Due to the popularity of the Walk of Memories as a final resting place for ashes, stage one of an extension project is about to get under way.
The 250-metre extension will create about 575 new ashes plots in addition to the 115 bronze plaque memorial plots still remaining from the initial Walk of Memories offering. The extension will offer the option of both granite and bronze plaques on either side, whereas previously the left side was exclusively granite and the right side only bronze plaques. Each plot can accommodate two sets of ashes.
The Walk of Memories was created in 2013 to provide a gently flowing pathway for ashes memorial after cremation. Plans are for the Walk to eventually cover most of the three-kilometre boundary of Purewa as cremation continues to be preferred to burial.
In addition, two retaining walls will be built at the beginning of V block allowing an additional berm to be built providing about 65 east-facing small headstone ashes memorial spaces. More kidney-shaped memorial gardens are to be created which have historically proved very popular.
The existing road outside S block is being replaced in an on-going programme of improvement to ensure visitors are able to safely access their loved one’s memorials. The old stone wall on the upper side of the road has also been rebuilt
The newly appointed General Manager of Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Mr Alastair Crombie, says the Purewa Cemetery Trust Board which is responsible for the cemetery’s management and maintenance, is very proactive about keeping the infrastructure in excellent condition.
‘‘The Board and staff are committed to providing the public with the best facilities and environment to remember and honour their loved ones,’’ he said.
The former administration office has now been demolished and is being rebuilt to meet the needs of Auckland’s growing population. Special features will include a Quiet Room and additional interview rooms. Mr Crombie said the Quiet Room would be especially useful for parents bringing their still born and new born babies to Purewa for cremation.
While the new offices are being built the administration staff are working from the newly refurbished Lounge of Remembrance. When the new building is completed in April next year, the Lounge of Remembrance will be reopened for after funeral catering in a peaceful, garden setting.