Monday, October 27, 2008

George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery (aka Rosebank / Orchard St Cemetery) : Part 1

This would appear to be Avondale’s oldest cemetery, the earliest burial in 1862. The cemetery was originally part of the farm of Dr Thomas Aickin from 1859, and it is a child of his, William Aickin, who is the first burial there (3 August 1862). Dr. Aickin, according to a memorial stone in the cemetery, “dedicated this land to the Church of England as a cemetery (in 1862)”. Dr Thomas Aickin was the first medical superintendent at the Auckland Lunatic Asylum in the 19th century, and was Avondale’s first available local physician. He is buried in the cemetery, along with members of his family and descendents.
The Avondale Anglican Cemetery Board recorded that on 12th July 1876 a Deed of Conveyance was registered, concerning “the piece of land containing one acre”, transferring ownership of the property From Dr. Thomas Aickin and a mortgagor William Earl to “Alan Kerr Taylor, John Bollard and Matthew Thomas Clayton upon trust for a cemetery and for religious charitable and educational purposes.”
The present address is 208-210 Rosebank Road, Avondale.

According to an undated history written by the Board, “Upon the deaths of the above persons, Harold Robertson Jecks, Frederick Harry Walker and Harold Anthony Valentine Bollard were appointed Trustees. On 30th May, 1958, Harold Bollard being the sole surviving Trustee appointed the General Trust Board of the Diocese of Auckland to be trustees of the said land.”

Responsibility was then handed over to the Parochial District of Avondale, the first meeting of the Avondale Anglican Cemetery Board was held 17th June 1959.

During the 1960s, sheep were kept on the cemetery grounds to maintain the lawn. One animal died and was buried in the cemetery. In 1991, the cemetery was named the George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery, after the caretaker of the cemetery.

Updated 3 October 2012 -- discovered a coipy of the deed sent to me from Anglican Docese, correcting the date of the deed itself.

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