West Australian Government: bring an end to the clearing of headstones in West Australian Cemeteries
  • Petitioned Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of Western Australia

This petition was delivered to:

Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of Western Australia

West Australian Government: bring an end to the clearing of headstones in West Australian Cemeteries

    1. Sandra Playle
    2. Petition by

      Sandra Playle

      Pinjarra, Australia

For almost 30 years the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board has been clearing headstones from Karrakatta Cemetery and will commence this practice in the Fremantle Cemetery in the near future.

Previously headstones have been removed from many graves of our soldiers that fought and suffered badly during the wars so that we may have our freedom. Now they have no markers on their graves ... is this the way we thank them?

Headstones from founding pioneers, people who have contributed historically to this state have had headstones removed ... is this how we thank them?

Previously, vaulable historic information and artefacts have been sent off and crushed for road base and we honour these people by driving over it.

The MCB have declared that this is no longer the practice however there has been limited evidence that this is the process.

The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board has other options available without removing headstones from graves but they refuse to consider these options.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE OUR SACRED SITES.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. From Mar Alvar in Sweden

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "My baby cousin's grave is at risk in WA. He lived for only 5 months and his grave is all that is left there to commemorate his short life in WA. It's not just a matter of respect... to desecrate his grave would be utterly heartless."

    2. Reached 1,500 signatures
    3. Important update.

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      The number of people that are joining the facebook group is overwhelming .. 50 new members in under 24 hours. Keep up the good work.

      I have an important request. Can those people who have experienced losing a headstone from a grave at Karrakatta, been contacted by the MCB to renew a license or have contacted the MCB for the purpose of renewing a license please contact me by email and give me a brief outline of the experiences.

      fedelmar@hotmail.com

      This information is important for our cause.

      Bright Blessings

      Sandra

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    4. From Linda

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      t is not your right to take away the markers of those who died, especially the soldiers. Instead you should have been maintaining and restoring, retaining history not destroying it. Those graves were marked for a reason, someone loved them, someone wanted others to know that those they lost had once lived. By your actions, you have now said, they didn't matter, that their lives and sacrifices didn't matter. May they all rest in peace and rise in glory.

    5. Sunday Times newspaper article

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer
      Families lose the plot

      The Sunday Times spoke to several families this week who claim the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board removed the headstones of their loved ones without their knowledge and while the lease on the gravesite was still valid. A spokesman for the MCB conceded that it couldn't guarantee the lease on every headstone removed during the "renewal" process had expired.

    6. From Mary

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      I have hundreds of relatives buried in Karrakatta and Fremantle Cemeteries who helped to build this state, and lived an impoverished worker's life but were good decent law abiding citizens. After a long hard life in a young colony they at the very least deserve a long and peaceful sleep in their graves. At the moment children may be put in the position of burying their parents and loved ones, only to have to argue with the MCB a decade later when the MCB decides they want that plot of land back.

      Very dodgy ethics on display here and likely to irreversibly affect the history and heritage of our state. Why are we so allergic to preserving our history in WA? There seems to be a need to roll everything over for a quick buck regardless of sensitivities or history or just plain decency.

    7. From Marcelle

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "These headstones are historically & personally very important. Preservation is a must. Too many buildings & headstones have been mindlessly destroyed in Western Australia over the years and it's just appalling. The WA Cemetery Board have a lot to answer. Karrakatta Cemetery is a good example. The Board only maintain the front bit and the lawn area. The rest is a disgrace and yet they have the gall to tell people what they can and can't do to individual graves when the place looks like a tip. Save the headstones and revere those who have gone before us."

    8. From Kerry

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "Sickens me to see the lack of respect and violation of graves by MCB. In Australia we honour our dead, well at least I thought we did, what has happened to honour and respect?. This violation of our sacred sites must stop."

    9. From Rosetta

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "My 14 Day old First born Son was almost lost For EVER if this was not brought to My Attention.I had a 50 year agreement with the MCB which they have reneged on. My Family and Friends ARE Appalled by the Actions of the MCB and the Western Australian Government.They Removed all trace of Him from His grave including his Grave Marker Number within 9 Months of the so called laps of My agreement although My agreement had another 24 Years and 3 Months still, in Writing"

    10. Well said Keith

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      From the petition comments:
      "If this Destruction continues as a way to raise revenue as the MCB has on there web site what will be next ? If we don*t care for our dead then what happens to us ALL when we Die ? This is APPALLING what the Government of Western Australia have ALLOWED the MCB to do to all of the people of Australia. Yet the Government went of there nut at Turkey when they attempted to do the same to our dead at LONE PINE. "

    11. Reached 1,000 signatures
    12. From Lyndall.

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "So many individuals and organisations spend precious resources preserving our national and state based heritage. To deliberately choose to destroy it is a travesty"

    13. From Debbie

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "I think it is disgraceful that any one, let alone any Government could support such a decision. Where is the respect for the dead as well as the living. All I can say after this debarkle is dont save a spot at any metro cemetery for me I am going to be buried in a small country town where the locals look after the cemetery and have some respect. I will vote accordingly when the time comes"

    14. Headstones

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      The headstone being on a grave aids the grieving process as it is a tangible link to a family or a friend.

