Turn 100, get a free grave

Fiji Sun - - Aust / Nz News - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Blen­heim: Turn 100, get a let­ter from the Queen and, in Marl­bor­ough, a free grave. Cen­te­nar­i­ans in New Zealand be­come ex­empt from burial plot fees as soon as they hit the tonne thanks to a well-hid­den clause in the Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil’s ceme­tery fees.

A coun­cil spokesman said no-one at the coun­cil knew when the clause came into ef­fect as it had been in place for “longer than 20 to 30 years”.

For one cen­te­nar­ian, the news came as quiet a sur­prise.

Dou­glas Kemp, born in De­cem­ber 1917, said he had re­served a small plot for him and his wife decades ago.

“I’ve had my plot for years and years,” Mr Kemp said. “It’s for the fam­ily.” “What about if you’ve al­ready got [a burial plot], like I have?”

His­tor­i­cally, peo­ple were able to re­serve burial plots, but reser­va­tions were sus­pended 17 years ago be­cause of the dif­fi­cul­ties they caused with “ceme­tery man­age­ment”.

100-year-old Dou­glas Kemp.

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