Friends of Bonnie Doon Cemetery
– a community group, preserving its local history
In 2004, after constantly seeing a friend upset about the unkempt state of the lawn cemetery after the burial of her husband there, Bill Romans founded the Friends of Bonnie Doon Cemetery.
At that stage there was a total lack of lawn, no niche wall, overgrown graves, weeds everywhere and a dangerous tree needing removal. The Mansfield Shire Council was approached and they mowed the ‘grass’, donated top soil and weed killer, and organised the removal of the tree and rubbish. The need for a new tap was also explained and money was obtained for its installation.
The Friends of Bonnie Doon Cemetery group has increased from 26 members in 2005 to now numbering 31 volunteers. They have organised working bees to do the work of tidying up the cemetery grounds.
Bricks for the memorial niche wall were donated by Boral Bricks and lawn seed from Yencken and Dyason. $1,000 was donated by the Lakeside Hotel Social Group to be used for the memorial wall, and a volunteer went to Melbourne to collect the bricks.
Backhoeing and concreting were donated by local tradespeople, as were their building and bricklaying skills. People came from near and far to help clean up and beautify the cemetery, restore the old graves, and build the memorial niche wall and its circular landscaped rose garden with a weeping cherry tree in the middle.
On October 3rd, 2006 with a short ceremony, the restored and beautified Bonnie Doon Cemetery, with its completed niche wall, was handed over to the Mansfield Shire, the trustee for the cemetery.
The Bonnie Doon Cemetery, in Wilson Street, Bonnie Doon, after its tidy-up and beautification is now a lovely place to visit. The cemetery contains graves of many pioneering families and some of the old graves date back to the 1890s.
Friends of the Bonnie Doon Cemetery is still conducting working bees to maintain the cemetery, so if you would like to help, or just need information, please ring the co-ordinator of the group, Bill Romans, on 03 5778 7632.
We need interested people to help with general maintenance and to get the lawn area re-established.
If you can help please contact:
Bill Romans, 12 Chanro Court, Bonnie Doon Victoria. 3720
Telephone: (03) 5778 7632