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Our Environment: Issue 24 Spring 2000

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Linwood School’s Got The Right idea

What’s the big idea? Make that ideas, judging by the great response to the City Council’s campaign to encourage school pupils to think of ways to help our community.

Linwood Intermediate School pupils were among City students who discussed what they could do. They decided that Linwood Cemetery was in need of a clean-up. Not only did they persuade the Hagley/Ferrymead Community Board to put remedial maintenance for the cemetery on the  Council’s agenda but they decided to take matters into their own hands. Robert Prescott and Mathew Willoughby wrote to Our Environment to explain how they are making the cemetery a more pleasant place.

About once a month, seven students from Linwood Intermediate School go down to the Linwood Cemetery. We clean off the graffiti, plant flowers, weed the plots and spread the shingle to make the cemetery a better- looking place.

All over the cemetery there are broken and smashed head stones scattered over the area, weeds, bushes and even trees covering every inch of the plots.

Graffiti in several places including the paths, leaning head- stones that could hurt passer- by, cracked footpaths, rubbish blowing around the place, broken glass shattered throughout the plots are all problems.

Our aim for the future is to clean up the cemetery and make it look a nicer place for the people who walk through it, pass by or come to visit for special reasons.

Pupils from Linwood Intermediate School - making a difference in the community
Pupils from Linwood Intermediate School
- making a difference in the community

If your school has had a Big Idea, write and tell us about it.

Graveyard Prompts Tales Of The Past

Linwood CemeteryWilliam “Cabbage” Wilson is just one of the colourful characters of early Christchurch buried in Linwood Cemetery. He died in 1897, aged 78. Arriving before the First Four Ships, Wilson established various nurseries, was first Mayor of Christchurch in 1868 and founded the New Brighton Tramway Company.

The names Wilsons Road and Nursery Road, once Wilson’s Nursery Road, are a lasting reminder of the man once considered “the richest man in Christchurch”. He also had a dark side and his wife Elizabeth successfully applied to the courts for protection.

Wilson’s nickname “Cabbage” was derived from the appearance of his hats, according to librarian and genealogist Richard Greenaway, who guides tours through Linwood and other cemeteries during Heritage Week.

The name was used to differentiate him from people such as Rev James “Parson” Wilson and Sir John Cracroft “Nabob” Wilson.

City benefactor Thomas John Edmonds is also buried in the cemetery. Famous for his baking powder factory in Ferry Road and “Sure-to-Rise” logo, he donated several City landmarks, including the Edmonds Band Rotunda, to the citizens of Christchurch. Other interred notables include explorer Arthur Dudley Dobson, pioneer horsewoman Bella Button, John Etherden Coker, colourful founder of Coker’s Hotel, and Effie Cardale, an early social worker.

The City and cemetery were once linked by a tramline and even a tramway hearse, which was shunned by locals and never used.

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