Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery - Commemorating 150 Years

Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery - Where history rests

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On Friday 27 March 2015, the historic Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery (CPC) at Charman Road Cheltenham officially commemorated 150 years. The cemetery's first interment, John Fullarton Hunter, and World War 1 veteran, Thomas Marcellus Boyle, were be honoured on the day.

Cr Geoff Gledhill, Mayor of the City of Kingston unveiled two plaques to commemorate both the first interment and CPC's 150th anniversary.

The event, was jointly conducted by the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT), which administers CPC, and Friends of Cheltenham Regional Cemeteries (FOCRC). The CPC's Notable Interment's site map and accompanying information brochure was also launched on the day.

CPC is the final resting place of many notable Victorians, including Ernest William Copeland (1868 - 1947), who was Collingwood Football Club's Secretary of 29 years.  Collingwood honoured his devotion to the club by naming their best and fairest trophy after him.

At the conclusion of proceedings, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, the Returned & Services League (RSL) of Australia also conducted a Dedication Service at the site of the recently restored grave of World War 1 veteran, Thomas Marcellus Boyle.

SMCT's Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jane Grover said, "The historic Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery is very much a part of this close community and provides fascinating insights into its history.”

Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery - Potted History

CPC was the first general cemetery established in Melbourne’s bayside area and, until 1917 was known as the Mordialloc and South Moorabbin General Cemetery.

The cemetery opened for interments on 3 October 1864, and the first burial of John Fullerton Hunter occurred on 27 March 1865.

It has had many notable interments over the years, including the district's mayors, pioneer graziers, artists, musicians, politicians and war veterans.

In 1915 the original section of the office was built to the design of local architect Solon A. Peck and in the 1920s the cemetery was improved by the construction of a brick wall and gates, and the shelter house pavilion.

The cemetery reached its capacity in the late 1920s, and a new burial ground, Cheltenham Memorial Park, was established nearby.

CPC has changed little since 1931 and provides rich insights into the history of the surrounding community.
It is now in the care of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, a not-for-profit community organisation, dedicated to honouring and celebrating life.