Tag Archives: Adelaide Cemeteries Authority

How can graves at Cheltenham be protected under the “Significant Places Policy”?…

Our South Australian legislation leads the country in making it lawful, and absolutely acceptable, for graves to be re-used if the lease has not been renewed.  I am so ashamed. You can read about my views HERE.

Back in June 2013 it was a shock to discover my Great Grandmother’s grave had one of those lease renewal notices on it, despite me spending much money to back pay the lease, and keep her safe for a few more years, whilst sorting out what this was all about.

Thankfully it was confirmed, by the records department of the ACA, that her lease was indeed paid up and the notice had been removed.  However, questions about the process remained ignored, and unanswered for some three months, until eventually I took my questions to the “higher authority” ie. the Attorney General’s Department which oversee the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority in it’s management of Cheltenham, West Tce, Enfield and Smithfield cemeteries, on behalf of the South Australian Government. It was most pleasing to get a full and detailed response, especially in regard to the order in which Cheltenham gravesites, with unpaid leases, will come up for redevelopment.  If you missed that post, please click HERE to read.

One of my questions was in regard to the preservation of the graves of  our Pioneers at Cheltenham Cemetery. This was the response.

Response to my query from the Attorney General's Dept.

Response to my query from the Attorney General’s Dept.

Okey Dokey… great info and now it was time to go to the ACA’s  “Significant Places Policy” to see how this actually protects the graves of our pioneering Ancestors.

Q:   Am I able to ask that a gravesite be protected under the “Significant Places Policy” of the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority?

A:   4.2 of the policy (page 55) states:  “Any person or organisation may make re-commendations for inclusion in the Authority’s Significant Places List within Cheltenham Cemetery, Enfield Memorial Park or Smithfield Memorial Park. This includes members of the public, local government, State or Federal Government departments, Authority staff and Board Directors.”

Q:   What is the criteria for having a gravesite declared a “Significant Place” and therefore protected from being re-used if the lease has not been renewed?

A:  Pages 55 and 56 of the Policy describe the criteria for a gravesite being declared a “Significant Place” as:

Places
1. Design or layout of a cemetery, or part thereof, reflects history and cultural heritage or a movement in cemetery planning.
2. A structure within a cemetery is unique or unusual.
3. A structure within a cemetery reflects a particular style or trend in design.
4. Trees or vegetation of significance or expected to become significant in time.
5. Remnant vegetation at West Terrace Cemetery.
6. Expresses a particular group’s identity.
7. Reflects the diversity of the Australian community, including social values and customs at a particular time.

Monuments
1. A monument has unique or unusual masonry qualities.
2. A monument is a good example of a particular style of trend of monument design.
3. A monument denotes a significant date or incident in the history of a cemetery or the community.

Burial and Cremation sites
1. The site played a significant role in the development of the cemetery, that is, the first grave site, the first cremation memorial site.
2. The monumentation is dedicated to a particular group who have served the country or the community.

People
This policy allows the grave or memorial of a person to be accorded with significant place listing due to the person’s unique contribution to the community. In making the assessment, the Committee will consider—
1. The person’s international, national or local achievements.
2. The person’s history.
3. Any existing commemoration for the person and the location of that commemoration

Hmmm… I’ve always found Policy docs such a pain and often difficult to grasp… so my next step was to check out those gravesites, at Cheltenham Cemetery, which have been declared “Significant Places” in order to get a better understanding of how this “Significant Places Policy” has been applied, and actually works, in real life.

Once I’ve got this sorted, in my own head to the best of my ability, I will post here. In the meantime maybe you’d like to check the policy out for yourself and post some of your own ideas and thoughts in the comments section below.

Adelaide Cemeteries Authority “Significant Places Policy” (scroll down to pages 50-56)http://www.aca.sa.gov.au/Portals/0/Documents/Annual%20reports/ACEM%20997%20Cheltenham%20Report_full.w.pdf

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Copyright © 2014. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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Filed under Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, Cheltenham Cemetery, PRESERVING GRAVES, RE-USING GRAVES

I am ashamed…

Map of Australia.Sth AustWith my head held high, I’ve always been most proud to be South Australian and enthralled by its uniqueness as a planned and free settlement. This dream of the “dissenters”, often called “The Paradise of Dissent” and “The Utopia of the South”,  was certainly not fulfilled as planned but,  nonetheless, South Australia has always been right at the forefront of social change. One prime example is being only second in the world, with New Zealand being the first, to grant women the right to vote and the very first in the world to allow women to stand for election to Parliament.

