Society celebrates cemetery 150 years

Gerringong Historical Society's Margaret Sharpe and long-time Gerringong resident and former Kiama mayor Arthur Campbell at the Campbell family headstone. Picture: DAVID HALL

Gerringong Historical Society's Margaret Sharpe and long-time Gerringong resident and former Kiama mayor Arthur Campbell at the Campbell family headstone. Picture: DAVID HALL

GERRINGONG Historical Society is arranging a historical tour of Gerringong Cemetery on Sunday, October 12, to celebrate 150 years since the cemetery was established.

Records show the cemetery was gazetted in 1864 and the first person buried on the spot overlooking the ocean and boat harbour was Evan Campbell, who died on September 12 of that year.

One of his relatives, former Kiama mayor Arthur Campbell, said from all reports Mr Campbell was a fairly prominent man in Gerringong.

"He played some part in the establishment of the cemetery and it is ironic that he was the first one to be buried there," he said.

Historical Society publicity officer Margaret Sharpe said there were many fascinating stories involving the cemetery.

"One was the two young priests who travelled from Ireland and were heading for Nowra when they stopped off at Kiama for a swim and unfortunately drowned.

"The Kiama Parish said they weren't their priests and not their responsibility to bury them and Nowra took a similar line, so the good Catholic people of Gerringong took over and buried them overlooking the sea," she said.

Contact the Gerringong Historical Museum on 4234 1127 about the tour.

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