Alfons Frederick Fischel was born in Prague in 1874. His profession was an engineer. He married Gisela Karmel in Vienna in 1902, their marriage was recorded in the Jewish register of births, deaths & marriages. Their only son, Walter George, was born there in 1903.

Walter married Margrethe [Margaret] Finlay and they had two children. Walter and his family arrived in Wellington in September 1938. He worked as a vet.

In October the following year his father and mother, Alfons and Gisela arrived in Wellington. They settled in Hankey Street.

In 1941 Margaret’s sister and brother-in-law, Otto [Bob] and Luise [Louisa] Rothbaum, arrived with their son Henry, aged 15. Otto had been interned in the UK prior to his departure for New Zealand.

Records at National Archives indicate the family were initially regarded as enemy aliens, before being declared stateless and then becoming naturalised British subjects after the war.

Alfons died in February 1947 aged 73 and his ashes were placed in this niche of the columbarium behind the Crematorium Chapel. The plaque reads ‘Oberbaurat’ which translates as Town Planner.

In March 1947, Gisela became a naturalised citizen. Her occupation was recorded as  ‘Manufacturer of artificial flowers’.

Gisella died in 1969 and her placed beneath a bronze plaque in the Public section Plot: *Public/M/794.

By Julia Kennedy

Alfons Fischel plaque in the columbarium