It is, therefore, with shame that I realise South Australia has also led the country in the desecration of the Burial Sites of our Pioneers, our Ancestors and our dearly departed.  No longer permitted to R.I.P. –  if the leases on their graves are not renewed the Cemetery claims ownership, buries strangers on top and, if family do not collect the memorials, they are disposed of in whichever way the authorities choose.

Headstone gone and strangers buried in the grave of:  Joseph Petter Bowen, Helen Leitia Bowen (nee Young), and Hilda Jane Bowen, Benjamin Clarence, Josephine Letitia and Estelle Maud Bowen, also memorial to Warwick Young Bowen AIF, who died in Cambridge, UK, in 1918

Headstone gone and strangers buried in the grave of: Joseph Petter Bowen, Helen Leitia Bowen (nee Young), and Hilda Jane Bowen, Benjamin Clarence, Josephine Letitia and Estelle Maud Bowen, also memorial to Warwick Young Bowen AIF, who died in Cambridge, UK, in 1918

Cheltenham isn’t the only cemetery which treats our Ancestors with such contempt.  Centennial Park, Dudley Park and Payneham are three others, that I know of, but there may be more. However Cheltenham is the only public cemetery, managed on behalf of all South Australians, who treats our Ancestors in this most disrespectful way.

The Adelaide Cemeteries Authority (ACA)  is a statutory authority of the State Government of South Australia and, since 2002, has been responsible for managing four cemeteries in the Adelaide metropolitan area—

*  West Terrace Cemetery, established in 1837, is a State Heritage Place (Register Number 12722).
*  Cheltenham Cemetery, established in 1876, originally owned and operated by the Port Adelaide Council.

*  Enfield Memorial Park, established in 1944, and commenced operations in 1947.

*  Smithfield Memorial Park, established in 1986 by the Northern Adelaide Regional Councils.

Cemeteries managed by the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority

Cemeteries managed by the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority

West Terrace Cemetery has, in the past, re-used graves but since receiving “State Heritage Listing”, because of rare indigenous plants growing within its grounds, the graves are protected.  I believe Enfield has also previously re-used graves, but stand to be corrected. In a phone call, a few weeks ago, I was informed that Enfield don’t re-use graves because “we have enough land.” Smithfield is way out in the northern suburbs, in a rather beautiful bushland setting, was only established in 1986 and seems to have huge amounts of excess land. They don’t re-use gravesites and disturb those who’ve been laid to R.I.P in their environs.

Book. Port  Adelaide. Mudflats to metropolisThe destruction of Cheltenham gravesites, and memorials, is the destruction of our history and a profound dishonouring of so very many of South Australia’s earliest Pioneers.  Cheltenham Cemetery is one of the oldest in the Adelaide metropolitan area, having commenced operations as the Port Adelaide and Suburban Cemetery on 27 July 1876 with the burial of Hannah Wheatley Mussared of Le Fevre Peninsula.

Port Adelaide is an historic area which was central to the colonization of South Australia dating right back to its inception in 1836 when Colonel William Light first sailed up the Port River. Port Adelaide has been the gateway to trade and commerce in the state and the first contact with South Australia for thousands of emigrants when they arrived by ship. Dr Susan Marsden points to the significance of the Port Adelaide region by describing it as:

“South Australia’s main port, its second city, and largest working-class district.”

Initially Cheltenham was the responsibility of the Port Adelaide Council, however, in 1987 this was passed over to the Enfield General Cemetery Trust on the understanding that it would be permitted to run the cemetery according to business principles and that gravesites, in the crowded cemetery, could be reused to provide funding for maintenance and further enhancements. It was a business decision.

Enfield General Cemetery Trust’s assumption of responsibility coincided with a series of State Government legislative reforms and Cheltenham became the first cemetery in Australia to redevelop expired burial sites. This was widely criticised by members of the public and the media and I well remember signing a petition, way back then, opposing this practice.

I would say that the interests of business still predominate in the continuing destruction of our heritage at Cheltenham Cemetery. The ACA Management plan reports,

At present, more than 40 per cent of all burials at Cheltenham Cemetery are in re-used sites. While the practice may be unpopular with some members of the community, it allows space for more than 300 interments each year and for the cemetery to continue to play an active role in meeting the needs of the local community.”

On page 7,  Adelaide Cemetery Authority also reports:

“The Authority provides more than 3,000 burial and cremation services annually, generating $8m in revenue that funds both operating expenses and capital development at our four cemeteries.”

So, who is responsible?… It is not the Cemetery management  nor the staff.  It is our South Australian Law which gives this practice the green light and our South Australian politicians are responsible for allowing it to continue. Many were hopeful the new South Australian “Burial and Cremations Act 2013” would bring an end to this practice but not so.

