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City’s good bad and ugly revealed during Heritage Week cemetery tours

11 October 2006

Stories of scandals and scallywags will surface in Christchurch cemeteries as “undertaker” Richard Greenaway takes people on tours of historic cemeteries during Carter Group Heritage Week - October 13 to 23.

In line with the Heritage Week 2006 theme: Celebrate Great times, Great people, Great places, Mr Greenaway, the city genealogy librarian, is hosting 10 Decra Art Ltd Spirited Cemetery Tours at 10 different historic cemeteries throughout the city.
Mr Greenaway will relate stories about those buried at the different cemeteries – helping paint a picture of local history at the time the various people lived. He says there is a ghost that still haunts the Riccarton Racecourse Hotel, and it is said to be that of publican Donald Fraser who is buried at St Peter’s Church yard, Upper Riccarton.

Fraser was shot dead at point-blank range through the chest with a double-barrelled shotgun as he lay in bed on the morning of 17 November, 1933. Public records indicate that 43-year-old Fraser was having an extra-marital affair. He and the other woman had just returned from a trip around the North Island where they travelled as husband and wife. The killer, who shot him by climbing up to the French windows opening onto his room, was never found.

Mr Greenaway says the tours aim to entertain and inform people on how to use public information sources – one of the best being the online: webpage and the City Council’s own sites.

Having started the tours at the request of a work colleague for Heritage Week in 1999, Mr Greenaway has become a heritage veteran who has built up his knowledge through his everyday work as genealogy librarian.

“The information is all there for people to find, you just have to know where to look and that’s partly what these tours are all about,” Mr Greenaway says.

All tours are free, but cemetery tour booklets will be available at a small charge so make sure you get there on:

  • Friday 13 October, 5.30pm, Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Barbadoes Street close to Bealey Avenue;
  • Saturday 14 October, 12 noon, Linwood Public Cemetery, Butterfield Avenue off Buckleys Road;
  • Sunday 15 October, 12 noon, Sydenham Public Cemetery, end of Simeon Street (turn off Roker Street);
  • Monday 16 October, 5.30pm, Burwood Anglican Cemetery, 305 New Brighton Road;
  • Wednesday 18 October, 5.30pm, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn Street (between Disraeli Street and Fairfield Avenue);
  • Thursday 19 October, 5.30pm, Woolston/Heathcote Cemetery, end of Rutherford Street (off Ferry Road towards Garlands Road);
  • Friday 20 October, 5.30pm, Avonside Holy Trinity Church Cemetery, Lych-Gate Close off Stanmore Road;
  • Saturday 21 October, 12 noon, St Peter’s Church, Upper Riccarton Anglican Cemetery, Church Corner;
  • Sunday 22 October, 12 noon, St Paul’s Church Papanui Anglican Cemetery, Papanui end of Harewood Road, and
  • Monday 23 October, 11am, Bromley Cemetery, Linwood Avenue near Christchurch Crematorium.

The Decra Art Ltd Spirited Cemetery Tours are among more than 350 events being offered during the Carter Group Heritage Week 2006. The full programme of Heritage Week events is available at all Council libraries and services centres, and on line at or on request by phoning 941 8628.

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