Priestley says the Board has plans to introduce guided public tours of the historic parts of the cemetery. .
“To be able to offer these tours we need a small number of local residents who share an interest in history and the area to volunteer their time. Other areas where we will appreciate Friends of Purewa assistance and participation are when we hold community events, such as being part of the Council’s Heritage Festival later this year,” he says.
Another activity is cleaning and restoring service graves which need attention and repair. Purewa has an ongoing programme of restoration and cleaning in which volunteers are welcome to participate after training.
While Purewa is proud of its history it has also invested in the future with newly opened state-of-the-art after-funeral reception lounges and an innovative administration building due to open in April this year. Anyone interested in more information on the Friends of Purewa please contact Sue Cooper firstname.lastname@example.org