Restored headstone rights a wrong at Makaraka Cemetery

HONOURING THE HAYES: Great-granddaughter Kate Coleman (middle), her daughter Freya Burnett (left) and another great-granddaughter, Carol Way, honour their descendants of a century ago, Patrick and Margaret Hayes, with a new headstone to replace the original controversially removed from Makaraka Cemetery in the early 1970s. Picture by Liam Clayton

Early colonial residents Patrick and Margaret Hayes can rest easily again in Makaraka Cemetery.

They are the latest long-deceased residents whose headstone has been restored and returned to its resting place after it was removed by Cook County Council in the early 1970s and buried in a trench in 1982.

Great-granddaughter Kate Coleman, who travelled from Auckland to attend her mother Joan Coleman’s 90th birthday on Saturday, said her mother had seen Gisborne Herald coverage of the historic headstones, and told her they had relatives whose headstone had also been removed.

Ms Coleman said the family wanted to right the wrong and honour William and Margaret.

Patrick died on October 17, 1913, and Margaret on July 1, 1920.

Margaret was born in Ireland in 1851 and came to New Zealand at the age of nine.

Patrick and Margaret married and lived in Thames and moved to Gisborne at some time around 1910.

They had six daughters and a son.

In Gisborne, they lived at 61 Wainui Road.

The house still stands today and was also the home of Ms Coleman and her parents Joan and the late Bill.

Carol Way, another great-granddaughter, also came to Gisborne from Thames for Mrs Coleman’s birthday and to see the restored headstone. She is the granddaughter of one of the Hayes’ daughters, Mary McLoughlin.

Mrs Way said she was concerned there were relatives who may not know their descendants lay in the cemetery without a headstone.

There might be others who could not afford to restore or buy a new headstone, said Ms Coleman.

The work carried out on their family headstone by stonemason Graeme Gedye was superb and made it look brand new, she said.

They wanted the Hayes to rest under a headstone and not be represented by a memorial wall.

The two women expressed their praise to Dot McCulloch from the Friends of Makaraka Cemetery Trust for her work and support of affected families such as themselves.

Early colonial residents Patrick and Margaret Hayes can rest easily again in Makaraka Cemetery.

They are the latest long-deceased residents whose headstone has been restored and returned to its resting place after it was removed by Cook County Council in the early 1970s and buried in a trench in 1982.

Great-granddaughter Kate Coleman, who travelled from Auckland to attend her mother Joan Coleman’s 90th birthday on Saturday, said her mother had seen Gisborne Herald coverage of the historic headstones, and told her they had relatives whose headstone had also been removed.

Ms Coleman said the family wanted to right the wrong and honour William and Margaret.

Patrick died on October 17, 1913, and Margaret on July 1, 1920.

Margaret was born in Ireland in 1851 and came to New Zealand at the age of nine.

Patrick and Margaret married and lived in Thames and moved to Gisborne at some time around 1910.

They had six daughters and a son.

In Gisborne, they lived at 61 Wainui Road.

The house still stands today and was also the home of Ms Coleman and her parents Joan and the late Bill.

Carol Way, another great-granddaughter, also came to Gisborne from Thames for Mrs Coleman’s birthday and to see the restored headstone. She is the granddaughter of one of the Hayes’ daughters, Mary McLoughlin.

Mrs Way said she was concerned there were relatives who may not know their descendants lay in the cemetery without a headstone.

There might be others who could not afford to restore or buy a new headstone, said Ms Coleman.

The work carried out on their family headstone by stonemason Graeme Gedye was superb and made it look brand new, she said.

They wanted the Hayes to rest under a headstone and not be represented by a memorial wall.

The two women expressed their praise to Dot McCulloch from the Friends of Makaraka Cemetery Trust for her work and support of affected families such as themselves.

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