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The St John the Evangelist Cemetery at Port Elliot (The Southern Cross)

Planning is underway to close one of the oldest Catholic cemeteries on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. Source: The Southern Cross.

In June, public notices appeared in The Advertiser and The Victor Harbor Times detailing the proposed closure of St John the Evangelist Catholic Cemetery at Port Elliot and informing relatives of those whose graves, plaques or memorials are located at the cemetery to contact the Victor Harbor-Goolwa parish to exercise their intern.

The land at Waterport was purchased in 1864, with the intention of incorporating a graveyard in the grounds of St John’s Church, however the first burial took place in October 1864 prior to the consecration of the church, in December of that year.

While St John’s Church was demolished in 1936, the cemetery remained “active”, with 67 burials recorded and a number of unmarked graves at the site noted. The last burial was more than 50 years ago, in August 1972.

Unfortunately, the cemetery fell into a state of disrepair over the years. In 2015, restoration works were undertaken to improve the graveyard and the site was surveyed to locate some of the unmarked graves.

However, this year the Victor Harbor-Goolwa parish through the Adelaide Archdiocese set the wheels in motion to close the cemetery. As parish priest Fr Vinh Tran explained, legal requirements made it necessary to wait until at least 50 years after the last burial before a cemetery could be closed.

“It is a lengthy process and the proposed closure date is not until December 31, 2024,” he said.

“The land where the cemetery is located will continue to be owned by the Archdiocese and once the cemetery is officially closed, application will be made to convert the area into a memorial garden.”


Pt Elliot cemetery to close (By Lindy McNamara, The Southern Cross)