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Richard Potts – born 1778 died 1876
Mr. Richard Potts was the first person interred at the Avonhead Memorial Cemetery. He had previously been buried in the Wesley Methodist burial ground which was situated towards the far end of Harkness Street (which is just off Withells Road.) His plot was in the north-west corner.

Richard died on 10 February 1876 aged 87 years. He had emigrated to New Zealand on the “Lancashire Witch” with his daughter and son-in-law the Rev William Pole, but it is now known which year it arrived. It is assumed he purchase a small acreage of land to farm even though he was
in his seventies.

The Rev. Pole, a Baptist Church minister, was buried at Addington Cemetery but Mr. Potts’ name has been included on the headstone even though he was interred at Withells Road Cemetery.

Those people who had been buried in the little Methodist burial ground were exhumed and buried elsewhere in other cemeteries when that area of land had been sold for development early in the 1970s. It is assumed Mr. Potts resided in the Riccarton/Masham area.

The Poles and Richard Potts, an ex-merchant, came from Huntingtonshire in England. Mr Pole became the first pastor of the Spreydon Baptist Church and he was also the founder of Canterbury’s first Band of Hope. He died 26 November 1879 aged 66 years.

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