Newborn memorial spreads its wings

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June 2, 2017
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September 24, 2017

Newborn memorial spreads its wings

Over the coming months and years the emergence of butterfly mosaics will beautify and dignify the stillborn, newborn and children’s area of Purewa Cemetery.

The Mosaic Walkway is being created as a special place for families to visit and remember young lives who were lost before they could ‘spread their own wings’, and who forever hold a special place in their hearts.

Purewa general manager Clifton Thomson   says the walkway mosaics will feature beautiful, fresh images with a butterfly theme.

‘‘The project follows a visit to Nelson Cemetery taken by myself and Purewa Trust Board Trustee Murray Ward. We saw butterfly mosaics featured in a walkway and were impressed by their beauty and the appropriateness of the images for a newborn area.’’

The Purewa mosaic walkway will be the second of its kind in New Zealand. The mosaics will be created by Warkworth mosaic artist Joy Bell; Joy is well known for her mosaics in schools and on public buildings and her work is frequently praised for its fresh, natural themes.

Construction begins with the removal of the old cobblestone paths in the children’s sanctuary, and the laying of a substructure and concrete path over which the mosaics will be laid.

Memorials will be available for purchase within the walkway – each one helping to make up the mosaic.

Mr Thomson says the concept is to develop the walkway mosaic by mosaic.

"The theme is designed so it’s not just an historical monument but a special place dedicated to special ones, newborns and stillborns, and their parents. Historically parents were rarely granted any contact with stillborn and newborn babies; things are different now but we still feel it important that families have someplace to come back to and visit.’"

The stillborn/newborn and children’s area is a relatively new initiative, created in April 2004. There are three separate berms allowing for different sized plots, and two much loved monuments, the White Angel and Mother and Child. The Mother and Child statue features five tiers on the plinth with plaques available for purchase as children’s memorials.

- Courtesy of East & Bays Courier (Fairfax Media)
Story and photos by Keith Whitten                          

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