AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crib Point Cemetery


Crib Point Cemetery is a tiny cemetery.
It is bordered by Morradoo Railway Station not far from Westernport Bay, Mornington Peninsula.
No fancy graves are here.
No fancy statues are here.
It is easy to believe that no fascinating stories may be associated with such a simple place.
But this cemetery does have a story.

Clem Kleinig, long-serving member of the Cemetery Trust, is the caretaker.
He knows many of the people who lie here and mows the property by hand.
There is the local doctor who was called out to attend a car accident, only to find out that the victim was his wife. 
There is Colin Joseph Whiston – the first Australian serviceman killed in Vietnam, at the battle of Long Than. 
Pte Whiston, Colin J Unit: 6RAR; Age: 21;
National Serviceman Born: Sydney, NSW
Civ: Postman; Single
KIA - Gunshot wounds
Commem: Garden of Remembrance, Vic
Buried at: Crib Point Cemetery, Vic

But there is a particularly beautiful story attached to this place.
Because the Trust is purely voluntary, it is the cheapest cemetery in the state, which means that they get the state trustee funerals – people who die with no money and no family.
See more of this story HERE!

The cemetery is behind the trees on the left of the photo.

 And now to turn to the name of the nearby railway station.
From 1960-1996, Morradoo railway station was simply SP 15 (stopping place 15).
The area was still in the Crib Point region, so there seemed to be no haste to give it a name.
Morradoo appeared to be a suitable choice because it was the original name of Crib Point, meaning "powder and shot".
More details HERE!
(Cerberus, a major naval base is nearby.)
This fact seems to further enhance the idea of the cemetery being almost without identity.
Unvalidated!


This is the only other photo I have of the cemetery.
(Notice the uniform style of the "raised bed" graves!)
I took both photos in 2008, thought that the place held no real interest and drove on.
Not till creating this post did I know the background of this cemetery.
Now I am sorry I did not spend more time here.
I must go back!!!!

A small special place
Crying for identity
Seeking some wonder

P.S.
1. Notice the blue sign to the left back of the photo.
It reads BITTERN - the name of the next suburb.
2. In Julie N's database I found this note in her Crib Point Cemetery listings:
463 ANDERSON Gustav       no dates              Swedish Seaman           Erected by his Shipmates

I must go back!!!!!!!


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8 comments:

Genie said...

What a beautiful post and series of pictures. I just love the one burial site with the white picket fence around it. It sounds like the caretaker does a labor of love each time he cuts and trims the grass. Ironically, I am friends with two women - both nurses - whose children were killed just a little way from their homes. In both cases people ran to their homes to get them to help at the scene. One was a 7th grade boy who was killed riding his bike at the end of their street. The other was a high school girl I had taught who was driving too fast on her way to cheerleading practice and hit a tree head on. It is a real heartbreaker. genie

VioletSky said...

Oh, the cemeteries I have visited and now realize I must go back to because I mistakenly thought there wasn't much of a story within!

Deb said...

Interesting stories, I guess every grave has one if you know who to ask. Some of the markers look quite elaborate for the cheapest cemetery in the state.

hamilton said...

I find it really interesting that the first Australian death in Vietnam was buried in 'the cheapest cemetery'.

CaT said...

interesting!
but those raised beds should be expensive? more expensive than "just" a headstone?
nice huh,when you find out stuff, do go back!! :)

Julie Storry said...

I was grinning my head off by the time I got to the end of your post this week, Gemma. You are a born story-teller.

I agree with Sanna about the cemeteries I have to go back to now that I know what to look for. Nearly every grave has a story that can be researched.

That is sad about the National Serviceman CJ Whiston. I bet he is on the wall down at the AWM. I will add him to my list so that I take a photo next time I am down in our national capital, which will be October sometime.

Thanks for this. I enjoy myself down here each week.

Julie Storry said...

On the AWM site there is a photograph of Colin Whiston

http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P03539.002

Herding Cats said...

You should never judge a cememtery by it's graves. Sounds like an interesting place to revisit.

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