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Visitors to the Queenstown Cemetery will now be able to locate graves more easily following the installation of a new sign.
The sign, depicting a full map of the cemetery, is part of broader plans by West Coast Council to improve efficiencies and works at its current operational cemeteries, which are also located in Rosebery, Strahan and Zeehan. It is hoped that similar signs will be installed across all cemeteries in the future.
“Our cemeteries are an important part of our communities and there is increasing interest in family history,” General Manage Dirk Dowling said. “Taking this level of interest into account, Council staff have spent around eighteen months researching records and the last few months transcribing old burial ledgers into electronic format. These burial records will soon be available on Council’s website via a searchable database.”
The first cemetery burial database to go live on the website will be the Queenstown Cemetery, which has been in use since the early 1900’s and has over 3000 burials. As other cemetery records are transcribed they will also be uploaded to the burial database. Those without access to the internet will still be able to obtain burial information directly from the Council office.
“We also recognise the importance of our pioneer cemeteries, and have been doing some work on the Queenstown Pioneer Cemetery (in partnership) and future planning for this and the Zeehan Pioneer Cemetery.” Mr. Dowling advised.
For our current cemeteries as appropriate, we will consider future management plans, including signage, available space and the potential for their burial information to be added to the online database. These and other factors will form part of a study Council has budgeted for in 2017-2018 financial year. The Council has also budgeted $10,000 in its current capital works program for improvements to the monumental section of the Queenstown Cemetery. This will involve removal of grass, water main renewal, covering of open drains and installation of gravel as a continuation of works already completed in the far end of the cemetery.
West Coast Council has a regular maintenance schedule for all operational cemeteries and these works will reduce general maintenance costs involved with the regular mowing and brushcutting of the area, freeing up Works and Operations employees to complete tasks in other areas.