Long-awaited sale at Scarborough Cemetery

The new columbarium at Scarborough Cemetery

As work on the new columbarium and gardens at Scarborough Cemetery nears completion, members of the community are invited to view the new ash wall memorials.

In May 2024, the local council launched an extensive construction project to expand the memorial area in the cemetery. Up to 480 new memorial spaces for ashes are now available.

City of Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery AM said Scarborough Cemetery had a long burial tradition dating back to the 1890s.

“Scarborough Cemetery is one of the most scenic places in the city, but it is also limited in space as it overlooks the coast,” he said.

“Until recently there was no room for new ash placements.

“With the work completed, we are delighted to announce that the new memorial area and garden are now open. This is great news for anyone who has long been interested in memorialising their loved ones at Scarborough Cemetery and now has the opportunity to purchase a place in the wall.”

Scarborough Cemetery is just one of nine cemeteries managed by the council.

“As the City of Wollongong’s population has grown and become more diverse, Council’s service has adapted over the years to meet the changing needs of our multicultural community,” Cr Bradbery said.

“In recent years this has included offering new types of services, such as our recent decision to set aside a piece of land at Wollongong Lawn Cemetery for natural burials. This environmentally-focused burial method is becoming increasingly popular with those seeking an alternative to contemporary Western burial methods and modern funeral customs.”

For more information about the new service, visit the Wollongong Memorial Gardens website.

“It also means improving access to traditional and cultural burial practices so that people of all faiths and cultural backgrounds can feel welcome in our cemeteries,” Cr Bradbery said.

“One of the projects that reflects this is our ongoing work to design a new Aboriginal burial site at Wollongong Lawn Cemetery.

“This long-term project, undertaken in consultation with local Elders as well as the Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation and Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, is an exciting next step for the cemetery. Once completed, the project will provide a befitting burial site for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.”

The Council is currently developing the final concept design for the new section. One of the actions currently underway is an investigation into how best to manage drainage and water flow in the area.

“This is a long-term project and it is important that we get this essential preparatory work done properly so we can be confident the design meets the needs of the community,” Cr Bradbery said.

Once the conceptual design is complete, the Council will provide further updates on the next phase of the project.

In the meantime, those interested in purchasing a memorial can view the new section of Scarborough Cemetery.

The new Scarborough Columbarium

“We have already received interest from people in our community who have saved the ashes of their loved ones to be honoured at Scarborough Cemetery. In response to this interest, we are holding two impromptu sale days at the cemetery,” Cr Bradbery said.

“This is an opportunity for community members to view the new space, ask questions of our Memorial Garden staff and perhaps purchase a space.”

Pop-up sales days

  • Saturday, July 6, 9 – 11 am
  • Saturday, July 20, 9 – 11 am

Visit the Wollongong Memorial Gardens website to find out more about this service.

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About Mick Roberts

Mick Roberts is a journalist, author and historian specialising in Australian cultural history, particularly as it relates to Australian pubs. Mick has been interested in uncovering the colourful history of Australian hotels or pubs and their associated industries for over 30 years. As well as writing several history books, Mick has edited several local newspapers. Now semi-retired, he has edited the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local – all in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), City Hub Sydney (City News) and Torch Publications (based in Canterbury Bankstown, Sydney).