They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Most Australians employ a tax agent so that we don't have to deal with it but if you think tackling your tax is bad news, dealing with your own death can be just a tad confronting.
So if you have grave concerns about organising a funeral, curious about what temperature a crematorium furnace operates at or you just want to demystify the whole post death process and deal with it head on, then you should take a cemetery tour. Some Sydney cemeteries run monthly or annual tours to help us mortals in making a decision on how our remains will spend the rest of eternity as well as visiting some notable inhabitants and grave monuments along the way.
One such tour is the Historical Lantern Tour held at Macquarie Park cemetery at North Ryde. They run an "entertaining" cemetery tour that includes discussing some of the cemeteries most famous residents such as rocker Johnny O'Keefe, former prime minister, William Morris ''Billy'' Hughes and controversial Governor General Sir John Kerr.
The tours are hosted by cemetery Community Relations Officer Tom Sweeney, who dresses in the character of Mr. Sowerberry, the Dickensian undertaker from the musical Oliver. Tom escorts you on a behind-the-scenes look at the crematorium and the cemetery's high tech chapels equipped to broadcast funerals live around the world via the internet.
Historical Lantern Tours are usually scheduled once a month on a Friday evening with participants assembling for Mr. Sowerberry's introduction at 7:00pm. Group size is limited and night tours are usually fully booked. The tours last two hours and costs $25.00 including supper.
To book a tour, call 9805 0499 or complete the on line enquiry to reserve your place in advance.
Where: Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium
Corner Delhi and Plassey Roads North Ryde NSW 2113 Australia