Purewa ap­proves plans to ex­pand its Walk of Mem­o­ries

Central Leader - - LIFESTYLE & LEISURE -

The dap­pled sun­light and tran­quil park set­ting of Purewa’s Walk of Mem­o­ries cre­ates one of the most con­tem­pla­tive strolls imag­in­able – an­other trea­sured as­pect of what is widely re­garded as Auck­land’s most beau­ti­ful ceme­tery.

Now, just four years af­ter its es­tab­lish­ment the Walk of Mem­o­ries is to be ex­tended, to cater for the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of memo­ri­al­is­ing ashes. The Purewa Ceme­tery Trust Board has ap­proved a plan to ex­tend the walk from its present length and 600-plaque ca­pac­ity to an even­tual 3km cir­cum­fer­ence of the ceme­tery grounds.

‘‘Fam­i­lies look­ing for a fit­ting rest­ing place for their loved one’s ashes re­sponded so warmly to the Walk of Mem­o­ries, we de­cided to ap­proach the Trust Board with a con­cept plan to ex­tend it,’’ Purewa Ceme­tery gen­eral man­ager Clifton Thom­son says.

‘‘We were for­tu­nate in hav­ing John Tik from en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tants Har­ri­son Gri­er­son as a Trustee to en­sure a thor­oughly pro­fes­sional plan was pre­sented and ap­proved.’’

The orig­i­nal walk was the brain­child of Clifton who had been look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive to the Gar­den of Re­mem­brance as it neared ca­pac­ity for ash in­ter­ments. He saw po­ten­tial in con­vert­ing an old as­phalt foot­path on the park’s eastern side, and be­gan de­vel­op­ing the con­cept.

To­day Stage One is at 50 per cent ca­pac­ity; Stage Two should be­gin in 2018, with new plots be­com­ing avail­able as the work is com­pleted. Even­tu­ally the walk­way will com­plete a cir­cuit of Purewa’s 20 hectares, with pro­vi­sion for 4500 ash plots.

Both sides of the tran­quil walk­way fea­ture a con­crete berm on which fam­i­lies can place a gran­ite tablet which can be en­graved or have a bronze plaque ad­hered. There is also pro­vi­sion for bedrock memo­ri­als along the way.

Clifton says peo­ple love it be­ing a peace­ful path­way rather than a road­way.

‘‘It’s a most fit­ting place for con­tem­pla­tion, to re­mem­ber loved ones and pay homage on a birth­day or an­niver­sary day or at Christ­mas. And with public ac­cess it’s a lovely place for any­one to walk.’’

Purewa Ceme­tery and Cre­ma­to­rium is lo­cated at 100-102 St Johns Rd Mead­ow­bank. For all en­quiries phone 528 5599 or email en­quiries@purewa.co.nz.

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