• Date: 17/03/2013
  • Cemetery: Williamstown Cemetery

The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (GMCT), the custodian of Williamstown Cemetery, will hold a special ceremony to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the first interment at Williamstown in cemetery's celebrated marble Mausoleum on Friday 15 March at 11.00am.

In celebrating 155 years of service to the local Williamstown community, the GMCT has chosen to honour the history of this truly remarkable and historic cemetery with the retirement of an Australian Flag that has flown at Williamstown for the past 10 years and a presentation of three new flags to the cemetery; an Australian Flag to be presented by the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, a Victorian Flag presented by Wade Noonan MLA and a newly designed GMCT flag presented by GMCT Chair Catherine Brown.

Ms Brown said "the three flags will fly proudly over Williamstown Cemetery and each represent a continuity with Williamstown community's past, the present and its future."

"Cemeteries and their graves are important as both social and aesthetic elements of a community's collective memory. Cemeteries tell an important part of a community's story. Sometimes they are the only record of an individual, a group or a settlement.

"Williamstown Cemetery is a commemorative landscape of the local community's memory and history. It demonstrates many aspects of Williamstown's heritage including its development as a sea port, its demography and religious make-up.

"The monuments that are to be found at Williamstown celebrate lives lived well as well as many cut short. Williamstown Cemetery is a microcosm of the history and heritage of greater metropolitan Melbourne."

In celebrating the 155th anniversary, the GMCT remembers that on the 22nd of March 1858 Captain Lawrence Lawson, a Master Mariner and long-term resident of Williamstown, was laid to rest in a newly designed and purpose built cemetery close by the sea he so loved.

Members of the public are invited to attend the flag retirement and presentation.