Maungaturoto will be celebrating 150 Years in 2013

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stories in Stone : Lionel Major Hardy

During the long process of digitising the cemetery records at the Congregational cemetery on Gorge Road I've encountered a few rather sad stories behind the names on the grave stones. In the case of Lionel Major Hardy, he was a young man at just 24 years old working for the Railways Department. Just six weeks before his tragic death Hardy had been transferred from the Maungaturoto station to Auckland, On the 14 December 1929, Hardy was out with some friends when the vehicle they were in rolled on Gorge Road. Hary died as a result of his injuries.


New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20441, 18 December 1929, Page 14

A fatal motoring accident occurred at Maungaturoto late on Saturday afternoon.
Details are:— Killed Mr. Lionel M. Hardy, aged 24, a member of the refreshment room staff of the New Zealand Railways, Auckland.

Injured. Mr. John Dodds, of Huarau, aged 60, extensive injury to scalp. Mr. Alfred King, of Maungaturoto; fractured ribs and injuries to right side. The two other occupants of the car, Messrs. Williams and Peacock, also of the railway refreshment room staff, were not sufficiently injured to warrant admission to hospital. 
For some years Mr. Hardy was a well known member of the Maungaturoto railway refreshment room staff, and was transferred to Auckland six weeks ago. He was single, and as far as is known had no relatives in New Zealand. He had come to pay a weekend visit to friends at Maungaturoto.
The car in which the party of five was travelling was driven by Mr. Dodds, and was travelling down the steep siding in the vicinity of the Maungaturoto public hall at about 5.30 p.m., when it left the road, plunged over a sloping bank 5ft. high, and capsized. Evidently Mr. Hardy was crushed against a log or some hard obstacle and was terribly injured. He was alive when removed from the wreckage, and was attended to by Dr Dawson, but died half an hour before the Whangarei Hospital was reached at 8.15 p.m.
Mr. Dodds injuries lead to the conclusion that his head came in contact with the windscreen, but both he and Mr. King are progressing satisfactorily. The inquest into Mr. Hardy's death was opened at the hospital before Mr. G. N. Morris, S.M., yesterday, and. after medical testimony and evidence, of identification had been given, was adjourned to Maungaturoto on January 16.
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20440, 17 December 1929, Page 12

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Maungaturoto Congregational Church Cemetery Records going digital

Albie Paton and the Maungaturoto 150th committee, had gone through the trouble of listing the Burial Plots, and names of the people buried at the Maungaturoto Congregational Church Cemetery for the celebrations held in November last year. I photographed the list and the cemetery map recently. The Kaipara District has no online access to any of the cemeteries in the area, this includes Maungaturoto. I've created a website for the Maungaturoto Cemetery Records. This is still a work in progress, given the large amount of burials and names I still have to enter into the website database. At the time of writing, I'm currently doing the Cullen family list, which is quite an extensive one.

The forgotten war grave of Harold Frederick Cullen

During my investigations into some of the names listed in the burial register, I've discovered there are the graves of several war veterans, two of which are Commonwealth War Graves. One of them, Ivan Davidson Cullen (WW2) is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), whereas the other for Harold Cullen has been somehow overlooked. At first, I thought I had photographed the same gravesite twice. But as it turned out, I had in fact photographed two separate war graves. I've since written to the CWGC advising them that Harold Cullen is not showing on their list. Harold died at the young age of 30, due to complications caused by his service in the First World War. With the 100th Anniversary this year of the start of the First World War, it's important we all pay our respects to the men who fought for their country in this war and the wars since.  I hope this year we see those men's graves and memorials with flowers on them all, so in spirit they know they have not been forgotten. Lest we forget.