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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Roland Rocchicceli

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Batesford History uncovered

FrontBatesford resident Mark Batty is claiming that there is a historical cemetery, which was purpose built for those who died during the building Moorabool viaduct.
Mr Batty adds that under the viaduct a small town, in its own right, existed and was mainly a tent city but many other structures including churches and hotels and even a temperance hall were erected.
Mr Batty says that he has been in discussions with the Golden Plains Shire to recognise this site and has the support of the Geelong Cemeteries Trust.
“If the council were to pass this place into crown land it would be turned into parkland and the graves would be located and this could be a special place for Batesford,” he said.
There is a phone tower built on the cemetery site.
“I would say that the cemetery is dated from 1880 to 1890 onwards,” Mr Batty said.
“ I did some research, I have talked to people here and through sheer luck I dealt with a farmer whose grandfather leased this land off the council and through word of mouth they knew it had been a cemetery of some historical note from times gone by.
“A few of us got together, had a talk and we decided to ask the council whether they would consider to put in some parkland and put in a memorial – we know through the records who is buried here but we don’t know where.”
Mr Batty added that they have the backing of the Geelong Cemetery Trust who, he says, is prepared to help locate the gravesites.
“The Trust has approached the Shire and the Shire is thinking about it and every meeting that goes by they seem to have done nothing,” Mr Batty said.
“And right now they are saying they are thinking about it, looking through the legalities – I think they are just waiting for me to go away. I’m not going away.
“We have a Facebook site simply called Batesford Cemetery and I have a lot of people with some interest on it now and we basically think because Batesford is full of National Trust, Vic Heritage Trust listed buildings, the viaduct is behind us here and there is a township right underneath it and those burials are related to that national trust listed viaduct and we feel this site should be acknowledged, too.”

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