Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust has unveiled two of the most prominent memorials within Rookwood Cemetery, following a dedicated rejuvenation program that has been put in place this year to restore and refresh these and other important and much visited memorials.
Work was completed in recent weeks to both the Jewish site known as the Martyrs Memorial and the special children’s memorial known as the Circle of Love in time for two of the cemetery’s most prominent hallmarks in Holocaust Memorial Day, held across the 4th and 5th of May, and Mother’s Day held this year on Sunday 8th of May.
The Martyr’s Memorial is a moving tribute dedicated to those who lost their lives in one of the most tragic episodes of the Second World War. This memorial is a much visited site by many in the Jewish Community who are direct descendents or relatives of the victims of what is now known collectively as the Holocaust.
The Circle of Love, sometimes referred to as the Mother and Child Memorial, was established to signify that no matter the situation, the mother are child are always connected, even after death. It honours the lives of children that were interred in unmarked graves within Rookwood during the late 19th Century, as well as the children that are interred within Rookwood’s dedicated children’s lawn. Once again, it is visited by many relatives of those dearly departed, and is an important focus of reflection that provides a much needed place of remembrance and respect.
“Rookwood is a significant piece of Australia’s heritage, and a place that represents our nation’s rich multi-culturalism,” said Liz Wyld, acting CEO of RGCRT.
“At RGCRT we are passionate about the preservation of these important memorials so they too become part of this rich heritage. We want them to last the test of time, and remain a destination where our communities can come pay their respects to ancestors and dearly departed loved ones for generations to come.”
The rejuvenation works to both the Martyr’s Memorial and the Circle of Love included such measures as minor structural repairs, pressure washing, painting, and landscaping. Throughout the course of the year RGCRT will continue this extensive rejuvenation program, which is part of the Trust’s strategy to ensure the preservation of Rookwood’s significant monuments. This includes unique historical sites such as the original Victorian era Elephant House pavilion.