Thursday, June 05, 2008

Photo Shoot at Symonds Street Cemetery

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Last weekend I went on a photoshoot at Symonds Street Cemetery . It was really interesting - especially for history geeks like me - here are a couple of layouts Ive made with some of the photos

ournalling reads:

On our photo walk to Symonds Street Cemetery we came across many
damaged neglected and forgotten graves, but by far the largest ( and
one of the more dilapidated was this monument deep in the bush area to
the south of Grafton Bridge. It intrigued me - who was this man John
Smith - clearly very much loved in life to have warranted such a
grandiose monument on his death.

With the name John Smith I doubted that I would easily find any information but I was in luck.

I found that he is linked to Smith and Caugheys - the first and still most prestigious NZ department store .

Smith was a self-made entrepreneur, having arrived in New Zealand at
the age of ten on a warship from which he and other crew deserted. He
subsequently travelled to Australia where he worked on the goldfields
as a miner and in business. Arriving in Auckland with wife and adopted
daughter after spending time on the Otago and West Coast goldfields,
Smith became established as a draper and clothier on the west side of
Queen Street. In 1875 he constructed a two storey shop of Italianate
design on the site of the current Smith and Caughey's department store.

He commissioned the building of and owned Park House now known as
Pembridge - a historic home in Princes Street which he lived in until
his death in 1882.

Smith was buried in Symonds Street cemetery, where his wealth is
testified by one of the largest monument's erected there. ( from the
Register of Historic Places Auckland)

I found a connection to Smith and Caugheys on another web site quoting a NZ Herald article of 1879

“Messrs. Philip and Charles Hanncken, long and favourably known in
musical circles in this city, have purchased from Messrs. Smith and
Caughey their lease of the draper's shop at the foot of Upper
Queen-street, and under the name Hanncken Brothers, will commence
business on Saturday next as drapers and mercers. Mr Philip Hanncken
has been for many years in the employ of Messrs L. D. Nathan and Co.,
and Charles Hanncken, for some time after the death of Mr John Smith,
managed the business on behalf of his widow.”

What saddens me is that this history of a man who was clearly a very
influential man in the history of Auckland may well be soon lost and

just like his grave is - a remnant of the past returning to nature.

I used my Faded Glory Page Kit for this layout

and Dusky Greens Backpack for the mats - and the title is made from my corrugated captions deluxe word art ( for the word remember )

and distressed corrugated alphabet for the Past Lives

Journalling reads

Oh so sad. What was the story behind these headstones? The small one
for Editha and Christopher FLorance - aged 5 years 5 months and 18
months respectively - dying within 2 weeks of each other on 24th
November 1850 and 5th December of the same year. What tragedy took
these 2 children yet left their parents (and their grandparents to
grieve- For the larger headstone is that of Thomas Florance - who was
the first surveyor in New Zealand (1832 - 1834)and who died in 1865 -
at the ripe old age of 82.

His wife Elizabeth died died 14 April 1864 aged 70 years. They are
likely to have been the grandparents as a little research shows Thomas
and Elizabeth had a daughter Sarah in 1838 and a son Alfred in 1839.

The story may well be lost forever now- I imagine it was illness that
took these 2 babes before their life had even started . There is no
doubt life was harsh in those early days in New Zealand history but in
the end its may be just another mystery among the headstones at Symonds
Street Cemetery.

I used my Black Forest Page Kit for this layout ( thanks Sharon for suggesting it - it was just perfect)

and the add on pack

and my custom fill script alphabet and caps

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