Just before the world went down like a bag of spuds with Covid 19 I joined an organised evening tour of South Brisbane Cemetery.
Also known as Dutton Park Cemetery and Heritage Listed it was established in 1866 and remained in active use until the 1960’s when it ran out of space.
I like the history that can be found in cemeteries – what else can I say?
The memorials in Dutton Park cemetery range from those of prominent early residents, displaying fine examples of the mason’s skill, to those of prisoners from nearby Boggo Road Gaol. Others reflect post World War 2 immigration and the cultural mix of the South Brisbane area in the second half of the 20th century. These include Greek and Italian graves and those of the many Russians who first settled around Woolloongabba and South Brisbane in the 1920s, following the Communist takeover in Russia. There are 52 Commonwealth service personnel buried in this cemetery whose graves are registered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 13 from World War I and 39 from World War II.
Having heard the story and stood by the grave of Patrick Kenniff, who was hanged at Boggo Road in 1902 (and which is purportedly haunted) I was fascinated by Kenniff’s life as a bushranger, as infamous in Queensland as Ned Kelly.
The Last Bushranger by media celebrity Mike Munro – who just happens to be related to Kenniff – was my first new Post Iso book to read. I’m not sure whether I enjoyed it so much because it was just so lovely to hold a real book in my hands after so many digitals, or because of the subject matter.
Oh, and the cemetery tour is well worth doing too, except cover your bits in Aeroguard first. It’s swampy after rain down by the sites near the river which is also where you really will be creeped out.