Sunday, September 14, 2008

Randwick General Cemetery

The first thing that struck me in this cemetery was the amount of grave desecration. Apart from bottles, plastic bags and other rubbish around the graves, the headstones and various adornments we often broken or completely destroyed. After hunting for some good and unusual pieces I had to take cover the in the mausoleums after being swooped numerous times by a rather territorial magpie. I managed to get some good shots, and have included these on the picture collection to the right of the posts.

Some information about Randwick Cemetery:

"Until January 1871 (when it was closed) the main cemetery for the Randwick area was at St Jude's Church. After that date, residents went to Rookwood, (then called Haslems Creek), Cemetery. In December, 1871 a petition from residents requested that Council "take necessary steps to secure a Cemetery for the residents of this neighbourhood." The petition went on to state that burials at Haslems Creek were "entirely unsuited to the requirements of this district." This twelve month delay shows that, although residents were prepared to trial Haslems Creek, some problem, (probably either cost or travel problems), made this cemetery inconvenient.

Simeon Pearce, at the same meeting, proposed a motion (which was carried), that the Mayor, Alderman Walter Bradley, approach the Minister for Lands, requesting him to "dedicate certain lands for a cemetery... and to arrange what settlement for the land they may deem correct." However, at the following meeting, on 20 December 1871, Pearce successfully proposed that the Council ask to purchase land in the Parish of Botany on the Long Bay Road (now Malabar Road). These two sections were in a little valley facing south with the drainage towards Maroubra Beach.

The request to the Government for the land took a year to be answered. Approval was finally given for Council to purchase the land for a cemetery on 4 December, 1872 at a cost of 45/12/6 pounds. Over one year had passed since the petition from Randwick residents was first presented to Council.

Another nineteen months were to pass before the cemetery approached the stage of being used. During that time, the Cemetery By-Laws were adopted by Council on 8 January 1873. It took the Government another three months to approve these regulations."

Taken from A History of Randwick Cemetery (Randwick Council)

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