St John's Peace Memorial Church

St John's Peace Memorial Church St John's Peace Memorial Church St John's Peace Memorial Church St John's Peace Memorial Church

A marble plaque outside St John’s Anglican Church, Kaimata, records its status as a peace memorial: ST JOHN’S, / PEACE MEMORIAL CHURCH / 1920 / THEY ALSO SERVE, WHO ONLY STAND AND WAIT.

Construction of the church was funded by local farmer Albert Edward Burwell, in memory of his wife Gertrude, who died of influenza on 12 November 1918, and as a thanksgiving for the peace which New Zealanders learned of on the same day.

The roughcast concrete church, designed by New Plymouth architects Percival and Messenger, was consecrated on Anzac Day 1921.

A brass plaque inside the church honours Gertrude’s memory: TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND / IN LOVING MEMORY OF / GERTRUDE LENORA BURWELL. WHO ENTERD INTO REST / 12TH NOVEMBER 1918. / THIS BUILDING IS ERECTED BY HER FAMILY / AS A THANKSOFFERING / FOR HER NOBLE LIFE & WORK.

A marble tablet records the names of 35 men from the district who served during the First World War. It is uncertain when this was installed, but it has two more names than the 33 recorded on the Kaimata 1914-1918 Roll of Honour, which is displayed in the local hall.

See: Kaimata School and District Centennial, 1990, pp. 49, 51; ‘St John’s Anglican Church, Kaimata’, Kete New Plymouth; Ian Pritchard, Frank Messenger, Architect, New Plymouth, 1994, pp. 73-6.

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