I’ve written previous about my distress at the destruction of “the final resting place” of so many of our Pioneers which you can read about HERE I also put this concern to the Attorney General, along with the expired leases at GX Section (click HERE to read) and received this response:

Response to my query from the Attorney General's Dept.

Response to my query from the Attorney General’s Dept.

I’ll be writing about this “Significant Places Policy” very soon. In the meantime you may like to read it for yourself on the “Adelaide Cemeteries Authority Management Plan.”   Just click HERE.

The best time to get politicians to listen to our concerns always is leading up to an Election.  As it happens, the South Australian electorate goes to the Polls in March… so we all have an opportunity to contact our local member, the opposition, the Greens, Nick Xenephon… whoever, and say  STOP THIS!!! … that’s if you have a mind to, of course.  Not trying to tell you what to do     😆

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Ancestors

Copyright © 2014. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

RESOURCES:

http://www.aca.sa.gov.au/Portals/0/Documents/Annual%20reports/ACEM%20997%20Cheltenham%20Report_full.w.pdf

http://www.portenf.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=339

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Port Adelaide Pioneers… gravesites gone.

The great esteem shown to their local Pioneers by the dignitaries, and residents, of the Port Adelaide district is clearly shown in this report from the Adelaide Advertiser (Thursday, 4 Oct 1928, page 14.) describing the Civic Reception and entertainment held in their honour.

SAGUT. Pioneers. Port Adelaide. intro

One of the Pioneers, mentioned a little further down in this rather length newspaper article, and honoured on that day is Mr F.L. Le Leu.

SAGUT. Pioneers. Le Leu

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), Thursday 4 October 1928, page 14

Mr Le Leu died on 30 Aug 1945, aged 89 and was buried in Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia.  A search of their site sadly shows that his gravesite has been re-used/ re-cycled and there remains no signage to mark this Pioneer’s life. The civic respect and gratitude, shown in 1928, did not continue.

Cheltenham Grave redeveloped. Le Leu

On Monday 7 October 1929 (page 9) the Adelaide newspaper, the News, reports the death of  Mr E. Pine who was reported to be “one of the earliest settlers of Woodville district.

SAGUT. Pioneers. Pine

News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 – 1954), Monday 7 October 1929, page 9

This highly regarded early Pioneer was also laid to “Rest In Peace” in the Cheltenham Cemetery… However the records show that he too did not remain respectfully laid to rest for Mr Edward Pine’s gravesite has been re-used and re-cycled, with another taking up his burial place and his memorial gone.

Cheltenham Grave redeveloped. Pine

When reading the huge number of glowing newspaper reports about Captain Beilby H. Evans, and his pioneering contribution to the development of South Australia,  I felt quite confident that his gravesite would still be intact.  Here is the introduction to his lengthy Obituary which gives some idea of this mans extreme importance in the European settlement of South Australia.

SAGUT. Pioneers. Evans

The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), Monday 28 June 1926, page 8

Clearly even Captain Beilby H. Evans was not considered worthy enough to have his “final resting place” maintained and protected.  The disgrace of it is here, for all to see, on the Cheltenham Cemetery Website.

Cheltenham Grave redeveloped. Evans Capt

Just a little research showed that the grandson of Captain Evans died during WW1 in France and I wondered if there had been a memorial to him on his Grandfather’s grave?  This was common practice but maybe not, in this case…  Hu knows???

SAGUT. Pioneers. Evans jnr.2

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), Saturday 23 September 1916, page 43

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Well, there it is… just a brief outline of the many “Portonians” (Port Adelaide Pioneers) whose contributions to the settlement of South Australia have become ignored, and overlooked.  No longer feted and celebrated… the final insult being the desecration of their gravesites.  Sadly, it’s seen as more important to accommodate the wishes of “newcomers”, who want to be buried close to where they live.  Just too sad    😥     Surely there must be a way to bring an end to this. A way which meets the needs of all.

Babies' Rose

Copyright © 2014. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel 

Thanks to the National Library of Australia for the Newspaper articles.

TROVE. BADGE

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Good-oil groves around graves…

West Terrace Cemetery,  referred to in the newspaper article below , is managed by the ACA (Adelaide Cemeteries Authority) on behalf of the South Australian Government which also manages the Cheltenham Cemetery.

There is, however, a huge difference between the two.  West Terrace Cemetery no longer re-cycles/ re-uses graves, as does Cheltenham,  because it has Heritage status. The graves at West Terrace receive this protection because of a rare indigenous plant growing in its surrounds, not because of the importance of the people interred there.

The gravesites at Cheltenham Cemetery,  whilst managed by the same organisation on behalf of the South Australian Government, are being recycled at an alarming rate with many of our “Portonians”  (Port Adelaide Pioneers) having strangers buried on top of them and their beautiful memorials removed.

