Geelong Cemeteries Trust

Geelong Cemeteries Trust administers cemeteries within the Geelong, Bellarine, Surf Coast and Colac Otway region, as well as providing a range of services and memorial options, and maintains a searchable database of deceased individuals dating back to 1839.

The first recorded burial was that of Hugh Niven on the 23rd September 1839.

1 August 1849, Godfrey ALEXANDER, Benjamin Goldsmith LEVIEN & Emanual ACKMANN signed the memorandum for the grant of land for Jewish burials within the Geelong Eastern Cemetery site.

25 Sept.1855, A meeting was held with representatives from all the different religious denominations to try and rectify the neglect of the cemetery with Jewish representatives being G. ALEXANDER & E. ACKMANN.

The old Catholic section was the only consecrated burial ground in the district (apart from Mt Moriac) and so most Catholic burials, from outlying areas such as Anakie, West Geelong, parts of the Bellarine Peninsula are more than likely to be here.

24 October 1876, A general Cemetery Trust (Eastern Cemetery Trust) was formed by all of the denominations except the Roman Catholics and Jewish.

Originally the home of the Sexton, the gatehouse was designed by prominent Melbourne architect, Thomas Watts and erected in the 1880's. It is a single-storey building designed in the popular Victorian Gothic Revival Tradition and one of the finest of its kind in Victoria. Notable features include castellated porch and bay windows, unusually decorated cast-iron gables, tall chimneys, steep pitched roof and tri-cusped gable inserts.

Roman Catholics and Jewish denominations joined the Eastern Cemetery Trust in 1907. Unfortunately all Catholic records and plans, prior to 1907 were destroyed so not all Catholic burials are accounted for. Entries have been gleaned from "Geelong Advertiser" death notices, headstone transcriptions, copies of death certificates, family researchers etc.

Sections of the cemetery were originally administered by the main denominational churches, each with their own Sexton and gravediggers. For various periods of time, some of the Burial records are incomplete. Again, information for these 'missing' burials is continually being updated from various sources (see Catholic records above).

In the 1960's lawn graves were introduced, with a small headstone or bronze plaque at the head of the grave.

The Geelong Cemeteries Trust was created in 1985 when the Eastern, Western and Barrabool Hills Cemeteries amalgamated.