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Working together . . . Helping with the planting in the Catholic Block at the Pukerau cemetery was (from left) Karen Pullar, Margaret Pullar, Stewart Cowan, Nathan Prior, Shane Harris, Andrew Moyles and Alistair McNaughton. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

“Excellent” progress continues to be made in the beautification of the Pukerau Cemetery.

Pukerau Cemetery Support Group Trust secretary Margaret Pullar said landscaping and planting in the Catholic block of the cemetery was complete.

“It has been excellent. It took several days to prepare the ground and plant it but everyone has been working hard.”

They had planted plants which were native to Pukerau, she said.

“We planted red tussocks and kowhais because they grow well.”

Landscape plans were provided by former Pukerau resident Arne Cleland.

People who helped with the upgrades were members of the trust and team members from M and N Horticare, she said.

“We are all very pleased with the way things have turned out.”

They had several working bees where all the people who had turned up had helped with cleaning the cemetery grounds, she said.

“All the tombstones have been cleaned and the whole place is looking neat and tidy.”

The late Phillip Pullar drained part of the area, she said.

“As a gift to the community he drained the northeastern part of the cemetery just before he was killed.”

She acknowledged the support from the community with the project.

“Our main support has come from the community.

“Everyone has been extremely generous with their donations and very helpful and co-operative through the whole process.”

Response from the community was positive, she said.

“There has been a noticeable increase of visitors to the cemetery.”

Among those to visit graves was Pukerau School.

“They were here a couple of weeks ago and they are doing a project learning about the cemetery and the pioneers of the district.”

Developments which were under way included contacting descendants and asking for co-operation in repairing old damaged graves and memorial stones, she said.

Further work in the graveyard would continue next month.

“We are hoping to start landscaping in the main block of the cemetery in April.”