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Melbourne General Cemetery

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by Daniel (subscribe)
That's How the Cow ate the Cabbage
Published March 26th 2012

Image by Canley (Wikimedia Commons)

It is my understanding that Elvis Presley, never ever during his 42 trips around the sun, step foot on Australian soil. I am lead to believe that one of his Cadillacs made it out here and performed all his hit songs, but Elvis didn't cross the great Pacific. However there is a memorial to the King of rock n roll and it's at the Melbourne General Cemetery. It's a stone with his picture on it surrounded by a kind of cave structure, covered in cacti and succulents; it's one of the best collections I've seen in Melbourne.

The Melbourne Mausoleum also exhibits a memorial to Burk and Wills and I'm not sure why, but people still place flowers on their obelisk. It's interesting being told by your parents during a long trip to Torquay, or on some such family vacation driving trip and complaining about being thirsty or hungry and when can we stop next and being answered by the old man with the line "Burke and Wills never had it this good."

The Melbourne General Cemetery is worth visiting, even for the above monuments, but it's also worth checking out the graves of common folk not to mention the Mausoleums, which are impressive and well worth the money if you've bought one; especially the new Saint Mary of the Cross Mausoleum, the statue looks a little creepy, but the Mausoleum is aesthetically interesting.

If you happen to be a writer, it's worth inspecting the grave stones for merely the names alone. There is a lot of the typical Catholic symbolism; the crosses, the Virgin Mary, Jesus being crucified, etc. I also noticed that Michelangelo's Pietà was a popular statue along with pictures of whoever is in the grave.

I noticed a single grave in the middle of a family plot, which only contained one family member out of five. The other four members still with us on this side of the terra firma. On closer inspection, I noticed that this unfortunate gentleman, I assume he was the father and I won't mention his name here, but he passed away in 1987, which means he's been laying there all by himself for over 20 years, waiting for company. And I couldn't help but wonder if they were ever coming. Surely if the old man dies in 1987, the old lady has got to be coming soon, right? 20 years, what if she's met someone else? And the kids, they decide they like the new guy better and forget the old man? So they get their own family plot over at the Fawkner Cemetery. The old guy just lays there, for all eternity, with the worms and bugs for company in his wooden blanket, waiting for the family to come along not even aware that they've moved on and are having a great time over in Fawkner. And he's been keeping the dirt warm all this time for the old lady.

After visiting the cemetery or even on your way over to seeing the lonely old guy, you really should get a coffee and a ham and cheese croissant from Filous Patisserie, it's directly across Lygon Street. Maybe even pick up the lonely old man an espresso or a macaroon.
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Why? It's a pleasant walk and interesting place to visit.
When: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Where: Opposite 726 Lygon St, Carlton North
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