Family funding effort sees headstone restored

The headstone after repairs and installation were complete by Maiden Stone workers (from left) Aaron Muilwyk and Ben Naseby and owner Ian Trainor.
The headstone of William and Rachel Judge in the Wallacetown Cemetery before the repair work was carried out.

HAMILTON woman Sharon Lankshear is proud her great-great grandparents’ headstone has been restored to its former glory.

The headstone, which Mrs Lankshear and her sister Fiona found broken during a visit to Southland in the summer holidays this year, was repaired and reinstalled last week.

Mrs Lankshear had set up a Givealittle page to raise funds with donations given by family members from throughout the world.

About $2000 of the $2770 needed for the repair was donated.

For Mrs Lankshear, the restoration means a lot.

“My mother passed away when I was 13 and it was her side of the family.

“When we found it we thought ‘let’s do something about this’.”

So it was the money was raised with Ian Trainor, of Maiden Stone, completing the work for the family.

“The restoration took about 20 hours,” he said.

“There was quite a bit involved, lifting up the old concrete plinth, removing all the bits and bobs and joining them back together.”

He also had to fabricate a new piece which was missing, he said.

Mrs Lankshear said she had now been in touch with quite a few relatives who were really glad when she posted photos to show the completed work.

“Ian’s done a fantastic job,” she said.

She hoped her great-great grandparents would be proud of what had been achieved with the help of their descendants.