Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Sepia Saturday 220: Monuments

Yes, I'm late with Sepia Saturday this week, but at least I've had a go.  If you want to know more about Sepia Saturday, click here.

This week we have to post photos of monuments.  I chose headstones as my theme seeing that I visited numerous headstones today of my ancestors, plus saw some interesting sights.

I went to Bromley Cemetery which is in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I've harped on about the Christchurch Earthquakes before so I won't go into detail again, only to say that the earthquakes have really wrecked our local cemeteries.  While walking around there were several council vans, some doing gardening and some fixing up the land issues at the cemetery.  There was a guy on a digger trying to level the ground again.  He said hi and went to have his lunch as I came along the pathway.  You could see where he had been digging, trying to lessen the amount of potholes on the pathways.  He also had been placing wooden stakes on the graves that needed major repair.  When this repair is going to be done, God only knows.  There are thousands of gravestones that need repairing.

I found most of the stones I was looking for.  I can tell you, if you want your own gravestone to survive and earthquake, put a slab in.  A modest sized slab with etched in letters so that they can't come off (like lead). My ancestor Edwin Lord and his wife chose a headstone that wasn't too high and very solid and it has lasted the test of time!
Grave of Edwin and Mary Lord (my great great grandparents)

But don't have an inserted panel on a slab.  They can just fall off, like this one on my ancestors' stone.

If you want your headstone to topple, then make it really really tall like this one

Gravestone of Jabez and Mary Ann Lord and their daughter Ellen Lord, taken 26 March 2014.

One of my relations, Henry Pearce, I searched and searched for.  He might have an unmarked grave.  Or maybe this is his stone, totally flattened by another during a 7.1 earthquake!

And finally don't ever put beautiful madonnas on your headstone that tower above your final resting place.  This one is now sleeping peacefully in Bromley Cemetery, tucked away in a forgotten corner.

Not everything has fallen.  Some strong monuments to the dead have survived, like this beautiful angel, bringing hope to us poor Christchurch residents.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sepia Saturday 218: Fences and backyards

Sepia Saturday 218 is about fences and washing and other domestic things.  Click here to read more Sepia Saturday stories.  I found this great photo of my great grandma, who this blog is named after.  We are not sure how old she is here, maybe 8 or 9 years old.    She was born in 1900 which puts this photo at about 1908.  We are not even sure where the photo has been taken?  Her family were living in Ohoka at the time on a farm there.  But why would her photo be taken right next to a corragated iron fence when there were lovely gardens at the house.  So this photo is from a more urban setting. A table with flowers and books and an ornament grace the table that she leans on, yet there is an ugly fence behind her!

She looks kind of grumpy too.  Was she forced to stand still for too long and was getting more and more grumpy. Or maybe the sun was just too bright.  It reminds me of some of the faces she pulled when I knew her in her 80s and 90s.  She lived in a rest home for the last ten years of her life and hated it there.  I loved my great grandma.  She had such soft skin on her wrinkly face.  She told great stories of her childhood, riding horses to school and having hair so long she could sit on it.  She used to wear it in a long plait down her back. She had a wonderful childhood on the farm at Ohoka.  She remembers climbing trees to get the juicy apples!  Such memories of freedom and the colours, flavours and pure joy of childhood which lasted her whole life!

My great grandma died when she was 96 after living a good long life.