Topic: St John's Anglican Church, Kaimata

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This Anglican church was built on land donated by George Mackie, a local store-keeper.

Albert Burwell had arrived in New Zealand in 1885 and married the daughter of Mr John Minchin, at St Phillip's, Tariki, twelve months later. He eventually settled and farmed in the Kaimata district.

During the flu epidemic in 1918 his wife Gertrude nursed many victims and unfortunately also succumbed to the disease on the 12th of November 1918. As a memorial to his wife, and a thanks-giving to the end of the WWI, Albert gifted this church to the community.

According to Ian Pritchard, the church was designed by Percival and Messenger. He also reports that it was built by Thomas Julian of Auckland. (Note alsio that this could be J.T.Julian, a builder in New Plymouth) Another source states that the builder was a  Mr Kentwell. In any case,  Harry Burwell , the 15 year old son of Albert, was an apprentice assisting with the construction.

The church was constructed of concrete with Marseilles tiles for the roof. It is 38ft-6in long x 17ft wide.

Apparently the cost of the project has remained confidential, at the wish of Albert Burwell.

It was opened on ANZAC Day 1921 by the Rev. R.J. Stanton of Inglewood, assisted by the St Andrew's Choir.

For more information see Ian Pritchard's book about Frank Messenger in the Taranaki Research Centre. (TRCGC720.92 MES)

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