David Molloy, Manager at Nudgee Cemetery and Crematorium has shared the below letter with us on how cremation was viewed in 1930s Australia – it was written by David’s Uncle’s Great Grandmother around the 1930’s and offers her view on the cremation. At that time cremation was still very new in Australia and was no where near as popular as it is today.
The adoption of Cremation as a means of disposal of our beloved dead is, without doubt, worthy of attention by the public and the Cremation Society of Sydney have provided a Crematorium and surroundings by which the form of disposal makes strong appeal to the General Public in preference to what was formerly earth burial. The service at the crematorium is marked by its solemnity and reverence. There is nothing in it to give offence to the most sensitive nature. Upon arrival of the funeral, the casket (or coffin) containing the remains is carried into the Chapel followed in orderly and reverent manner by the relatives and friends. It is then placed on the Catafalque (or Slab table) in sight of all. The usual funeral service is then said by the Minister at the termination of which the casket moves silently out of sight on the sliding slab of marble and passes out of sight. The impression conveyed to all present is both beautiful and reverent in its simplicity, creating at once an atmosphere of solemn scared serviced devotion.