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22 January, 2021

Cemetery history just a walk in the park

Cemetries are a font of knowledge for history buffs and family heritage researchers, who’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that Mackay Regional Council’s Character and Heritage Advisory Committee wants to enhance those opportunities.

Mackay General Cemetery
Many of the pioneers of Mackay are buried in the Mackay General Cemetery alongside ex-servicemen and many South Sea Islanders who came to work on the region’s sugar plantations.

Early in 2021, the committee is initiating some meetings and workshops around developing a cemeteries’ history project.

It will not only involve the Mackay cemetery but also include others at Sarina and in the Pioneer Valley.

The Mackay Family History Society has offered assistance as they have all cemetery records in their collection.

mackay cemeteries

The Mackay General Cemetery was the Mackay region's principal cemetery until 1950 and is one of the earliest regional cemeteries in Queensland.

Its site was surveyed in late 1865, two years after the first town allotments were sold in 1863.

The graves of people associated with the sugar industry, include Gustav Muller of Hilldale, Charles Walker of the Dumbleton Plantation, Charles King of Meadowlands Plantation and Mill, William Williams of the Lorne Plantation and James Carey of the Racecourse Mill.

They lie alongside other luminaries from the last two centuries, including Andrew Diehm who accompanied Queensland explorer William Landsborough and Houston Stewart Dalrymple Hay, the Harbour Master and Pilot for Mackay in the 1870s.

South Sea Islanders are also among the largest ethnic group represented in the old central cemerery.

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