South of Goroke, and set away from the main road down a lane, is a tiny bush cemetery with a dozen graves, some of which are fairly recent additions to the older ones. Stopping before the one in the first image, I was struck by the inscription – the death of one’s infant children within a year of each other is a sad thing in anyone’s language.
‘In loving memory of HARRY GORDON and MABEL PHILLIPS infant children of JP & R Jelbart 1885, 1886. “TILL THE DAY DAWNS.”‘
As I looked away from the main cluster, I saw an impressive headstone way over on the eastern edge, unflanked by others. Making my way across the uneven ground, heavily carpeted in grass and native understorey, I was interrupted by the soft bounding of a large Eastern Grey kangaroo, moving to get away from the human intrusion.
‘In Loving Memory of JOHN D’ARCY FORREST born in Melbourne 1840, died 26th July 1902. Also children of above LYDIA died Sept. 3rd 1895, LESLIE NORMAN died Nov. 9th 1899.’
After taking a few shots, I spotted another gravestone set against the southern boundary, tucked beneath some small trees, and made my way through the thick grass to look.
‘In Loving Memory Our Dear Father GEORGE MUNT died March 9th 1893, aged 65 years. THOUGH LOST TO SPORT. TO MEMORY DEAR. And his son CHARLES HENRY MUNT died Sept. 15th 1951 aged 82 years.’
The day I visited was cool and overcast, but without a hint of the oddness that sometimes overtakes me in places like this.
As I approached the derelict cottage in my previous post, I noticed the relationship between the two old chairs resting on the porch. Even though the cottage had an air of forlorn resignation, the chairs suggested an ongoing conversation between ghosts locked forever in a neighbourly chat, unable to leave the porch to rejoin the passing world beyond the fence.