Glen Innes cemetery committee needs more members

JOIN US: Eve Chappell and Jenny Thomas both work in research at the Historical Society and are current committee members of the cemetery committee which needs more members to continue.
JOIN US: Eve Chappell and Jenny Thomas both work in research at the Historical Society and are current committee members of the cemetery committee which needs more members to continue.

Glen's cemeteries could be at death's door if the committee governing them cannot find new blood within a month.

Council's Cemetery Trust Committee has twice in a row failed to reach quorum. Under council rules, if they have too few members at their scheduled meeting in February, it will be curtains.

Jenny Thomas and Eve Chappell both work in research at the Historical Society and are current committee members.

They believe there are enough cemetery fanatics around the Glen Innes Severn Council area to more than make up the numbers. They need roughly one person per regional cemetery to volunteer for the committee to be sustainable.

Eve and Jenny said it would be a tragedy if the committee closed. Eve is particularly keen on the usefulness of cemeteries for historical information, when combined with old court and newspaper records.

"It's terribly important," said Eve. "Knowing medical history - it's all to do with this family history, genealogy."

Jenny Thomas said the committee has the responsibility to regularly check for damage and to maintain, update and correct records. 

"I just love cemeteries - I'm a cemetery freak!" said Jenny Thomas.

For expats of the shire knowing their family has a permanent place in the area can be a source of comfort.

"People who have come up here have often replaced the headstones," said Eve Chappell.

"It's tremendously important to people. A lot of people who travel up here want to go to the cemetery.

"It's a huge part of family history - it's one way of a family getting closure."

Some modern agricultural gravestones show a photograph of the bereaved in their favourite spot on the farm.

A lot of people who travel up here want to go to the cemetery.

Eve Chappell

"They just put - gone fishing!" said Jenny.

The committee currently has seven members and quorum is five, but people regularly cannot attend due to other commitments or personal crises.

The Committee has the responsibility to produce Cemetery Records Books and to maintain and restore the physical graves, as well as to oversee how the Cemeteries are run

The next meeting is planned for February 21 at 5pm at the Council Meeting Room on Church Street. They need five people to attend, or the committee might be heading to the big council meeting in the sky.