Karnak Cemetery: a touch of Victorian Gothic in the bush

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.

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‘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.

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‘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.

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‘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.

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Goroke Garages: fire alarm sign

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I found this handsome old fire alarm sign at the back of the local garage – one of the few original details that hadn’t been stripped from the premises over the years. There is something about vintage advertising that appeals to many of us for various reasons; I enjoy the spare use of colour here, where the sign relies on old-style signwriting skills – rather than computer savvy – for impact.

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Goroke Garages: old XA

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Old garages: they smell of dust and ancient motor oil, and contain many miracles of man’s ingenuity – from industrially manufactured items, to backyard engineered equipment and MacGyvered solutions to everyday problems (the simplest of which involve duct tape and tie wire). As a kid, I regularly accompanied my dad to the local garages, farm supply businesses, and farm machinery dealers on various errands, and quickly grew to love the atmosphere – and that quintessential scent – of them all.

This garage, owned by 30 year old Jade, was purchased when he was a young bloke of 19 for storage, and now contains a fairly orderly jumble of old cars – including this XA Falcon – and a few items he’s collected out of interest for himself.

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Goroke Garages: Jade’s place

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My camera did struggle with the deep gloom inside, but I still really enjoyed chatting with Jade about his garage – once you show interest in what someone else is also interested it, it opens up conversation you’d otherwise miss.

Please click image to view full size – and don’t slam me for the blurry low-light imprecision!