Presidents Report 

Welcome to 2017. I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year. We start the Year with our February meeting being a social evening and a general get together with a talk on Tasmanian Records by Janeen O’Connell.

Our Wednesday mornings have continued throughout January as they will for the rest of the year.

Last Wednesday I attended my Aunty Pearl’s 100th birthday in Bundaberg, Queensland. It proved to be a wonderful celebration, bringing together four generations of family from up and down the East coast. It showed the value of understanding and documenting the family tree.  Over the last sixty to seventy years Pearl kept a notebook documenting ”the hatches, matches and dispatches” of the family. It contained many hand-written notes and newspaper clippings throughout this long period. It has proven to be an invaluable resource for research on the family tree.  Several years ago I had the opportunity to digitize this document to ensure its survival. I was quite dismayed to hear last Thursday that it seems now to be missing. What a loss!  I’m just so glad that I was able to produce an electronic copy and now able to pass it on other members of the family.  Hopefully it will be found soon.  To me, this it is an example of how important it is to preserve the records of families. For without them, it just makes family research much harder to discover.

Finally, I look forward to seeing you all at the February meeting.  

Trevor Kay


Wednesday Morning Information and Assistance

These have been extremely busy over the holiday period with an average of four new inquiries for assistance. As space is limited, members are reminded that we are there to assist the general public so new enquiries will get first preference in the use of the computers.


Melbourne General Cemetery

Area: approximately 109 acres, 461/2 miles of avenues and paths.

Lay-out was assisted by Baron von Mueller which explains curved avenues and the systematic pattern of Compartments {1}

It was one of the first cemeteries in the world to be laid out in religious denominational compartments

The Cemetery was closed for 25 years early in the century, {1} during which time it suffered serious deterioration and which has not yet been overr taken.

The nominal staff is 30.  Some of these are engaged in perpetual maintenance of graves of the deceased whose families have so arranged.

An appropriate area in the centre of the Cemetery has been reserved for the possibility of a future crematorium.

Cemetery was established 27th March 1852 under the Victorian Cemetery Act.

Nearly three-quarters of a million citizens of Victoria have been interred here.

Source : News paper Item date unknown from the J Bilszta Collection

Source {1} In Memoriam a Guide to the History and Heritage of Victorian’s Cemeteries by Garrie Hutchinson

In 1852 Albert Purchase engineer, surveyor and architect surveyed and laid out the denominational compartments in both formal and romantic styles, Purchase remained an important figure in the management holding the position of secretary until his death in 1909.

From 1860 until 1873 Baron von Mueller advised the selection of planting and supplied over 9000 plants.

The Cemetery was closed on 31 December1903 to 1st November 1927 and during this time the only burials allowed were for holders of burial rights.

Copy of the book is available at The Melton Library










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