I wrote and illustrated Country Churches of New Zealand. It was published in 2002 by New Holland, Publishers and is still on sale in bookshops. The publishers have kindly agreed to me re-publishing some of the book’s images and descriptions in this blog.
APERAHAMA KAIKOHEAperahama is the Maori rendering of Abraham. Architect Marsden Clarke, whose family played an important part in the spread of Anglican Christianity in the north, designed Aperahama Church, Kaikohe. It was built in 1885 and is said to be named after a churchman of high repute who died in the year before the church was opened and is buried in its grounds.
At the start of the twenty-first century I found a church in sore need of restoration. But, like so many churchyards in predominantly Maori areas, its tombstones, often quite elaborate, were decked in flowers, spinners and memorabilia giving a paradoxical life to the memory of the dead.
© DON DONOVAN