Thursday, June 05, 2008

Marsden Funeral Home

Across the street from the School of Music, and diagonal from the Korner Store, is the Marsden funeral home car park. Until a few years ago, there were one or two homes, but these were demolished to make way for the funeral guests' vehicles. I suddenly discovered the little chapel (?) with a red brick chimney; I'm not sure if it was always there, or was brought in then.


  1. Hi Meg
    the little chapel is one of Nelson's historic buildings - one of the first churches built back in the 1840's [I think]. There is a plaque on the building explaining its origins ...

  2. We left Nelson in January and we've missed it ever since. Our holiday house was on Nile Street so you can imagine that looking at these daily photos of yours makes us miss Nelson even more. We walked past the School of Music and the Kandy Korner almost every day. Thank you again for posting these. How great it would be to be there again!

  3. DWS, now that you mention it, I think I might have read the plaque very early on when we just started NDP. I will go back sometime this week to check it out.

    Emilia, I know you miss it, but not today. It's been pretty cold, of course not as cold as winter in Finland, but we've had choppy wind, so perhaps you'd like to wait until tomorrow.

  4. Hi, I have just discovered this site and really enjoy the photographs. Many years ago (1961-62) I lived in the house behind the chapel in Sussex Street. My old bedroom now has a funeral car parked in it! At the time the house was a Church of England (Anglican) Vicarage. I think the chapel was used as a church school in Nelson’s early days. The little school building had a lovely original gas lamp over the door in those days. Sadly when I returned a few years ago the lamp had gone. The big hall next-door was originally a theological college. In the sixties the top floor was used for government high school exams (School Certificate, and University Entrance). I have lived most of my life in Sydney, which is a great city, but still retain a great love of your wonderful city and its people and hope to get back regularly now that I am retired. Keep up the good work. Terry.

  5. Welcome, Terry, and what an absolutely interesting comment. Even as a seasoned agnostic, I'm a little disturbed to learn a vicarage was torn down to make a carpark, but to tell you the truth, I can't even remember what the area looked like, even though it was so very recent.

    You must also find it curious that a couple of imports are maintaining the daily photo blog of your city. We do love Nelson, and though we complain about the absence of theater (though soon there may be two, or three!!!), the way The Suter is run, and cost of living in comparison to other places (pretty much on par with Wellington and Auckland, I've been told), it's pretty close to paradise and it only takes looking out of our window to be reminded of it.

    We will count on you, along DWS, to provide historical background and other interesting stories hence force. Please come visit again.

  6. Thanks Meg. Good to hear that you are agnostic, a sensible theological stance. My dad was the Vicar – I made up my own mind. I was interested in your comment on the Suter. It was named after Bishop Suter, who I think set up the Theological school. In 1962 the church was throwing out the books from the theological library that was housed in the hall next to your little red church. The universities were invited to take their pick, then the clergy. My mother, who is an excellent artist, discovered in the piles of dusty old books, a collection of Bishop Suter’s diaries. These were wonderful visual diaries, full of detailed drawings from his travels around the world. We passed them on to the Suter Gallery. The old Bishop was quite an artist, and I guess was a patron of the arts in Nelson during his time there, hence being honoured by the gallery’s name. Cheers Terry.

  7. Good Lord, Terry, how absolutely fascinating. I must go check the history of the Suter that came out a few years ago - your mother may even been in it. Have you seen the volume? If not, it sounds as though you must have it. Have you heard about the kafaffle/kerfaffle/curfaffle of the Suter upgrade which has been canceled or postponed for the time being? It was the best drama in town from around 2000 to, oh, 2004-ish, and was officially put on hold only recently. I got bored and haven't kept up with it, but if ever there was an issue that divided the Nelson Mail readers into two camps, this was one; another at the same time was creationism, by the way.

  8. Meg, all the diaries were handed over to the Suter gallery. As I remember them, they were quite large, probably a quarto sheet size, but in today’s measurements about A3 and bound with red covers. They were full of detailed drawings of architectural features of cathedrals and the like, all beautifully done, in my opinion, (I did teach High School art for many years.) – There were also some paintings in the diaries. I was in Nelson last year and noticed the fund raising thermometer outside the Suter. Sad to think they can’t raise the money in such an art conscious city as Nelson. If we survive climate change, I suspect we will descend into another Barbarian age. Creationism – as a belief, fine, but as an alternate scientific theory, to be taught in schools… give me strength!. Being an old bloke I still have not worked out how to put my name on these comments, so my apology for being ‘anonymous’. Cheers Terry.

  9. Terry, I'll take you anyway I can, so no worries. Re the fund raising, have you caught up with the the Plan A vs Plan B saga? I think it was in protest to the powers-that-be pushing Plan A, which would have demolished the theater, stretched further into Queens Gardens, and expanded and upgraded the storage without much increase in exhibition space, the entire thing looking like an ice castle. The disagreements got so bad Helen told us the government won't give us a cent until we came up with a plan that had more community support. Now the governance of the Suter has been revamped, and the new setup just about in place, I think... It was the most exciting soup opera in Nelson for a while, but then the Council raised rates so drastically in successive years that for a lot of people art took a back seat. It's only going to get worse in the next few years, I'd imagine.


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