Tours planned as Cummins Cemetery upgrades to be showcased

The Cummins community is being invited to see theire newly upgraded cemetery and learn more about the people interred there in a special event on May 30.

Friends of Cummins Cemetery Committee has been advocating for upgrades at the cemetery over the past few years with additions coming thanks to donations from the community and support from Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council and Cummins District Community Bank.

Additions have included new shelters, featuring metal art from Plazma Cutz, pencil pines along the entrance avenue and around the perimeter, a gazebo and upgraded cremation interment area.

Benches at the shelters are to be installed, made by local company Wild Timber out of jarrah they have been donated by eight local families.

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Committee member Wendy Holman said the volunteer group started in March 2018 because there were people who felt there were things that needed to be done at the cemetery.

About $10,000 has been raised from community donations has helped get the cemetery to this point, on top of grants and financial support from the bank and the council.

Fellow community member Janette Haarsma said seeing from where it was and where it is now has shown the level of support received from the community.

"We're delighted, it looks as though it is loved as a little TLC was required," she said.

" In a little community, things don't get done unless everyone does their bit."

Committee members Josie Hammond and Barb Boyce have also assisted the council with taking photos of graves and headstones for the graves register.

People will have a chance to get a closer look at the cemetery additions at an event on Sunday, May 30 from 2pm to 5pm.

The day will include guided history tours from 2.15pm with different themes revolving around the people interred at the cemetery.

Mrs Haarsma will lead the tour on "trailblazer women", while Meg Fuss will provide a tour on those who served in the military, on behalf of the Cummins-Yeelanna RSL Sub Branch.

Wendy Treloar and Jan Phelps will lead the tours on "quiet achievers" which looks at good community members who contributed their own part to making the community great, and finally Ian Rodgers and Brian Treloar will provide a tour on local identities and farmers.

Self guided tours will also be available and floral arrangements can be bought for a small charge for people to place on graves.

Mrs Holman said the committee had been finding out the stories of the people here which was fascinating and the tours would be a chance for people to learn these stories.

An official opening will take place at 4pm followed by nibbles. There is a gold coin donation on entry.

Even with these additions Mrs Holman said there was still more to come, including new cemetery gates as well as plans for a niche wall to provide for cremation interments and memorial plaques.

She said the group would continue to work towards improving the cemetery.

"We want to record the people who lived in the district in this cemetery," she said.

"We're pretty proud of what we've achieved and we're not stopping," she said.

"Council has been very receptive to the ideas we've had and have provided financial support."

COVID check-ins will be in place and bookings are essential, anyone wishing to attend should RSVP Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council on 8676 0400 by May 26.

The community bus will be available for pick up in front of the council office at 1.30pm and in front of Miroma Place Hostel at 1.45pm.

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