Archive for the ‘Cemeteries’ Category

Corner Eden and Upper Streets, old cemetery site Bega.

Corner Eden and Upper Streets, old cemetery site Bega.

In 1905 the good people of Bega found themselves “in between” cemeteries. The ‘old’ cemetery, located where the present day public high school is, was de-commissioned on 7 June 1905. However, the transition to the ‘new’ cemetery wasn’t a smooth one according to a report in the ‘Southern Star’ on 14 June 1905.

The Bega Municipal Council gave three months’ notice making burial in the old cemetery illegal after 7 June 1905. It seems that the work in preparing the new cemetery didn’t progress very quickly. So when a death occurred on 11 June, “nobody knew what to do about a grave.” The undertaker instructed a man to dig the grave in the old cemetery since the new cemetery was not fully prepared. The digging was soon stopped by the Inspector of Nuisances with a threat of prosecution. An appeal was made to the Mayor who was unable to authorise a breach of by-laws so the only thing left to do was to start digging a grave at the new cemetery.

The problem was that the new cemetery hadn’t been properly marked out into religious denominations so no one knew which area was Roman Catholic, Anglican, Prebyterian, Methodist and so on. In addition, the land was used as a cattle run at night time. Eventually, permission was obtained from Mr Blomfield, secretary to the cemetery trustees, to bury the deceased in the new cemetery. However, as the land hadn’t been pegged out the grave had to be dug in a remote corner.

The writer of the article (anonymous) is clearly indignant at the lack of foresight from authorities in organising the transition between one cemetery closing and the other cemetery coming into use. As to the identity of our poor deceased person, they are only referred to as a “stranger”.


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Rookwood Cemetery opened in Sydney in 1867 and quickly became the main burial ground for Sydney.

In 1981 the Rookwood Cemetery Transcription Project began. The details on all headstones were recorded and entered into a database. The Rookwood Cemetery Transcriptions have proven to be of considerable research value, providing information on family names, date of death and age, occupation, place of origin, religion and cause of death.

The Rookwood Cemetery Transcriptions are available via  the  Find My Past  database, available free at any of the Bega Valley Shire libraries.

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