Genoa in Victoria , is located in the Shire of Gippsland approximately 500 kilometres east of Melbourne , near the New South Wales border.
In the early part of 1900 there was correspondence noting that it might be of greater value to have a cemetery in the area situated at Gipsy Point. This recommendation came from Henry Bucknall to the Public Health Board on 16 June 1900 . Following discussion by the various government departments of the day, the decision was reached to use land in Genoa for the cemetery.
On 30 July 1900 the Public Health Department wrote to the Secretary for the Lands Department that "Four years ago land was left out of a block purposely for a cemetery, because it was a good site and the grave was there, put there on the Authorised Surveyor's promise to reserve the ground." Part of the land for the cemetery was being used for a road in the area.
On 24 September 1900 , Edward H. Lees, a government surveyor, submitted a report regarding a request for a public cemetery at Genoa . The report noted that there had already been a burial in the Genoa area - a child being buried on private grounds of Mr W. Allan. Mr Allan stated that he did not want any further burials on his private property. Edward Lees made the following recommendation in his report to the Surveyor General : "Undoubtedly a cemetery site should be reserved at Genoa without delay."
Following a number of requests from residents in the area, noting that other cemeteries were not close to Genoa and wishing to have a recognised cemetery in their area, an area of land about ten acres was proposed on the then Main Road from Orbost to Genoa . A report was submitted on 22 June 1903 by the Shire Engineer, Shire of Orbost, noting that the land being proposed : "Is suitable for burial in its present condition but some clearing will ultimately have to be done. There are about 100 people living within 4 miles of this site and in time to come there will probably be many more settling in the neighbourhood."
In the 1905 Victorian Government Gazette it was stated that an area of 9 acres 2 roods of land in the parish of Maramingo had been reserved as a cemetery. [VGG 1905-780]
In a letter from the Health Commission of Victoria dated 19 June 1983 to the Gipsy Point Public Cemetery , Genoa , the following was listed:
"Following correspondence in 1900 from a Mr Henry Bucknall of Amberlie, Genoa , the Genoa Cemetery reserve comprising 9 aces, 2 roods was reserved by notice in the Government Gazette of the 8th February 1905 . Two exclusions of 2 acres 26 perches (Government Gazette 31st July 1918) and 1 acre 1 rood 30 perches (Government Gazette 23rd April 1965) were made, the latter for the C.R.B. Road dedication purposes. No trustees were appointed to the cemetery and it is not known if any burials took place in it".
A check of death/burial records found the following noted as being buried at Genoa (not Genoa Cemetery ) Genoa area and Genoa Cemetery :
* David Percy Allen (2 weeks, 4 days). Buried Genoa 1 January 1897 . Parent listed as Blanche Allan, Mother. No father listed.
* Henry Chapman, aged 3 months, Buried 15 January 1913 , Genoa Cemetery . Parents were James Chapman (Labourer) and Rosy Bolliway.
* George Alexander Cleveland, aged 42 years, Buried 2 September, 1904 Genoa River (Crown Land), He was listed as a Labourer, born in Stepney, England and had been 33 years in Victoria and NSW. His parents were Robert Alexander Cleveland (Shipmaster) and Mary.
* William Andrew Smith, aged 20 years, Buried 28 January 1902 in the paddock at Longwaterhole, Genoa . There was an inquiry held into his death due to the fact that he drowned from falling from a boat into the River. His parents were listed as John Smith (Farmer) and Catherine Tailor.
So far the research has only identified one burial noted as being buried in the Genoa Cemetery - Henry Chapman in 1913.
Just how many burials there were in the Genoa Cemetery is not presently known.
What still needs to be ascertained is the current status of the cemetery and the cemetery reserve.
According to the Land Information Management System (Portal), Department of Sustainability and Environment, the site reserved in 1905 remains a Cemetery reserve Rs 08315.
David W. Weatherill June, 2010 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia