Boolarra Cemetery Trust – March 2020

Until the 1830s there were no official burial grounds in Victoria. Public cemeteries were established on Crown Land, with trustees appointed by the government. The Act for the Establishment and Management of Cemeteries in the Colony of Victoria was passed in 1854, forming the basis of cemetery administration as we know it today. Boolarra’s cemetery in Barktown Road was established in 1886 with the first burial of Frederick Fernandez, taking place in 1887. Today there are 3,200 cemetery trust members in Victoria managing 571 cemeteries. Many of these are volunteers from local communities. All trust members are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Health. Trusts are statutory bodies and are ultimately accountable to the Minister of Health.
Boolarra is a Class B cemetery trust which has eight members at present. We can have up to 11 members, so, we have some vacancies. If you feel you can contribute your interest and expertise to the trust, please feel free to contact the Secretary Roz Carstairs 0429 383 686 or President Matt Gleeson 0427 696 461 to find out how you may apply.
In 2019 there were five burials and six families arranged for their loved one’s ashes to be brought to Boolarra Cemetery. This year on the 8 of January a much-loved trust member Bill Armstrong died and was buried at Boolarra. Bill spent over 35 years volunteering on the Trust. He was a hard worker for the Trust and the town of Boolarra. The Trust acknowledges Bill’s commitment to the Trust and its work. Thanks Bill.
Managing a cemetery in a bush setting has many challenges and it’s the trust’s duty to properly, safely and efficiently manage and maintain the Cemetery. Our Cemetery is the home of a beautiful Trigger Plant and many small orchids. Over Spring the trust endeavours to keep the orchid display however, the Trust has a duty of care to all members of the public who enter cemetery property. Under the Flora and fauna Guarantee Act 1988 native vegetation, like the Trigger Plant, is protected however
management practices, such as well-timed mowing, grazing or burning that have in the past enhanced the native vegetation in the cemetery need to be retained where possible to protect the native vegetation remnants. This is what the Boolarra Cemetery Trust does annually with the Trigger Plants. Many large areas will be left to flower over the spring but areas that are around graves will be mown thereby ensuring people may visit their loved one’s graves safely.

Roz Carstairs,
0429 383 686.