Cemetery Open Days Offer Visitors the Chance to See the Graves of Goulburn’s ‘Big Wigs’ | Goulburn post


community, goulburn, friends of historic goulburn cemeteries, st saviour’s, mortis st cemetery

The Friends of Historic Goulburn Cemeteries held open days at St Saviour’s and Mortis St Cemeteries on 19 and 20 March. first owner of Hurst Street. The group offered a self-guided tour brochure of the Saint-Sauveur cemetery as well as detailed booklets. “It’s nice to have the book so you can go home and read and come back at your own pace,” said one visitor visiting the cemetery. Bags and apple relish, made from apples growing near one of the cemeteries, were also on sale that day. Heather West, a member of the Friends of Historic Cemeteries in Goulburn, said all proceeds go towards upkeep of the cemeteries, including payment for weed killer and lawn mower fuel. Restoration of the old cemeteries has been underway for over two years now. Ms West said it was thanks to the Heraldic and Genealogical Society of Canberra, whose members had originally discovered many headstones 50 years ago, that restoration had begun. “If it wasn’t for them, we probably wouldn’t have found many graves,” she said. Since then, a local surveyor has created a map of Saint-Sauveur Cemetery using a drone to mark each headstone. Friends of Goulburn Historic Cemeteries hope to complete a similar map for Mortis Street Cemetery for next year’s Open Days. The group marked important graves over the weekend with balloons of different colors depending on different factors such as religion. Ms West said Mortis Street Cemetery was made up of three distinct religious groups: Presbyterians, Methodists and Catholics. St Savior’s, on the other hand, is primarily the Church of England. Residents were also asked to share their own stories, or any information they had, about people they knew who were buried in the cemeteries. Ms West said the group is always looking for new stories and volunteers to expand on the work they are currently doing. She said they faced many challenges, including rabbits, runoff and tombstones that had already fallen and were impossible to restore. “Many documents have been lost and some of the original wooden crosses have probably deteriorated,” she said. Currently, the group is working on poisoning the weeds on each of the graves, leveling the ground, covering the ground with a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard, and placing a layer of bark chips on top. “It’s a long process and we’re always looking for an extra helping hand,” Ms West said. Did you know the Goulburn Post now offers news alerts and a daily email newsletter? Keep up to date with all the local news: subscribe below.



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