2016 AGM and Presidents Report

The AGM for the Wainuiomata Pioneer Church Preservation Society Inc., was held at the Church on Sunday 26 June with a good attendance.

The newly elected Committee are Joyce Lockyer (President), Vicky Alexander (Secretary) Andrea Lister (Treasurer), Margaret Kinsey, Chris Parker, Linda Grime and Hellen Valster





The highlight of our year was, of course, our most successful 150th Jubilee celebrations.   

Over 300 members and friends attended during the weekend of February 6 and 7 2016, some having travelled from far afield including Melbourne, Dunedin and Auckland.   

The committee and many of the guests dressed in period costume for the occasion and speeches were made by the Society President, Mayor Ray Wallace, Trevor Mallard MP and Chris Bishop MP.    Descendants of the Pioneer families including Prouse, Burdan, Dick, Wood, & Collis were all well represented, along with members of the Wainuiomata Pioneer Church Preservation Society, the Wainuiomata Museum committee, members of Christ Church in Taita, plus many other interested participants.   Descendants were invited to speak of their memories and many of them took advantage of this opportunity and entertained guests with stories of old times.

Thanks to working bees by the committee, the Wainuiomata Gardeners Club and our Grave Carers, the Church and Graveyard looked absolutely amazing with fresh flowers adorning most graves and every headstone cleaned and readable.

Entertainment was provided by Gil Mohi, soloist Armani Edwardson, duo Kerenza & Zachary Robertson while our organ was played by Shona Glennie.

It was decided by the committee that no charge would be made to attendees for these celebrations and we were very grateful to local members for their home baking, and to other members who made generous donations towards our costs.  The Hutt City Council also made a small grant.

Thanks to our photographers Tony Valster and Selina Griffin we have an excellent and comprehensive photographic record of this wonderful event.

All attendees were most enthusiastic in their praise of the celebration and commented how fantastic the Church and the Graveyard are looking - a real credit to everyone involved.

The launch of the book written by our member Colleen Hira was a highlight of the celebrations.   We are pleased to advise that sales have been very good and we have had many compliments on the content and quality of the production.    Again we express our gratitude to Colleen for her generous gesture in allowing all proceeds from this book to be retained and used by the Society.  We were most fortunate to obtain a grant which covered almost the all of the printing costs, therefore the entire proceeds from the sale of these books can be used for ongoing restoration and preservation of the Church and Graveyard.   


Stage Two consisted of the replacement of all eight windows, the complete stripping of the exterior paint and repainting of the Church.   We are grateful to Bill Koelman who project managed the painting contract for us, and Laurie Parker, our builder, who undertook the massive job involving the removal and replacement of the  windows plus many other small  but vital repairs and maintenance needed at that time.


The Fredericksen Headstone, which had deteriorated badly over the years, is once again upright and restored to former glory, as is the cast iron fence surrounding the Eddie Wakeham grave.  We also purchased and spread 3 cu m2 of bark mulch to cover many of the larger graves where the concrete surface had broken up with the years.  Our thanks to Tony Valster and Ken Alexander for their work on the graves,  and to our entire committee and husbands who spread the mulch.     

We also purchased white crosses and these were used to mark all previously unmarked graves throughout the Churchyard.

The Society took part in a Community Hub Day which we used to display our Wedding Trishaw and promote the Church in general and in particular as a wedding venue.   We also entered a float (actually three linked floats) in the Wainuiomata Christmas Parade and were delighted to win the Cup for the best Community float.


Our main fundraiser this year was of course the book sales, however we again marshalled at the Tuff Guy/Tuff Gal challenge, and catered for a number of functions held at the Church. 

Other income has been generated by eight weddings since our last AGM, the ashes interment of Barbara Candasdamy, and a memorial service for Danielle Paulik, while yesterday we had the first Naming Ceremony/Christening to be held in the Church for many, many years.   Fittingly this was a service for a descendant of Richard Prouse. Baby Archer Astro Gregory Prouse.


The outgoing committee has been drawing up rough sketches of the replacement vestry which is seen as the next major requirement, and we are presently endeavouring to obtain a grant to cover the cost of the architectural services required by Heritage NZ to get this project underway.

This year the Society has been very fortunate to obtain Grants from The Lotteries Commission, Four Winds Foundation, Infinity Foundation, Pelorus Trust, Hutt Mana Trust and assistance from Hutt City Council.

In closing this report I would like to thank our wonderful committee, Vicky Alexander our Secretary, Andrea Lister our Treasurer, Margaret Kinsey, Christine Parker, Linda Grime  and Hellen Valster our Graveyard Custodian.   All of whom have worked together tirelessly to keep this beautiful old building in the great condition it is now.   And of course sincere thanks to our wonderful husbands for their ongoing support and assistance.


Our membership currently stands at 11 Family, 40 Full and 26 Honorary



Joyce Lockyer


Wainuiomata  Pioneer Church Preservation Society Inc


Posted: Tue 28 Jun 2016