In 1921, arranged by her daughter Madame Parker, Madame Emilie Marguerite Clemencot (nee Chavelle) and Madame Parker’s sister Mademoiselle Blanche Emilie Clemencot arrived in Hastings from St-Chamond, Loire, France.

Madame Parker (born Berthe Emilie Clemencot) had arrived in New Zealand in the early 1900s and married Henry Griffith Parker in 1907. Shortly afterwards she went to Buenos Aires returning to settle in Hastings in 1913 where she reestablished her business as a corset and dress maker.

Her sister Blanche had been married in France in 1908 to Eugene Waldmann and we are uncertain if they divorced, but she represented herself in New Zealand as Mademoiselle Clemencot.

Emilie Clemencot was aged 71 when she arrived in New Zealand. She had married to Pierre Frederic Clemencot in 1871. Their other children were Arthur, Edouard, Louise, Louis, Jeanne, and Malvina.  

Emilie had lived through the Franco-Prussian war and the very recent experience of WWI:

‘I left France as if I was leaving some mud hole behind me, and I said to myself ‘I am going to heaven’’.

In 1923, also arranged by Madame Parker, her brother Arthur and his wife Alice and their two children were welcomed to Hastings where she had purchased and furnished a house for them. In 1926, Alice bought a maintenance case against Arthur. ‘Love in France – Parted in N.Z.’ ran ‘The Truth’ newspaper headline. They separated and both left the country over the next few years without further trace.

At the same time as the divorce case, Madame Parker relocated to Palmerston North with Emilie and Blanche. Madame and Henry Parker divorced in 1928.

The mother and daughters then relocated again, this time to Wellington where Blanche worked as a confectioner. Emilie died at her house on the Hutt Road, Petone in 1930.  Many touching notices were placed in the newspaper from her friends for their ‘petit maman’.

Madame Parker travelled to England about 1939 and there is a ‘Bertha Emilie Parker’ who died in London in 1944. Blanche died in 1954 and is interred in this plot with her mother.

Also in this plot is Jules Louis Raveneau who died in 1976. We cannot find a connection to the Clemencot family. He was born in 1918.  He arrived in New Zealand from France in 1950 and appears on the electoral rolls from 1975 living in Adams Terrace. He worked as a watersider. His wife was Maria and she is buried elsewhere. Was he a cousin perhaps?

Plot: *Public 2/W/666 (this plot is in the row facing the Salvation Army area)

By Julia Kennedy

Clemencot Plot