Memorial for those elsewhere

MEMORIAL: Each butterfly on the Tree of Remembrance will represent a person whose ashes have been spread outside the Whyalla Cemetery.
MEMORIAL: Each butterfly on the Tree of Remembrance will represent a person whose ashes have been spread outside the Whyalla Cemetery.

A special tribute to those whose final resting place is outside of the Whyalla Cemetery has been completed by the Whyalla City Council.

The Tree of Remembrance is a way to remember those that have chosen to have their ashes scattered elsewhere.

It is a free-standing concrete wall with a bronze tree trunk and individual bronze butterfly-shaped plaques to commemorate people whose ashes have been spread elsewhere outside of the cemetery grounds.

The plaques include the name of the person who passed away, their date of birth and death, and where the ashes are scattered.

The butterflies will be available in a variety of colours and will be selected by the families. Perspex butterflies have been placed on the wall to indicate positions available for the brass plaques.

Council Cemetery Curator Tim Butt said the wall had come about after visitors to the Whyalla Cemetery had made enquiries about people's location in the cemetery only to discover that their ashes were not interred within the cemetery grounds.

"At a Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of South Australia (CCASA) information day, there was discussion regarding studies that show some people need tangible evidence of a deceased's existence to come to terms with accepting the loss of a friend or loved one," Tim said.

"It is quite common for families to scatter the ashes of loved ones in a favourite place, such as Point Lowly, the Foreshore and other locations which may be away from Whyalla.

"Unfortunately, the cemetery records do not indicate the location at which ashes have been scattered. This is a way of permanently remembering those people and their favourite place."

Most cemeteries provide facilities for families to have a memorial without an actual interment. These options can, however, be cost prohibitive to some families.

"The 'Tree of Remembrance' will provide a more affordable alternative for families for a tangible connection to their loved one," Tim said.

At a recent Council meeting, a fee of $450 for each plaque was approved. There are 160 sites (butterflies) allocated for the wall.

For more information, or to book a place on the wall, call in to the Whyalla cemetery on Broadbent Terrace or call Council on 8640 3444 during office hours.