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Springvale Botanical Cemetery
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It’s 1972, and a young Charles Sporton walks through the gates of The Necropolis Springvale. He is excited to be there for a job interview for a weekend customer reception opportunity. Little does he know that this will be day one of a 26-year career journey in an organisation that in time would come to be known as the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, and would leave a lasting mark in his life as a compassionate and beautiful place to work.
This year, we said a sad farewell to this special member of our SMCT community. A man who was quickly identified as a ‘very good type’ at that very first interview and became affectionately known as the friendly, enthusiastic ‘Chas’.
Charles prided himself in knowing everyone and everything about Springvale Botanical Cemetery. Coupled with his friendly personality, this made him the perfect person to help those who walked through our doors on a weekend visit. To this day, we have on record a letter dated 1983 commending him for his service to the community. It was signed by General Manager, Ian Mountford, who Charles described as his best mate.
Charles worked at SMCT from 1972 to 1998, earning him nearly three decades of service to the SMCT community, before taking an early retirement. He spent his later years keeping busy as an avid gardener and a devoted dad and grandfather, before a stroke left him hospitalized and triggered a decline to his health.
‘In the last months, my dad talked about his job at The Necropolis Springvale often,’ shared his daughter, Katrina. ‘He thought back through his life and spoke fondly of his colleagues and friends and all the memories he made during his time there.’
Springvale Botanical Cemetery was a special place to Charles, so it was only fitting that his memory would be made eternal on our grounds in a meaningful way. Because Charles absolutely loved roses, his family will be choosing a perfect spot in SMCT’s rose gardens to place a token memorial so that loved ones and future generations can come to reflect on his lasting legacy.
‘We will miss him more than words can say. I know that a plaque honouring his time and service at SMCT would make him so proud. He would be chuffed!’
Today, we take a moment to appreciate the very special contribution of Charles Sporton, as a treasured employee, colleague, and friend. We also take a moment to reflect on how workplaces shape our lives, and the lasting mark they leave in our memories.
Workplaces are communities of learning, growth, exploration and achievement. They are places where visions are set, and lifelong friendships are formed. They are places that leave a lasting mark in our lives, and like Charles, where we can leave our own legacy behind.
To Charles, and to all those who have helped bring comfort, guidance and support to our special community, a heartfelt thank you.