• Date: 30/10/2018
  • Cemetery: Preston Cemetery

GMCT was proud to support a special infant memorial service recently held at Preston Cemetery.  

The memorial service was hosted by SANDS - a volunteer-led, not-for-profit charity that specialises in peer-based support services for grieving parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby.

The service, held in memory of all babies and children, commemorated what would have been the 50th birthday of baby Sandra Canavan. Baby Sandra, who was stillborn in 1968, is one of many babies buried in a mass grave at Preston Cemetery.

As was common at the time, Sandra was buried without a service. Her final resting place was unknown for many years.

Sandra’s father, Tony Canavan, decided to track down Sandra’s final resting place two years ago, following the death of his wife. It was with the help of SANDS that he discovered Sandra was buried at Preston Cemetery.

Tony travelled from overseas to attend the service in memory of his daughter, having returned to Ireland shortly after her passing 50 years ago. Around thirty people attended, many who had also lost a child in similar circumstances.

Toys, music and flowers at the graveside provided a fitting tribute.

Find out more

Click here to read the ABC News story, 'Decades after stillbirths, long-grieving parents find answers in mass graves'

Click here to learn more about SANDS

Click here to access grief support resources

Tony Canavan (above) travelled from Ireland for the service in memory of his daughter Sandra.