|Gympie Cemetery Trust|
An excerpt from Gympie Family History Society “Gympie Cemetery” booklet;
On December 1, 1869 Mr John Priddy was appointed as Gympie’s first sexton, having won the position from forty applicants. The burial ground was situated in Tozer Park Road at this time. A burial register was also started then, although some burials had already taken place.
The first burial recorded by the new sexton was that of a child, two month old William Henry Cronin, buried on December 5, 1869. The Tozer Park Burial ground was formally closed in November 1886.
An area of 60 acres was granted, and the Gympie Cemetery was finally opened in late 1886. Once again a child, Henry PETERS, was the first person buried in the new cemetery, on November 5, 1886.
The positions of secretary of the Cemetery Trust and sexton have been family affairs. Mr LYMBURNER was secretary of the Trust from the early 1880’s until he died in December 1893, when his daughter Miss Adelaide LYMBURNER succeeded him, in January 1894, and continued in that position into the next century.
John PRIDDY’s granddaughter, Nellie, married Christie JENSEN and he took over the position of Sexton when John PRIDDY died in September 1924. JENSEN remained as sexton until his death in 1976. Nellie took over the job for a few years then handed it over to Neil SUTTON, who resigned the position in 2004. Only four sextons in all those years, and three of those from the same family. The position of sexton at the Gympie Cemetery is currently occupied by Mr. Noel SOMERVILLE. (at the time of printing booklet).
Not only did these early trustees establish and maintain the cemeteries in Gympie they also put in place: “A plan of the cemetery, a register of all special grants, and the positions of all the graves in the cemetery, shall be kept by the Trustees, and shall be open to the inspection of all parties interested, upon the payment of the charges, as provided in Schedule A.”
For their foresight we genealogists are eternally grateful.
Compiled by Marjorie Head from “A History of the Gympie Cemeteries” by Neil Priddy.