Stanley Watson's Grave.

By Andrew and Zain

  1. When we visited the cemetery we noticed a grave with a mail box but no head stone there. It was the grave of Stanley Watson. We wondered why the grave had a mail box and a white cross with funny writing on it instead of a headstone.
  2. To find out we asked Mrs McKenzie (who has written two books on the history of Herbert) and Matt King (who was a friend of Stanley Watson's).

This is what we found out:

Matt King put the mailbox there because Stanley always enjoyed getting the Otago Daily Times each morning from his mail box. When he went into town to live at Iona Home, he had the mailbox taken there so he could still check for the paper! When he died it seemed a good idea to put it by his grave. It was only temporary as Matt is building a head stone for him. That will be permanent. There is a story about that too.

When Stanley was a young man he took his horse and cart down to the new Waianakarua railway bridge one night so that they could be the first to cross it. He was proud that he was the first over it! Last year Matt made the cemetery gates with stone from the old rail bridge as there was a new bridge built. He was the first to be buried after the gates were built, so Stanley was the first through those gates as well! Matt said that he would have enjoyed the "irony" of that as he had a weird sense of humour.

We found that the wooden cross was just to mark the grave, and the funny writing "37XII" meant "grave number 37 on row 12 (in Roman numbers)". It will be replaced when the headstone is made.

Matt has started the headstone. Here is a photo. It has the epitaph "They shoot dogs that worry" as it's something that he often said. He also wants to put a metal shearing shears on it.

We also wondered why many of the headstones are falling down. Mrs McKenzie said that even though it is a hill top, the cemetery hill is always damp because of the soil type. Sometimes the dirt slides, and stones fall down. Old graves have no one to look after them.

Stanley Watson's Grave.

Stanley Watson's Grave at the cemetery

Matt King's design for the headstone.

Matt King's design for the headstone