More worthies at the Boroondara Cemetery

It surprised me that the Boroondara Cemetery was established as early as 1858.  I’m well aware that graveyards were established on the outskirts of cities because of fears of contagion, but Kew seems so suburban for 1858.  The surrounding houses seem to be Edwardian in design, and the fence and rotunda that give the cemetery such a  High Victorian/Edwardian appearance date from the 1890s as well.

Because of the strong turn-of-the-century aspect of the cemetery,  I was startled to find the graves of very early Victorian settlers there.  Here’s Edward Henty from Portland, one of the earliest permanent settlers


Georgiana McCrae is buried here as well.


There’s some very large memorials here- none rivalling the Springthorpe Memorial in beauty, but striking nonetheless.

There’s the Syme memorial for David Syme, proprietor of The Age



and the Cussen Memorial was erected by Supreme Court judge Leo Cussen for his son Hubert.


Somehow, compared with these, the Howett memorial looks rather -um- utilitarian.  Still, time may be kind to it.


I quite liked this one.


While speaking of death, I noticed this death notice in The Age yesterday.  I do not know the woman at all, and mean no offence by posting this.  I was very touched by it.

WEST Verna Rae. Passed away peacefully at Munday Court, Skye on December 27 2012 aged 88…. A feisty savvy survivor of the Old Beechworth Asylum who never stopped searching for our mother, with whom she was lovingly reunited in 1991.  Moved to a Singleton Equity house in Skye in 1992 with loving care from DHS.  We were glad to be able to embrace Verna in our family.

Therein lies a tale, I suspect.

6 responses to “More worthies at the Boroondara Cemetery

  1. Some fascinating people buried there! Where exactly is this cemetery?

  2. Ok, I’ve found your previous post. I’ve passed this cemetery many times but never wandered in. Perhaps someone should set up a walking tour of it on the Internet for people to follow.

    • Actually, there’s a friends of Boroondara Cemetery who run tours of the cemetery quite regularly. There are also brochures available at the office of the cemetery- we bought the ‘artists’ one for a gold coin donation

  3. Wow, wouldn’t Verna’s life story be amazing to hear! Sounds like she would have had one great story to share.

  4. I was really touched after reading what you found in the paper too, so as like you, I mean no offense if anyone see’s this, but I searched for her and found a YouTube video about her life. Have a look at the ‘About’ section which shares her story with everyone. What an interesting and sad story, so touching she got to be with her Family in the end though

    • residentjudge

      Wow! What a fantastic story. I’m so pleased that she had so many years with her family around her at last. Thank you so much for posting this.

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