Priceless mementos removed from memorial

Annette Ashley at the memorial sites of her mother and daughter. Photo / Michael Craig
Annette Ashley at the memorial sites of her mother and daughter. Photo / Michael Craig

A woman is devastated after priceless mementos were taken from her daughter's site at a memorial garden in a clean-up.

Annette Ashley's daughter Carla was 16 when she was killed in 1996 by a recidivist drink-driver. There is a plaque at Manukau Memorial Gardens in memory of Carla as well as Ashley's mother.

"It's a very personal and very fragile existence that people have with those places," Ashley said. Carla's brother Brian, who was also her "best friend", died a year later.

Annette said a family member visiting the gardens on Mother's Day noticed that carefully placed mementos on Carla's resting place had been swept away.

"My sister went there and just literally melted. She knew some of the significance of some of the little pieces and she was just in tears."

The council said the items may have been moved during maintenance and a tidy-up about two months ago.

This year, decorations on the graves of 174 infants at West Auckland's Waikumete Cemetery were bulldozed and thrown out by council staff. Fixing the blunder cost ratepayers more than $45,000, the Herald on Sunday revealed in April.

- Herald on Sunday

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