Sunday, 30 December 2007

Sunday Scribblings #91 - Now & Then

NOW









NOW
On the topic of genealogy ... this week we went to search for graves of our ancestors at The Rookwood Necropolis ....
Look at what we found ... graves over run with grass and weeds, headstones falling over, no respect, no care.

Snakes, rabbits and hares abound, the ants are big enough to carry you off ... distressing.

THEN
The "Necropolis" at Rookwood, has been on the original site since 1867.

Less than 18ks / 11miles from the heart of Sydney, covering 699 acres it's one of the largest burial grounds in the world. Much of the cemetery was laid out like a picturesque park, radiating circles, serpentine paths and scenic locations, using much of the 19th century funerary customs by way of plant symbolism. Parts of it are beautiful.

WHY
Who Mows It ...
It's all about money, it's political, as the hospital and education systems are in turmoil - how can anyone expect funding to fix a cemetery?

Initially the designers never dreamt Sydney's population would explode from when there were basically three major denominations.

There's much to contemplate about where we might remain!

12 Comments:

paisley said...

there are many such cemeteries here in northern california,, and we seem to have a problem with people vandalizing the graces,, as well as no one to care for them... so sad... i love to spend hours there just reading and dreaming of who these people were... once upon a time.....

Beautiful Witch said...

I have noticed the same thing here and it makes me ever so sad. I know there are volunteers who go into old graveyards and tend the graves that time seems to have forgotten, and I think that is a great idea.

I have to admit - I just love the word necropolis...City of the Dead indeed. Great read!

tumblewords said...

Well-written commentary. Strange how values change and what was important falls away.

Sherry said...

Then people "cared" about final remains, final resting place. It was an homage to "visit" the deceased. Now it is more like "gone and forgotten", life moves at a rapid pace, cremation removes the ritual of the cemetary as "home". There is much to consider about where we will find our "final" home.
Happy New Year to you.

Molly said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! :)

I think it's interesting the rituals involved with death... my grandfather recently passed away and was cremated, making his funeral really more of a memorial. There is no where for us to go to place flowers now, which seems so strange to me, and I found out my parents want the same--to be cremated. In some ways, I think it's also nice; I won't have to come to see those gravestones a-kilter, won't have to wonder who will tend the place when the descendants have moved on.

Herb Urban said...

How sad that something as simple as basic human decency in caring for the final resting place of our elders boils down to money.

Was their biggest sin not earning enough money in life so their relatives could buy them a plot in a private cemetery?

This is a very thought provoking and heartbreaking post. Glad you shared your picture and thoughts.

Have a great New Year!

angie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I don't think I've ever seen a cemetary so over grown. Very sad that that has happened. Did the search yeild any results?

Patois said...

All the history and lives around there, and no one remembers. It's a pity.

Awareness said...

It is very sad to see a resting place so neglected...

Judy said...

Been there twice this week.

Cheryl said...

I love strolling through cemeteries. Before my grandfather died nearly seven years ago him and my mom and sister were really into genealogy and once a year they would attend a family reunion in WV while visiting cemeteries and looking up records nearby. I can only imagine the lives of the people who came before us. It's sad to see the only memories of their existence pass with time.

Redness said...

Many Thanks Paisley, Beautiful Witch, Tumblewords, Sherry, Molly, Herb, Angie, Patois, Awareness, Judy and Cheryl for stopping by, for understanding and for realising the sadness of the cemetery. Sadly too the Anglican section is in the very worst condition ... interesting!
Happy, Happy, New Year All. xxx

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