Head­stone mys­tery

Miner’s rel­a­tives ‘gut­ted’ by theft

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By CHE BAKER

A case of a miss­ing head­stone from the Cromwell Ceme­tery has gone cold and po­lice are call­ing for help to find it. The head­stone of Ge­orge Paul, a gold miner in Cen­tral Otago in the 1800s, was last be­lieved to have last been seen in 2010 af­ter it was erected by his rel­a­tive, Helen DeLilla. Mrs DeLilla tracked down Mr Paul, her great-great-grand­fa­ther’s brother, af­ter be­com­ing in­volved in ge­neal­ogy. On dis­cov­er­ing he was buried in an un­marked grave in Cromwell, she paid $500 for a gran­ite head­stone to be put at the ceme­tery in 2009 but it has since been stolen. Mr Paul was born in Scot­land in 1820 and be­came a suc­cess­ful miner in New Zealand be­fore he died in July 1891 at age 70. He was one of the old­est peo­ple liv­ing in the Ne­vis at his death. ‘‘He must have been a good miner be­cause he left 1500

The head­stone of Ne­vis miner Ge­orge Paul, who died in 1891, which has gone miss­ing from the Cromwell Ceme­tery. pounds in the Bank of New Zealand to his brother,’’ Mrs DeLilla said. Mrs DeLilla and her hus­band shifted to Alexan­dra ear­lier this year be­cause of the Christchurch earth­quakes and to be closer to the site. They were gut­ted to find the head­stone was gone. ’’It’s bizarre. It’s a huge piece of gran­ite. I just want to know where it is,’’ she said. It was be­lieved other head­stones had also gone miss­ing. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the head­stone was urged to con­tact Cromwell po­lice.

Photo: LEE JAMIESON

Midget might: Ready for ac­tion: Alexan­dra Flames ice hockey team mem­bers, from left, Dale McCauley, 15, Ben Hur­ley, 14, Blake Smith, 14, and James Moore, 15, com­peted on Satur­day at Ice In­line Sports Com­plex in Alexan­dra. The com­pe­ti­tion was be­tween Alexan­dra, Gore, Dunedin and Queen­stown, the four teams that make up the un­der16 South­ern Midget league.

Gold miner:

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