• Date: 31/07/2018
  • Cemetery: GMCT Home

GMCT staff recently met with a very special former resident at Fawkner Memorial Park.

Dorothy Curry, almost 91, lived at the original cemetery lodge when she was a young child. Her father, Alfred George Smith, served as the head gardener and caretaker.

GMCT’s director operations David Crowe met with Dorothy to hear stories of her time at Fawkner and show her around the grounds.

Dorothy resided in the lodge for 19 years -  from 1927 when she was born, until 1946, the year her father retired.

Dorothy recalled dapper gravediggers tipping their fedoras as she left for school, military convoys traveling up Sydney Road during the blackouts of World War II, and even a major flood that swept through Merlynston Creek.

Dorothy’s son Richard Curry had previously written to GMCT describing his mother’s determination to share memories of time spent living at Fawkner. Dorothy was also interviewed by author Don Chambers for his book Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park (2006).

“She felt an overwhelming responsibility to share what she knew of the cemetery’s history so it could be recorded for posterity”, Richard said.

“She has an indescribable connection to the cemetery and at the age of 90 still recounts those stories with an overwhelmingly fond memory.”

The old cemetery lodge stood approximately where Fawkner Special Lawn is located today. Dorothy has such a strong connection to the area that she wishes for it to be her final resting place.

Dorothy and her son Richard Curry pose at Fawkner Special Lawn, where the cemetery lodge and residence once stood. Dorothy holds a photograph of the lodge which she brought along on the day.

Dorothy brought along this photograph of the original cemetery lodge where she lived as a child.

Fawkner Special Lawn, present day, where the lodge once stood.