Nikao Cemetery Restoration Project

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The Nikao cemetery is located on Cook Islands "Government Registered Crown Land" at Nikao opposite the airport on the island of Rarotonga, the Cook Islands. This large cemetery contains the graves of foreigners (mostly Australian cancer patients who died in 1977/78 at the hands of convicted criminal and cancer quack Milan Brych, hence the cemetery nickname "Brychyard"), tourists, expats, and many Cook Islanders, including the largest group of Cook Islands WW1 Returned Soldiers (ANZACS) buried in any burial ground/cemetery throughout the whole Cook Islands. The Cook Islanders buried at the Nikao Cemetery were mostly from the Outer Islands of the Cook Islands group who had no family land to be buried on at their time of death on Rarotonga. Due to neglect and erosion, many graves have now washed away from this historic site. In mid 2017, the rock seawall was completed which will prevent any further losses. A dedicated group of local and foreign volunteers have started preserving this cemetery for future generations.

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