Brief History

 

The Maldon Cemetery is located approximately 3 kilometres from the Maldon Township, and lies 300 metres (984 feet) above sea level. It is sited at the foot of Mount Moorul (known as Rock of Ages) which reaches a height of 456 meters (1,496 feet) above sea level.

In 1856 the Maldon Council gazetted 20 acres at the foot of Mount Moorul for a Cemetery.

The Cemetery site of 20 acres (8.1 hectares) was officially gazetted in on 7th January, 1861 and the Trustees being appointed; comprised of RC McKENZIE Esq, J.P.; James WARNOCK Esq, J.P.;  Henry BARCLAY; David WATT; John GALLAGHER: Hugh SMITH: and W Falla SMITH; being the representatives of the various Religions.

Maldon Cemetery is unique amongst most Victorian Cemeteries in that it has no separate religious areas. No matter what religion, each interment as it happened is buried chronologically unless members of the family had a pre purchased plot.

The Cottage or Sextons Lodge was built in 1866, where the Sexton and his family resided as part of his job. “as people died at irregular hours so too his life was disrupted at irregular hours.”

The first Sexton engaged received 30 shillings per week.

A Rotunda was constructed in the early 1870’s to offer a rest and shelter area for the mourners. This Rotunda fell into disrepair and was replaced in the late 1970’s by a community group in conjunction with the Shire of Maldon.

Prior to the formation of the Cemetery Trust, there were a number of unrecorded burials within the Cemetery grounds. The first burial according to the Sextons books was that of James CURRIE and is numbered 112 on a location peg, so it can be assumed there are at least 111 burials not recorded.

The Cemetery was surveyed in 1873 by WH Waller but is thought that Falla Smith and Drape (Trustees) may have had some input. The cemetery is now set out into 62 Sections.

Chinese burials commenced in1862 and continued through to1928 but very little now remains of the footplates (headstones). Some were made of either timber or stone, however over the years they have been either destroyed by bushfires or removed by vandals. 126 Chinese burials are recorded in the Trust’s Register with eleven being recorded as being disinterred (exhumed) and returned to China.

In the late 1950’s 3.7 acres (1.5 Ha) of cemetery land was reverted back to the Forests Commission as being totally unsuitable for cemetery purposes.

There are over 7,500 burials recorded burials.

The current Trustees in 2016 are: Mrs J Bari, (Chair); Mr N Annand, (Deputy Chair); Mr B McKnight; Mr J. Long, Mr W McKnight and Mr C Millen.

 

 

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