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History of Avondale Cemetery

Avondale cemetery
Avondale Historic Cemetery was established in 1900.

Avondale Cemetery was established in 1900 and consisted of 10 acres of land, located in partially cleared bushland, approximately 400 metres northeast of the township of Avondale.

It is bounded by Avondale and Miller Roads and sits adjacent to the Kolan River and the railway line.

Now a historic cemetery, it is listed among Bundaberg Regional Council's Local Heritage Places.

The cemetery’s scale at formation is an indication of the size of the community at the time and the anticipated growth of the area’s population.

The current lot covers approximately 1 hectare, a quarter of the original extent of the cemetery, and is separated from the road by timber barriers.

There are five identified grave sites in the cemetery, marked by timber surrounds, and 2 unidentified grave sites.

Community groups were involved in a restoration project in 1999 and it is believed there may be other, unmarked graves within the cemetery.

A covered interpretation panel was installed as part of the project and lists the details of the five identified graves.

Three sites are located near the interpretation panel at the northern end of the cemetery by the road, with two of these burials marked with upright slab headstones, one cambered and one in gothic style.

A fourth burial is a short distance to the south also near the road, with no headstone or plaque.

A fifth grave is situated in a cleared area further south overlooking the riverbank and includes a memorial plaque fixed to the timber surround.

This grave is the oldest identified burial in the historic cemetery and is of railway worker William James Christoper who died 26 April 1891 when he drowned in the Kolan River.

Three children are known to be buried in the cemetery, two with headstones remaining in the burial plot nearest the interpretation panel.

Edwin Gustav Thomas died, aged 15 years, on 16 September 1904 when he fell into a tank of boiling juice at the Waterloo Mill.

Edwin’s death was reported around the country and a magisterial inquiry was held into the incident.

The burials of Eric Henry Gustav Kindt, aged 1 year and 10 months, and Henry John Read, aged 7 years and 11 months, are noted on the interpretation panel, with Eric’s gravestone still existing alongside Edwin Thomas.

The Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advisor reported the death of Dorothea Olsson of Yandaran in May 1907, and noted that her funeral was attended by a representative from almost every family in the Yandaran, Waterloo, Bucca, Miara, Avondale and Moorlands areas.

The article notes Mrs Olsson settled in the Yandaran district in 1883 with her husband J. B. Olsson and was highly esteemed throughout the district.

Mrs Olsson’s grave is no longer marked with a headstone.

Avondale Cemetery
The grave of William James Christopher overlooks the Kolan River.

Avondale cemetery could reveal more of region's history

The Avondale cemetery is now a historic cemetery and stands as testament to the evolution of the region’s history.

There is potential for the site to yield further information that will contribute to an understanding of the religious and cultural patterns of settlement and life in the district.

More history stories:

Cordalba Cemetery reflects district’s history

History of the Gin Gin Courthouse

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