Posted by: Bruce | March 31, 2015

Teralba (Booragul) Pioneer Cemetery – a movie and mozzies on Billy Goat Hill.

My stay would have been a little longer with the camera today but the mozzies were fierce. A short sleeve shirt and shorts not the go with rain just a day or two earlier.

I’d spotted a short reference to this cemetery and decided to check it out next time I passed. The reference mentioned an effort of sorts to retain the cemetery and restore it to some of its former glory. It also mentioned imminent residential development of the cemetery area and its physical demise by topsoiling (sorry about the pun).

Instead of the cemetery, a written and photographic record would substitute and this was pretty much rubber stamped by the council for Lake Macquarie City. My curiosity spiked a little.

After surrendering to the mozzies, I scratched and itched my arms and legs heading down Billy Goat Hill. While impatiently waiting to gain clear ground it was difficult (for me) to ignore the parallels between the current local situation and that of the movie Poltergeist back in the 80’s. The ingredients are there except for the dramatic ending. I’m not intending any offence to those associated or related to residents of the cemetery; the opposite actually.

Prime suburban land, some with water views I’m thinking, is owned and being developed by a company owned by the (now former) Lord Mayor of Newcastle. The development is rubber stamped and the ground to be used for housing. Homes over graves? Approx. 240 grave sites are said to be in this location, over the top of the hill, the best view. The last burial recorded to have taken place was in the 1970’s and apparently living relatives exist.

Below are some links readily available. Just a click on one pic will present all images, enlarged, in a gallery. Easier on the eye and better for detail.

This will cost a bit to restore and maintain, especially security wise. It’s a little isolated and out of sight, despite being close to suburbs and Booragul Station. Thanks to Lyn S. for providing the first two links. Lyn advised that she is one of those ‘living relatives’ of persons buried in this cemetery.

An update, October 19, 2016 – On this date I revisited the cemetery and work is well under way. Pretty hard to spot some of those graves not clustered with majority.

http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2795281/billys-lookout-on-market-soon/ http://history.lakemac.com.au/images/dynamic/history/lh-12307.pdf http://austcemindex.com/cemetery.php?id=655 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-17/residents-in-last-ditch-effort-to-save-cemetery/5027840 http://history.lakemac.com.au/page-local-history.aspx?pid=1085&vid=20&tmpt=narrative&narid=3808 http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/newcastle-mayor-jeff-mccloy-quits-before-being-pushed-20140817-105299.html

Word for today;      Heritage – a present day expense.

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel.

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