Chatswood South Methodist Cemetery
Cnr. Pacific Highway and Mowbray Road
The charming Wesleyan/ Methodist (now Uniting) church opened in 1871 and the first burial in its churchyard was the infant Mary Elizabeth Holland in 1873. This cemetery is one of only two remaining 19th century churchyard cemeteries on Sydney's North Shore. The other is in St. Johns Ave., Gordon.
After the cemetery closed in 1924, it suffered extreme vandalism. The sandstone and marble headstones were smashed, stolen or defaced. In 1970, only four of the 65 monuments remained undamaged. The area itself was sad and neglected.
A proposal in 1974 to remove the headstones, grass the area and convert it into a park met with public outcry. Obviously this practice no longer reflected the wish of a more heritage conscious community. Having received a generous gift of the cemetery from the Uniting Church and keen to conserve a special piece of local history, Lane Cove Council asked the National Trust (NSW) in 1981 to prepare a restoration plan. A committee was formed comprising representatives from the Council, the local community, the Uniting Church congregation and the Trust.
The National Trust insisted that as many of the damaged monuments as practicable be restored ‘in situ' and that the original landscape and plantings be preserved and enhanced. The landscape work was carried out by Council staff and the masonry repair by an experienced contractor using modern materials like bronze dowels, waterproof Araldite and acrylic resin. A park-rail fence re-enclosed the site and new lighting was installed.
The cemetery was rededicated in February 1984 as the Pioneers' Memorial Reserve and has since been included on the Register of the National Estate. It continues to be very well maintained by Lane Cove Council, 48 Longueville Road, Lane Cove 2066, ph 9911 3555.
This list is based on the early burial register held on micro film at Lane Cove Library,
139a Longueville Road, Lane Cove 2066, ph 9911 3634
Contributed by John Miller. 18 September 2006
Total Records = 127