If you are interested in history, many historians and genealogists suggest you visit old cemeteries to learn more about the history of a community. Cemeteries like Karrakatta Cemetery in the Perth suburb of Karrakatta have stories to tell because they have been open for over 100 years.
General Cemetery Information
This cemetery first opened in 1899 and it is the place of internment for thousands of people who lived in Western Australia. Approximately one million visitors go to the cemetery each year to see the burial sites of loved ones or to visit the sites of famous Australian politicians, writers, historians and others. Heath Ledger, Prime Minister John Curtin, and Premier Sir John Forrest are some of the more notable people buried in the cemetery.
The first mausoleum in Western Australia was opened at the cemetery in 1995. It is located near the centre of the cemetery and it is home to many works of art depicting important people and periods in Christian history. The mausoleum area is designed and inspired by Mediterranean themes and it has just completed the fifth stage of construction, completing the first mausoleum.
The cemetery also contains the Karrakatta Crematorium, which was opened in 1937. It was the first crematorium to be established in Western Australia. There have been several renovations and updates of the crematorium since it was established. The Karrakatta Crematorium prides itself on having the most rigorous standards in the wrong for energy conservation, as well as emissions.
There are four chapels at the cemetery, three of which are indoor chapels. The Brown, Norfolk and Dench chapels are housed indoors, all of which are air conditioned for comfort and they all contain state of the art sound systems. The Garden Chapel is an outdoor facility, which is adjacent to the indoor chapel area.
The Burial Areas of Karrakatta Cemetery
The cemetery has several different burial areas that include the denominational area that is also subdivided by religion and ethnicity. The areas contain beautiful gardens and areas that allow visitors some time to reflect peacefully while visiting loved ones. The burial areas include:
- The Denominational Area - this burial area is divided into sections for 37 different religious and ethnic groups. There are sections for Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Methodist, Anglicans, Muslims and Jews. While the new burial areas are non-denominational, the religious groups still tend to be buried in the own groups.
- Lawn Areas - There are many different lawn areas throughout the cemetery that are non-denominational. Headstones that are put in these areas are restricted to a height of 1.05 meters. There are many areas to sit and reflect on memories of your loved ones in the lawn areas.
- Children’s Burial Area - There is a special area to remember children who have passed on. It is dedicated to those children who are 13 years of age or younger. Next to the burial area, there is a children’s memorial garden in which memorial plaques can be placed after cremation. The headstones in the children’s burial area are limited to height of 900 millimeters.
- The Aboriginal “Keeping Place” - This area of the cemetery is a project of the Department of Indigenous Affairs. It is a burial area designed to be the resting place for the remains of indigenous people that were previously in museums in the state and around the country of Australia. The Keeping Place is located in an area with a shady grove, surrounded by natural vegetarian and landscaping.
Karrakatta Cemetery Walking Trails
The first resident of the area to be interned at the Karrakatta Cemetery was a 29-year-old wheelwright who had died of Typhoid Fever. Robert Creighton’s grave was placed in the Church of England section of the cemetery, where it still can be viewed today. The cemetery offers several historical walking trails to view the resting places of some of the area’s most famous and infamous citizens.
The cemetery has buried over 200,000 people since its establishment and over 189,000 cremations have taken place since the crematorium was opened in 1937. The trails were laid out by the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board. There are maps located in the administration building at the cemetery or they can be downloaded on the cemetery’s website.
The Karrakatta Cemetery offers many convenient services for those who want to hold a memorial at the facility. They have an onsite catering staff that will serve the food for friends and family that have come to pay their respects to a loved one. The food is served in one of the condolences lounges after the funeral service has concluded.
If you are visiting the grave of a loved one or taking a walk along one of the trails, you can stop for refreshments at the onsite cafe. The Karrakatta Cafe is located just within the Railway Road main entrance to the cemetery. They serve beverages and light food to visitors.
Funeral Etiquette at the Cemetery
Only a maximum of five cars are allowed in the funeral procession within the cemetery. The hearse and four other cars are the only ones allowed in order to keep traffic within the facility to a minimum. The procession is to wait at the main driveway of the cemetery until it is time for the services for the deceased. Mourners can wait at the “wait house”, which is located near the cafe. When it is time for the service, they can follow the cortege on foot to the gravesite or the chapel, wherever the service is being held.
The Town of Karrakatta
This suburb of Perth lies within the City of Nedlands and it is divided by the Fremantle railroad. The south side is where the Karrakatta Cemetery is located. It is surrounded by an industrial area that includes monument companies and other businesses that cater to the funeral industry. The depot for Nedlands is on the south side as well. On the north side of the tracks lies the Karrakatta railway station and the Irwin Army Barracks for the Australian Defense Forces.
More information about AUSTRALIAN DAILY FUNERAL AND DEATH NOTICES, visit their website at http://www.west-australian-daily-funeral-and-death-notices.com.au/