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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When is a Cemetery not a Cemetery?

This is a cemetery


And this is a park



But there is no one buried in the first, it is just a display of headstones, and there are graves under the grass in the park.

The first is the memorial cemetery I found in Mudgee yesterday. The headstones were removed from the park area so it would be a neighbourhood rest area.

It is now a large flat "rest area" bordered by unremarkable homes. It is one of the less attractive parks I have seen and there is nothing there but a few pieces of play equipment, some rather ordinary looking trees and one large concrete memorial surrounded by an unfriendly looking fence.

James Blackman is believed to be the first European Settler to find the land around Mudgee, so his family memorial has not been removed out of respect. If I was him I would rather have had my memorial removed.

The new memorial is clean, orderly and clearly a cemetery, even though there are no graves here, just headstones and memorials.

The reclaimed park area seems desolate. It has too many trees to be a sports ground, and too few to be a nice picnic or play area. The trees are unremarkable, even straggly and the grass doesn’t seem healthy. Knowing that the Blackman family is buried here, and that other bones must lie under the ground I am walking on, seems creepy. Isn’t it still a cemetery even though most of the headstones have been removed?

I think they should have left the stones where they were. The memorial is only a few streets from where the stones used to lie. It seems like an unnecessary intrusion for little gain.

What do you think?

2 comments:

Red Nomad OZ said...

Weird, hey! It's clearly the most illogical solution - so probably made by a group!! It seems disrespectful to be walking on a burial site - wonder how the decision makers rationalised that?

Nikki said...

It is bizarre. I can't help feeling it was a huge waste of time and disrespectful of the dead.
Thanks for dropping by.