Story: Death and dying

First cremation, 1909

First cremation, 1909

Notices about the first cremation in New Zealand appeared in several newspapers on 2 November 1909. John Jack was cremated the next day at the Karori crematorium, which had just been opened. Cremation was a new way of disposing of the dead, but Mr Jack used it to perpetuate the traditional practice of burying members of the same family together. He specified in his will that he wanted his ashes interred in the family vault (or, as it is known there, a lair) in Dundee, Scotland.

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Colonist, 2 November, 1909, p.4

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Death and dying - Cremation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Ruth McManus and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 16 May 2018, updated 1 Nov 2023