Eileen's ashes are in the historic grave of her grandfather at the Karori Cemetery, Wellington. Her grandfather was drowned in the wreck of the Penguin in 1909 and the grave now forms part of the historic 'Penguin Walk'.
Eileen Bone whose obituary and charitable trust are explained below was an exceptional person who lived by example. She was the consumate Humanist being both a 'people person' caring genuinely and deeply for all walks of life and also understanding that clear thought, research and the scientific method are the way to improve the human lot.
The grave is in the Karori Cemetery which is at the north (city) end of Karori Road.
In 1994 the Penguin Walk held a public information day. Eileen with her sense of family and history as well as a desire to teach and inform and a love of nature got great pleaure in the renewed interest in her grandfather's grave. Being unable by then to guide or participate physically, she went to the grave to meet the walkers. As you view the grave, picture a larger than average, attractive, slightly plump, smiling elderly woman, still at that time with the distinctive dark black dyed hair. She would have enjoyed your company as much as you would enjoy hers. Or perhaps you may think of the younger dynamic teacher without formal training who set new standards of child centred education in both prestigious and tough schools in New Zealand and England because she wanted youngsters to learn and not merely be a taught.
Walking: Take a bus or drive and as you enter Karori Road at the
top of the rise into the main area of Karori, on your right at a very short
distance, and beside the fire station is the entrance to the cemetery. There
are many other ways to get to the grave, but this is the easiest to describe.
Enter the main gate either walking or driving and drop gently down past the
war graves until you come to the branching of several driveways. Turn right
up a quite steep drive past the spectacular 'Underwood' mauseleum, with its
angel on top. This is also a Penguin grave. At the top of the rise you
are forced to bear right. A short distance down and ahead is an intersection
with sign that tells you the gate beyond closes at dusk. If you enter from
the Old Karori Road entrance you will come up this drive. But you have
approached from over the hill from the main gate so at this sign turn left
down a short drive towards a left sweep and on your right is a path and the
grave of 'Wong Hing Way'. You have in fact gone the right way. Go down this
walking track to the third path and turn right. The fifth grave is the one
you seek. You can see the marble 'rock' from the walking track
The total distance from the gate is about 500 metres, in good condition but steep in places.
Busing: The very frequent Karori bus service (03) is in Karori Road about a minutes walk from the gates of the cemetery. Get off at 'Marsden Village' as you first enter Karori.
Driving: Drive to Karori, turn right towards the Fire Station as you first enter Karori at the top of the hill. The gates of the cemetery are there. You can also enter the cemetery from 'Old Karori Road' beside Ian Galloway Park. The cemetery is now a public park. Please respect the narrow drives, children, animals and elderly people you will encounter.
General: Follow the walking instructions through the cemetery whether or not you have a car. It is difficult to describe the paths of the cemetery. Do your best but be prepared for some extra walking or driving.
Obituary by Maureen Hoy, member of the Humanist Society of New Zealand and friend of Eileen
Born 12 June 1918. Died 10 February 2000 aged 82. Beginning as an infant in a Montessori school, then later at Nelson Girls College and Otago University, Eileen's classical Latin and Greek education gave her a sound understanding of language acquisition which led to an innovative and creative teaching career.
Eileen taught at Marsden College, spent eleven years teaching in England, and returned to New Zealand in 1963 to teach at Waiwhetu Girls' High School. When that school was closed Eileen went to teach at Naenae College where she remained until her retirement.
Her teaching methods were well ahead of her time. She practised a child-centred learning and teaching technique in English language and literature which inspired many of her colleagues to emulate. This method concentrated on thematic learning and finding out where each student's ability level lay. She would then find from the student what topic really interested that student and through stories, poems and plays led each student on to a higher level of language understanding and command.
Although Eileen won a Divinity prize at school and had a deep knowledge of the Bible, her wide reading of philosophy and science led her to become a free-thinker in the Humanist and Rational tradition. Later in the early seventies she found that the Humanist Society of New Zealand, formed in 1967, had established a Wellington branch. She became an early member of the branch and one its most loyal supporters and gave much time and effort in making submissions to Government on issues of education and human rights.
Eileen was also a highly respected member of the Skeptics Society, the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, the Pacific Institute of Resource Management, and supported many people-centred organisations such as the Women's Loan Fund.
Always concerned for the rights of others she will be greatly missed by a wide circle of friends and family. Although she never married (being one of many women whose many male friends died at war) and never had children of her own, Eileen had a great care for the welfare of children and enjoyed their company. She is survived by her older brother Alan, his family and their children.
This obituary was written by Maureen Hoy, at the time a Wellington member of the Humanist Society of New Zealand.
Eileen Bone's Legacy by Des Vize
Eileen Bone will be remembered as a tireless worker for Humanism in New Zealand and for the Humanist Society of New Zealand (HSNZ) in particular. It was Eileen's wish that her work should continue after her death (on 10 February 2000) and she left a generous sum of money to support her favourite Humanist causes. As one of Eileen's executors and her main beneficiary, I have decided to carry out her wishes by establishing a trust to administer her bequest. However, after some thought, I have extended the scope of the trust to administer not only Eileen's bequest but also any similar donation from supporters of Humanism in New Zealand. Each donation will be administered separately and in strict accordance with the wishes of the donor by the New Zealand Humanist Charitable Trust.
The named beneficiaries in the Trust deed are the Humanist Society of New Zealand (HSNZ) and the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists (NZARH) but the scope can be widened to include any other group within New Zealand affiliated to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Beneficiaries can apply to the Trust for monies from any of the funds appropriate to a particular project. For instance, HSNZ might apply for money to support any future work with refugees; NZARH might apply for funding for a visit by an overseas speaker on voluntary euthanasia. Provided these applications meet the criteria for a particular fund (and money is available) the applications will be approved. Initially the only fund available is Eileen's bequest and applications will have to be considered against Eileen's wishes, which she set out in a letter.
Donations directly to any Humanist group are to be encouraged and it is not the intention of the Trust to discourage them. Rather it is hoped that the Trust will provide another option for those who do not wish to donate to Humanist groups directly. For example, the Trust will respect the wishes of those Humanists and non-Humanists who only wish to support welfare projects undertaken by Humanist groups
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