    15. From Kate

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "I am descended from some of WA earliest settlers. It sickens me to see blocks of apartments on my gt gt parents remains in East Perth. We need to retain what history we have."

    16. From Chris

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      I think it is a disgrace to treat the dead as trash. I'm sure our polticians wouldn't allow it to their relatives or ancestors. It's desecration.

    17. From Geraldine

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      Do you have so little regard for the pioneers who helped form your nation & for those who fought for the freedom you enjoy today? And to just crush the memorial stones for road base is even more despicable. While I am not Australian, some on my relatives made it their home. Please stop this desecration now.

    18. Reached 750 signatures
    19. From Phillip

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      Our history should be protected and those that have formed a valuable part of our history should remain in place for future generations to respect.

      "Show me your cemeteries and I will tell you what kind of people you have." - Benjamin Franklin

      "Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high deeds." - William Gladstone

    20. Media Release

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      Craig has been on the job and a media release has been sent out to several radio, TV and newspaper houses.
      The same media release has been forwarded to several WA State and Federal politicians.

      Thank you for your support and signatures.

      Sandra, Craig and Kay

    21. From Allie

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "most culturally significant cemetery"

      It's only culterally significant when it has HISTORY present and visible! Not destroyed, crushed and hidden underfoot and underneath modern trappings.

      How about we build a shopping centre on top of Anzac Cove. It's still *there*, albeit underneath a heap of concrete. So therefore it's still culturally significant, right?

    22. From Michelle

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      How can it remain "the state's most culturally significant cemetery" if all the culture is destroyed? There won't be any headstones older than 30 years old in the future...

    23. Mertropolitan Cemeteries website

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      Following receipt of our letter notifying them of our petition Metropolitan Cemeteries Board have updated their website with the following:

      "30 years of respectful implimentation of the renewal program".

      "Caring for the memories of those departed: Ensuring that the state's most culturally significant cemetery remains open, is able to meet community need and endures as a site of importance to all Western Australians".

      This clearly indicates to me that they have no idea of the repecussions this causes.

      I say they have destroyed the WA culture, no one said it needed to close, they don't give two figs about the families in the community and they have destroyed the importance of family in WA.

      I personally believe that they have NO valid argument for removal of headstones and therefore it must cease!

      Sandra

    24. Graves of defence personnel

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      CWGC headstones belong to the Commonwealth and not to the state. If the cemetery authority are doing the job correctly, then these headstones are not removed. (Although in the past errors have been made)
      OAWG headstones belong to Australia. The people buried in these graves are given these headstones via a selection criteria. As a result of our previous campaign and an agreement reached in 2008 with OAWG, these headstones are to remain.
      Families who have placed their own headstone on a grave of a defence member run the risk of it being moved irrespective of what is written on the headstone.
      Bertie Onions MM and Bar, discussed below is an example. His headstone made no mention of his military service.
      I will point out here, on SEVERAL occassions, I have been told by MCB staff and board members that each grave has been CAREFULLY RESEARCHED. I refuted that then and I do now ... my requests to see that research were denied.
      Sandra

    25. From Sondra

      Sandra Playle
      Petition Organizer

      "After my mother died in 2008 I went to Karrakatta Cemetery to find the graves of my grandparents etc. The administration at Karrakatta were only able to show me a photo of my grandparents grave. At least I have that. I also attempted to find the grave of my parents' second child who was born in 1937. I had the grave number but the only information I could be given as to its whereabouts was that it is now a garden and told me the area where the grave would have been. "

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Trish Andrews AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      I lost my great grandparents headstone - unreplaceable

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Peter Checksfield TENTERDEN, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Headstones are an important part of our heritage - as long as there is one surviving descendant of the deceased they should remain in place.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Edward Murphy CORK CITY,IRELAND., IRELAND
      • over 1 year ago

      Respect for those who fought to save us,and respect for those graves that our future generation's 'may' visit!!.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Barbara Carlyon AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      I have family resting in Karrakatta including my Daughter.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Maree Larsen AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      We should be respecting people's wishes and keeping these places for the heritage of their descendants.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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