It’s a heartbreak for many descendants returning, often from interstate or overseas, to find their Ancestors final resting place desecrated and demolished. It’s a disgrace that our history is being destroyed in this heartless and uncaring way.  We are told that people want to be buried near to where they live and so this is why, when the lease is not renewed, they re-use the graves.  This is simply not good enough…   It’s also said that it is necessary in order to have this money to maintain the Cemetery.  I say that there has to be a better way!!!

Please click on the link below to read the article.  Many thanks.

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Crout-Habel


The Advertiser
30 Dec 2013
          

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Filed under Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, Cheltenham Cemetery, MEDIA REPORTS, PRESERVING GRAVES, RE-USING GRAVES, The Legislation, West Terrace Cemeter

Hundreds of Graves about to be “recycled”…

UPDATE:-  I finally got some answers to my questions.  Whilst most of the leases have expired, this area is not due for “re-development”, re-use/ re-cycling of the graves, before 2018. More about this in a follow up post to be published shortly.

19 January 2014  – The update to this post can be viewed HERE

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I come to you with great sadness in my heart. Do you have family laid to rest in the Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia?

Cemeteries. Cheltenham. expired leases.17Sep2013Right there on the corner of Port Road and Chippenham Street, Cheltenham is Section GX in our South Australia’s Cheltenham Cemetery and over 400 gravesites there are about to be/ or have already reverted to the control of the “Adelaide Cemeteries Authority” because their leases have not been renewed.

Many years of family history research resulted in me finally finding that my Great Grandmother was laid to R.I.P. in this GX Section at Cheltenham.  I’ve now paid almost $1000 to keep her in the ground, and her burial place undisturbed, but this will run out in 7 years time and, despite paying out all this money, I still have no control over her gravesite. i.e. I am unable to tidy up the grave and/ or fix a memorial for her because I do not hold the lease. My Great Uncle who died way long ago is the person named as holding the lease and trying to find his descendants, to ask for them to sign the lease over to me, is like “trying to find a needle in a haystack” .  However, that is another story, for another time.

What a shock it was when visiting the many “rellies” in Cheltenham Cemetery, just a few months ago, to ensure that they were all still tucked up safe and sound, tidy up their graves etc… to discover that this same Great Grandmother’s gravesite had one of these horrific recycle notes stuck to it.

Eventually the Records Department, of the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, advised in writing that it was a mistake and the sign had been removed. All well and good but when visiting Grannie I saw that almost every grave, on both sides of that pathway, also had these warning notes stuck to them.  I kept trying to shut out this information but eventually did have to go back and have another look. To my horror, I discovered that nearly every Grave in the GX section has a “lease expiry” notice affixed.

Whilst absolutely disagreeing with the re-cycling of graves I do accept that, according to our South Australian Law at the present time, this is possible. What bothers me about these Graves in GX is that I’m unsure if the Policy of the  “Adelaide Cemeteries Authority” has been followed.  It sure was not followed in the case of my Great Grannie’s gravesite.  At no time did I receive a letter advising of an expired lease… nor, despite my close scrutiny of the South Australian print media, did I see anywhere advertised the lapsed leases/ grants of the GX Section at Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia. I’m happy to be corrected with clear evidence to the contrary.

Furthermore, some of the information online re: the re-development of Cheltenham Cemetery is so out of date that it’s almost laughable… if we weren’t crying so much.

The South Australian Government is responsible for ensuring that the Board of the “Adelaide Cemeteries Authority” does their work in making sure that their employees follow the policy.  I am expecting that our Attorney General, John Rau, will direct his employees to investigate my concerns with the utmost of expediency… because once these graves are gone, they can not be replaced.

Hopefully my worries will be proven to be unfounded.

If you have family buried in the Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia… please do not hesitate to contact the records team at the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority to check out the security of their gravesite(s).  The email is:   records@aca.sa.gov.au

To search the records yourself, just click on this link:
http://www.aca.sa.gov.au/RecordsSearch.aspx

Further Information about Cheltenham Cemetery can be found here:
http://www.aca.sa.gov.au/Ourcemeteries/CheltenhamCemetery.aspx

UPDATE:
GOOD NEWS!!! I’ve just, finally, received information that the ACA do not intend to
re-cycle the graves in GX in the near future (y) However the leases HAVE expired and to retain ownership these need to be renewed.  4 Oct 2013

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR “REDEVELOPMENT” PLAN WILL BE PUBLISHED SOON… Cheers.

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Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

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Filed under Adelaide Cemeteries Authority, Cheltenham Cemetery, RE-USING GRAVES