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Mason's lend a hand to restore damaged ancient graves

3 May 2014    

Some of SA’s earliest graves that have fallen into disrepair over the past 150 years will today be repaired by licenced masons at the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority’s West Terrace Cemetery.

The Art of Monumental Masonry event will see members of the Monumental Masons Association of SA give back to the community by donating their time and resources to repairsevendamaged headstones at the State Heritage listed cemetery – one of Australia’s oldest operating cemeteries.

As part of the day, the Authority will host a number of free interactive grave care demonstrations to provide the public with a unique opportunity to learn basic skills and techniques to help care for and maintain their own family members’ graves.

In a rare occurrence, the State Heritage and National Estate listed Smyth Memorial Chapel established within West Terrace Cemetery in 1871 will also be opened today for visitors.

“We’re really pleased that the masons have volunteered their time today to repair and restore some precious old headstones that date back to the 1860s,” said Adelaide Cemeteries Association CEO Robert Pitt.“These headstones are precious artefacts from South Australia’s history, and in many cases they represent the only remaining evidence of the person’s existence, so it’s really important that we preserve them for future generations.”

Mr Pitt says many South Australians – now several generations removed from their colonial ancestry – are unaware that they have family buried at West Terrace Cemetery. He says many people are also unaware that they can repair the graves of their ancestors by applying for a temporary 12-month permit and hiring a qualified mason, or they can renew or take over a family grave site lease and use it for further burials.

  • WHAT: The Art of Monumental Masonry
  • WHERE: West Terrace Cemetery (Catholic Section), 161 West Tce, Adelaide
  • WHEN: Saturday 3 May 2014 from 10am-2pm
  • WHO: The Monumental Masons Association of SA (including A.L. Nalty Memorials, S.D. Cook memorials, Tillett Memorials, Jordan Memorials, Garner Memorials and Life’s Memories Memorials) and SA families/public
  • COST: Free entry to the public

ACA CEO Robert Pitt will be available for media interviews on request. For more information about the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority visit

For more information: Contact Tony Amato, ACA Marketing and Communications Team Leader, on8139 7438 or 0403 010 131.

Issued by Hughes Public Relations: Contact Natalie Ciccocioppo on 0413 489 231 or