A cemetery is more than just a place to inter the remains of the dead. Cemeteries are places where one can enjoy the art and symbolism of the tombstones, statues, mausoleums and the beauty of the trees and flowers. Victoria City Council designated Ross Bay Cemetery as a heritage site in 1997. To learn some of the history of Victoria and its people take a walking tour with a guide from the Old Cemeteries Society.
Cemeteries like Ross Bay, though they see few new tenants as space on the grounds dwindles, become more like parks or gardens than graveyards. Ross Bay has a full time staff for its maintenance, is open to the public for sightseeing, tours, bicycle riding, quiet walks and sitting in peaceful solitude away from the stresses of living in a busy city.
For although its monuments are made of stone, seemingly impervious to the ravages of time, Ross Bay, like so many other cemeteries, is in need of our attention as much as any other public facility. Just as a park needs its trees tended, its grass cut, its animals tended, and a building needs a fresh coat of paint, its windows cleaned, its innards swept out, so too does a cemetery’s grass grow, its leaves fall, its grave markers become covered in moss, its carved epitaphs become faded, and worst of all, its graves fall victim to malice of vandals.
The members of the Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria are dedicated to researching, preserving and encouraging the appreciation of Victoria’s Heritage Cemeteries.