Albany Memorial Park holds history in its bones

Like ribs on a skeleton, the many aged gravestones of Albany Memorial Park cemetery protrude from either side of the highway as you make your way down the slope of Middleton Road towards the glistening Southern ocean. The cemetery covers about 2.5 hectares and has about 5000 graves, ranging from unmarked, through simple wooden markersContinue reading “Albany Memorial Park holds history in its bones”

Colonial leader laid to rest – twice

1835 – Western Australian pioneering doctor Alexander Collie wanted to be buried next to his close friend and Aboriginal leader Mokare*. Mokare had travelled alongside Collie as he explored the south of the state, and played an important part in maintaining friendly relations between the land’s inhabitants and the newly arrived Europeans. He was aContinue reading “Colonial leader laid to rest – twice”

Killer erected memorial to his victim at cemetery

It’s a solid wooden cross, standing slightly apart from others at the Albany Memorial cemetery. The words are simple :- H Rodber, AB HMS Diamond, killed June 2 1885, aged 33 years The memorial was paid for by the man who killed the able seaman. So how did Henry Rodber (also spelt Rhodber in someContinue reading “Killer erected memorial to his victim at cemetery”

Ganger callous of danger

1898 – Veteran railway workers appear to become callous of danger, the coroner said as he closed the inquiry into George Searson’s unnecessary death. Searson had been a ganger in Victoria for nearly 40 years but had been run over by a railway trolley and killed. The incident occurred after two train trucks had beenContinue reading “Ganger callous of danger”

Pilot smashed between launch and barque

1891 – Ship’s pilot Arthur Thompson was crushed between two boats as he attempted to move from one to the other. He had just piloted the barque Mary Stewart through King George’s Sound as it was towed by the launch Escort. They were two miles beyond Bald Head  – near Maud Reef in a lineContinue reading “Pilot smashed between launch and barque”

Gallant endeavour or just a tragic mis-step?

1906 – Albany Police’s Inspector James Connor came to a sad end in the most innocuous way – on a Saturday afternoon fishing excursion with his son and nephew. But did he die in a gallant effort to rescue a boy who could swim well, or did he simply fall in? James had finished workContinue reading “Gallant endeavour or just a tragic mis-step?”

Pyjamas led sailor to final sleep

1898 – W Satterley died for the sake of a pair of pyjamas. He was a carpenter on the cargo ship Cornwall, which was moored at the Albany wharf. It was on its way to London with frozen goods including beef. As he shook a quilt over the side of the boat in the earlyContinue reading “Pyjamas led sailor to final sleep”

Father couldn’t save drowning son

1903 – Grazier Andrew Muir was unable to save his son when he got caught in the surf off the south western Australian coast. In fact, he had to be rescued himself. Mr Muir, his third son Melville and another man George Arber, all of Mt Barker had gone to visit his cattle run atContinue reading “Father couldn’t save drowning son”

Wildflowers frame horrific history

Wildflowers dot the ground around the solid stone memorial, a delicate visual lacework. The daisies are part of Western Australia’s famous annual display, each floral renewal marking one more year since several horrific events took place at this site. And they cover the mounds of rock which are hard to make out among the boulder-strewnContinue reading “Wildflowers frame horrific history”

Simple mistake costs life

1909 – Railway fettler John Donahee was instantly killed when he was run down by a passenger train from Cowra. Donahee and another fettler, Mackay, were on a railway tricycle, about a quarter of a mile west of the Blayney station.  The passenger train from Orange was due, and the men were cautioned to watchContinue reading “Simple mistake costs life”