The Geelong Cemeteries Trust is proud to once again present History Alive Cemetery Tours. The History Alive Tours uniquely combine theatre with local history, sharing the stories of historically intriguing people from the Geelong region beside their graves.
Following the sell-out success this year, the tours will run again throughout January and February 2022 at the historical Eastern, Queenscliff and Western Cemeteries. Performed by costumed actors, the tours – provide a unique and insightful glimpse into the lives of several extraordinary individuals from various decades, who are interred in the cemeteries administered by the Trust.
The historically accurate and well researched tours are a unique opportunity to be transported back in time and to learn about a myriad of significant and historical pioneers from the Geelong and Bellarine region, as well as some from the Western districts.
The highly commended tours have even hosted descendants of some of whose stories are told, which have only been met with praise.
Geelong Cemeteries Trust CEO Darryl Thomas says, “The History Alive Tours are a history lesson like no other. After years of success, we are proud to operate the tours again in 2021. It’s wonderful to share Geelong’s deep history, and it’s a great way to involve and educate the public in the Trust’s work.”
*Please note that all attendees must be fully vaccinated.
The tours will operate on the following dates:
- Saturday, 15th January: A walk through Geelong’s history at Western Cemetery
This fascinating new tour is led by ute-designer Lewis Bandt with draper and social housing benefactor Alexander Miller. Among other graves visited, you’ll meet in person – triumphal heiress Fanny Clee, much loved first-female MP Fanny Brownbill, millionairess Lilias Strachan and Geelong College founder George Morrison.
- Saturday, 22nd January: All-female Eastern Cemetery tour
This all-female Eastern Cemetery tour is led by Mrs Elizabeth Austin with Mayor Zilla Crawcour. Among other graves visited, you’ll meet in person, early squatter Caroline Newcomb, tragic Eliza Batman, medical pioneer Dr Mary De Garis and trailblazing novelist Ellen Davitt.
Saturday 29th January: Meet the City’s historic founders at Eastern Cemetery
Meet the City’s historic founders at Eastern Cemetery. This tour is led by Geelong founder Capt Foster Fyans with Geelong Addy founding editor James Harrison. Among other graves visited, you’ll personally meet Corio Villa’s builder Alfred Douglass, early administrator William Weire, pioneer woolgrower Capt Francis Ormond, and our Botanic Gardens’ curator Daniel Bunce.
Saturday, 5th February: Interact with Queenscliff’s pioneers
Talk to James George Baillieu, Dr. John Birrell, Anna Maria Dod, Henrietta Augusta Dugdale, Miss Mary Elizabeth Jones, and Dr. David Williams and visit graves of many more other notable Queenscliff people.
Saturday, 12th February: Meet Geelong’s champions of sport, industry and culture
This tour is led by Charles Brownlow with weaver Godfrey Hirst. Among the graves shown, you’ll meet in person Geelong’s visionary Howard Hitchcock, cricket champion Bransby Cooper, world’s finest actor Francis Nesbitt, and record-breaking Rev Andrew Love.
For those who are unable to attend our popular History Alive tours, the Geelong Cemeteries Trust has created a self-guided walk of the History Alive tour within the historical sections of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. Visit some of the graves of our pioneers and read their stories. All you need is a smartphone or tablet with a Quick Response (QR) reader downloaded.