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Old Timbers Bring New Life to Cemetery Memories

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 28 Jul 2019
Weathered timbers from a recent upgrade of the Church Point Cargo Wharf have been re-purposed and put to good use in a local historical cemetery nearby.

Northern Beaches Council staff have teamed up with volunteers from local monumental masons firm Northern Memorials to use the timber to mount plaques displaying a transcription of information on the eroding headstones.

Headstone names, dates and epitaphs appear on each plaque mounted on its own solid wooden block sitting discreetly at the foot of every grave.

“The effect is superb,” said Northern Beaches Mayor Regan, congratulating both Council staff and the Northern Memorials staff.

“The rustic timbers from the wharf are in perfect keeping with the age, character and tone of the pioneer cemetery. It’s a lovely, thoughtful touch helping keep alive the stories of our forebears.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the members of the Church Point Friends group, especially local architect Peter Altona.”

Funding for new the grave-markers was provided to Northern Beaches Council as part of the NSW Government’s ‘Heritage Near Me’ grant program.

The plaques honour the memories of nine long-ago pioneers whose humble village chapel gave Church Point its name.

Now owned by the Pittwater Uniting Church, the tiny Church Point Historic Cemetery overlooking Pittwater used to adjoin the weatherboard chapel and school that served the area from 1872 until it was demolished in 1932 - leaving the little graveyard behind.

Graves in the cemetery (dating from 1882 to 1918) include those of tiny Lily Fahl who passed away aged just six months, two-year-old Rosamund Creagh and 21-year-old Alice Johnson. They also include venerable local parishioners William Oliver (who donated the land for the church and cemetery site), Jane Skillicorne, Millie Austin, all who lived well into their seventies, among others.

Northern Beaches Council recently re-opened its busy Cargo Wharf on McCarrs Creek Road at Church Point following a $1,460,000 upgrade of the facility, greatly improving its functionality, amenity and safety.

During the upgrade works, some of the old timbers that helped support the original cargo wharf were recovered.

 
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