Friday, 14 August 2009

Crook as Rookwood

I was looking for a grave of Annie Elizabeth Tollis (Nee Wright) with my mum, its her grandmother and she was supposed to be buried at Rookwood Cemetery.
Rookwood Cemetery has been putting people in the ground since 1867, over 600,000 are down there, and it's one of the largest cemeteries in Australia.
Rookwood Cemetery is located in Sydney’s West, and covers more than 300 hectares, it contains a war memorial and memorial gardens.
We went to the visitors centre in the Anglican / church of England section (can't help it if my mums side is not proud Irish catholics like my dads) anyway they were extremely helpful.
In less than five minutes based on the name only the very helpful staff looked up the database and found the plot, and plots owned by the deceased and quickly researched any obvious linked burials.
We had a headstone, map to its location and details of all those buried in the plots before we knew it. We found it in the old Anglican section in a grave with two plots and a headstone marked Fredrick William Tollis.
In most cultures people expect to be remembered through headstones that include their names, dates of birth and death, special designs, and other relevant information.
Usually smaller grave headstones are most commonly used to mark individual graves these days, but to mark a group of graves or an entire family can take the form of elaborately designed statues that celebrate a specific theme, this is one of the oldest forms of funerary art.
Originally, a tombstone was the stone lid of a stone coffin, or the coffin itself, and a gravestone was the stone slab that was laid over a grave. Now all three terms are also used for markers placed at the head of the grave. Originally graves in the 1700's also contained footstones to demarcate the foot end of the grave.
Since gravestones and a plot in a cemetery can cost significant amounts of money, they are also a symbol of wealth or prominence in a community. (source: Wikipedia)
A spooky inscription:

Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you will be,
Prepare for death and follow me.

Creepy huh?

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