2 minutes reading time (394 words)

Eltham Cemetery share Unique Christmas Stories

Luckman site, at Eltham Cemetery Victoria.

Traditions provide a sense of comfort and of belonging to enable us to connect and reconnect with each other. They shape our character and reinforce the values, morals, beliefs and passions, both individually and as part of families, friendship circles and community groups. Traditions assist us with keeping memories of the past alive and help us share them with newer generations.

Picnic and group gatherings and celebrations are the established Christmas tradition amongst our visitors. As the weather warms and the days become longer, visitations to the cemetery shift towards evening.We see the familiar faces returning to observe their traditions; the new traditions being formed by families who have a more recently established relationship with the cemetery. It has also extended to community members who don't have a loved one to visit, but who appreciate the natural space and its ambience.

  • A group of men visit the cemetery each Christmas arriving by limousine and dressed immaculately. Over 10 years I have seen them visit their friend armed with their eskies and sharing a drink to their friend's memory.

  • Every year, at the completion of the last day of work for tradies, a large group of young men convene at the memorial site of their friend and colleague. They host their break up function at the cemetery where they can be close to him.

  • Since the passing of his son Adam in 1998, Des Luckman has brought a handmade house to place on his son's grave during the Christmas period. He used to visit in the evening to be close to him and to be able to see the house lit up. With Des' mobility not what it once was and the gradient of our grounds, the house remains in storage at the cemetery and is put in place by our Team Leader, Chris in early December, who also prepares the flower arrangement surrounding it. He photographs the house in the very early hours of the morning to share with Des and his family.

Cemeteries are in itself full of traditions influenced by faith, culture and spirituality. The word traditional is used to describe interment methods and memorialisation, and there is a deeper layer of tradition that exists in the hearts and minds of the many visitors to your cemetery.

-Rita Woolley, Eltham Cemetery Trust, Victoria.

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Thursday, 07 July 2022

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