Ceme­tery gath­er­ing

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS -

ABOUT 85 peo­ple gath­ered at the beau­ti­ful bush ceme­tery at Whroo last Sun­day af­ter­noon, many de­scen­dants of some 300 peo­ple buried since the ceme­tery was cre­ated at the height of the gold rush in the 1850s.

A memo­rial plaque was un­veiled to re­veal the names and dates of those con­firmed, from records, to have taken their long­est rest in the grounds.

Also avail­able to visi­tors were copies of obit­u­ar­ies, in­clud­ing the prom­i­nent lo­cal name of Martin Pet­tifer, whose death and fu­neral re­ceived the full treat­ment in the Rush­worth Chron­i­cle 117 years ago, in Au­gust 1900. In part it read: "If ev­i­dence were re­quired to show the re­spect in which Martin Pet­tifer was held by the whole com­mu­nity, the large and rep­re­sen­ta­tive at­ten­dance at the fu­neral on Sun­day fur­nished it.

The re­mains were in­terred in the Whroo ceme­tery, the cortege leav­ing Rush­worth com­prised fully 70 bug­gies and a large num­ber of horse­men, be­sides hundreds of per­sons on foot, who fol­lowed for about half the dis­tance be­tween Rush­worth and Whroo and then re­turned.

The Rush­worth Brass Band headed the cortege, play­ing the Dead March in Saul up High Street, the Oddfel­lows, of which so­ci­ety de­ceased was a mem­ber, fol­low­ing the band. At the top of the street the band and the Oddfel­lows got into ve­hi­cles, but near­ing Whroo they again marched and headed the pro­ces­sion to the ceme­tery, the whole of Whroo hav­ing in the mean­time joined the cortege."

They don't write trib­utes like that any longer.

Lis­ten­ing to the obit­u­ary at Whroo on Sun­day were Yvonne Sloper (nee Pet­tifer) of Avenel, stand­ing not far from Kyabram's Leon Pet­tifer, only "con­nect­ing" when each was pointed out to the other.

Yvonne's brother Gra­ham Pet­tifer lives in Kyabram, which was also news to Leon.

So you never know who you are go­ing to meet in a ceme­tery in the bush.

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