I rise to speak on the annual report of the Geelong Cemeteries Trust. Memorial
and burial grounds can be places where one can reflect; they are places we visit
to deal with the loss of a loved one, to place mementos on their gravesites, and
to sit and reflect on their lives and the relationship we had with them. They
are also testaments to our local history and our local communities.
I take this opportunity to express my thanks to Geelong
Cemeteries Trust members for the work they have done over the period 2008-09. I
particularly thank Lawrie Miller, the chairman, who is a dedicated community
member and plays a role in a number of other Geelong organisations. Given that
he has recently announced his retirement from the Geelong manufacturing council,
it is timely that he has a special mention today.
The work undertaken during the reporting period was extensive.
It goes to a number of cemeteries that the trust covers. It is not just the
Geelong cemetery itself; a number of other cemeteries are under the auspices of
the Geelong Cemeteries Trust, including Portarlington, Mount Duneed and Leopold
cemeteries, just to name a few.
During the reporting period the trust also undertook
consultations with the local community and determined there was a need for a
crematorium and mausoleum. Works are under way to ensure that that need is met.
A number of other works were carried out at all the cemeteries, which also
included the paving of car parks to make the facilities more accessible.
I also wish to raise today the issue of a number of other
cemeteries in the Western Victoria Region.
As members would be aware, last year the Cemeteries and
Crematoria Amendment Bill 2009 was passed in this place, and it ensured that
Victorian cemetery trusts were able to meet community needs now but also going
into the future. Under this legislation the Geelong Cemeteries Trust was classed
as one of the six class A trusts, and there are a number of other trusts which
fit under class B that are in western Victoria. Cemetery B trusts rely solely on
the many hours of hard work offered by dedicated volunteers.
I would like to make specific mention of a number of cemetery
trust members in my electorate who have committed themselves to many years of
dedicated service to their local cemeteries. Colin Richardson of the Woolsthorpe
Cemetery Trust has completed 40 years of voluntary service to that cemetery
trust. John Bunworth of Byaduk has committed 60 years of voluntary service to
that cemetery trust, and that is just enormous. Andrew Templeton of Caramut has
dedicated 41 years service to the cemetery.
Kevin and Chris Humphrey have each contributed 43 years service
to the Cressy Cemetery. Gordon Heard has committed 58 years of service to the
Derrinallum Cemetery Trust, and William Williams has given 44 years of service
to Derrinallum. Kevin Sharrock and Thomas Kelly have each given 44 years of
service to the Macarthur Cemetery. Douglas Malseed of Hawkesdale Cemetery Trust
has given 46 years of service. William Anders has also given 46 years of service.