May 14, 2016

Trouble for Sydney Australia's Rookwood Cemetery

This story was posted recently on ABC

One of Australia's wealthiest, largest and oldest cemeteries is in disarray amid claims of serious misconduct, bullying and internal division.

Key points:

  • Claims serious misconduct, bullying hang over cemetery's board
  • NSW Government steps in to place the cemetery under administration
  • Questions arise over personal expenses of its CEO

The board of the Rookwood cemetery, in Sydney's west, has been dissolved and the New South Wales Government has appointed an administrator in its place.

My mother at the grave of her grandmother Sarah Stead
My 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Elvery Stead is buried in Rookwood with her 9 month old son Ebenezer. She died in quarantine in Sydney Harbour after sailing from Kent England to Australia with her husband and children. She had just been delivered of a new son, little Ebenezer en route to Australia.

They had planned to settle near her brother-in-law Edward Crunden Stead who lived in Sunny Corners. When Sarah died in quarantine, she was buried in Rookwood with her grave dug by the Rookwood gravedigger, none other than her brother-in-law Edward Stead.

Sarah Elvery Stead
Her husband William Stephen Stead and their children remained with Edward and family until little Ebenezer died. At that time, William left two of his sons with his brother Edward and sailed back to England taking my great-grandmother and her little brother with him. His brother adopted the two boys and raised them as his own.

See my 4 part series

Abandoned in Australia Part 1: The mystery

I hate thinking that there is chaos around Rookwood and only hope that the graves are tended and undisturbed while things are worked out.

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