WelCom July 2020:
Joanne Gomez and Micaela Buckley
Mount Street Cemetery is Wellington’s first Catholic cemetery, dating back to 1840 when it was consecrated by Bishop Pompallier. The cemetery was used for all Catholic burials until Karori Cemetery was opened in 1891.
On Monday 8 June this year, a small group gathered at the cemetery for the blessing of the site prior to a broken underground electricity cable being dug up and replaced. This culminated after a year of careful consultation and preparation for Wellington Electricity to repair the fault.
Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard of the Archdiocese of Wellington led the blessing. He called for blessings of the land that the group stood on, the ancestors buried in the cemetery, the people gathered at the site and for the work about to commence.
Some of the Friends of Mount Street Cemetery were among those gathered. Formed in 2010 under the Archdiocese of Wellington, this volunteer group is made up of descendants and others committed to the cemetery’s conservation. The Friends’ dedicated work involves restoration of burial sites in the sacred ground and establishing full records as well as conserving the cemetery as a link to ancestors, an important heritage site, and an amenity for all.
The first generation interred at Mount Street included Māori and the first wave of immigrants to New Zealand from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, and from what are now Italy, Germany, and Poland. Many Catholic families are represented among the names of those interred at the cemetery.
Perhaps one of your ancestors rests there. To find out, come along to the Friends’ annual general meeting on Wednesday 22 July at the Catholic Centre, 22 Hill St, Wellington and hear Friends President Vaughan Stagpoole’s presentation on the history of the cemetery.
The AGM starts with refreshments at 5.30pm for a 6pm meeting. All are welcome. For more information, contact Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Gomez and Micaela Buckley are Friends of Mount St Cemetery.