WHAT is going on in the Redlands cemeteries? Why are
people walking around with clipboards and cameras? Moreover, where in the
world is Redlands, Queensland. (Ed: Here!
Well, according to a story in the Redlands Yourguide Newspaper, they are part of a team of volunteers who are helping prepare condition reports about the gravesites and doing some research to add to the knowledge about the local cemeteries and the people buried in them.
There are seven cemeteries in the Redlands, but only tree are in use - Dunwich Cemetery, Cleveland Cemetery in Wellington St and Redland Bay Cemetery.
Acting Mayor Alan Beard said the Council recognises the importance of cemeteries in establishing local historical records.
"The Council has adopted a Conservation Management Plan which identified the cultural heritage significance of the Shire's cemeteries and developed guidelines and recommendations to ensure the heritage values of the cemeteries are retained," he explained.
"A number of gravesites, particularly at Dunwich and Serpentine Creek, are deteriorating and we should do everything we can to make sure they are preserved and protected."
Heritage consultant David Young OAM and two teams of volunteers have begun work preparing condition reports on the gravesites due to be completed by mid-2005.
The volunteers will do some of the work identified in the report, such as weeding.
More significant repairs involving stonework and foundations will be done by qualified people.
Council has made assurances that no work will be done without consulting family descendants where possible.
Volunteers are also researching those who are buried in the cemeteries to add to local history records.
One of the mysteries they have found in the Cleveland Cemetery is that there are about four older graves in the old Protestant section that are on an angle.
Where all the others face the same way these four don't.
Dunwich is the last resting place of up to 10,000 people, including many inmates from the Dunwich Benevolent Asylum.
Most of the graves aren't marked and many people researching their family histories are keen to find the exact location of their forebears' grave.