Melbourne General Cemetery Tour 2017 @ Sunday, September 02, 2018

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Melbourne General Cemetery has been on our list of places to visit for years though as it's a monthly event there's only 12-ish opportunities a year to go on a tour at the first (well second) graveyard in Melbourne. There used to be a lot less people, as the first site was at the Queen Victoria Market before it was moved. There's still bodies under the market, but it's more like dust these days. Being history buff especially on the Victorian era, the Melbourne General Cemetery is a place on our must see list. Can't recall how much tickets were but they were cheaper than a movie.

I love graveyards cause they're so beautiful with amazing and tragic stories. Perhaps containing even more stories than a library (certainly our office library for sure). Different area/cultures will have different burial (if they go with burial) rituals and styles and it's all very fascinating.

Flinders opened in 1900, the historical museum house I worked at opened in 1847, gold rush was 1950s and the second site of the Melbourne General Cemetery opened in 1852/3, there's so much history behind it, and I love seeing all the headstones styles. The Victorians and Edwardians were the most regular visitors, often on a Sunday after church they'd have picnic with loved ones here, back when we all went to church. 

A few years ago the last plots were sold, so now it's sold out for burials - but they are building a new concrete box above ground, which is popular with the Italians, who don't want to be in the ground. They reckon it'll sell out in 5yrs. I'm a bit concerned about wifi signal... concrete blocks it. (Jas says this isn't important, but idk...) Anyway for burials you can have three in a plot (one on top of the other). There's a vault underground (where you'd be in a concrete block again) with a marble foyer, fountain and Bach. That sounds nice. It's private so you need to have someone down there to get in.

For cremation you get the spot for 25 years, before you have to renew it, burial is forever - but it doesn't come with the same maintenance you get if you're under a rose tree. It's up to the family to take care of your spot.

I quite like this area, not being a fan of in the ground. Much like at the supermarket eye level is the most expensive at 80k, as people like to touch the stone (I think it's stone?) as a way of connecting to their loved ones. You used to be able to get a ladder to the top, but not these days due to safety.

At the time of our tour the 'Spring Racing Carnival' was on, it's the annual horse racing season but more about drinking, gambling and the fashion than anything. Plenty of vegans protesting that it kills horses, though no one mentions that if you fall off a horse you could die too! He was only 28. May 1938. It's a beautiful headstone, I do love the personal touches that some of them have.

We went on a day tour which definitely recommended over the night tour, as I like to see things without getting too close (the fear of stepping on someone or tripping and falling is high). Coincidentally I've been getting a lot of spam calls lately and someone called to sell me life insurance while we were on the tour! What were the odds of that.

Brace yourself, there's about 60 pictures here. As it's up to the family to maintain the graves, a lot of them need to be fixed eg. cracks, headstone toppled over over time. We like the ones that are larger with a fence, though those would be older than the sleek modern ones.

The tour was pretty cool, highly recommended, the tour guide was very knowledgeable. Although she really didn't like me, though that's probably personal more than anything. 

Have you been to Old Melbourne Cemetery? 

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