Unlocking a rich cultural history at Woronora Memorial Park’s Open Day

The Woronora Memorial Park Open Day is a celebration of the Sutherland Shire's diversity of cultures.
The Woronora Memorial Park Open Day is a celebration of the Sutherland Shire's diversity of cultures.

Woronora Memorial Park will host its annual Open Day as part of the National Trust’s Heritage Festival, this Saturday, April 21 from 10am to 3pm.

Woronora’s chief executive officer, Graham Boyd, said that this year’s Festival theme is ‘My Culture, My Story’, celebrating the diversity of cultures that have shaped our shared heritage.

“There are few better places to gain an insight into our heritage than a local cemetery”, Mr Boyd said.

“That’s what makes our Open Day such a must for anyone with an interest in local history – and a great day out for all the family.”

The Cobb and Co stagecoach rides are a popular feature of the annual Woronora Memorial Park Open Day.

The Cobb and Co stagecoach rides are a popular feature of the annual Woronora Memorial Park Open Day.

Regular tours will be held throughout the day for visitors to look through the Memorial Parks grounds and gardens.

Regular bus tours will leave from the West Chapel Gazebo at the cemetery’s  art deco crematorium built in 1934.

While there, visitors will also be able take a behind-the-scenes tour of the crematorium itself.

“We welcome the opportunity to demystify what goes on at a crematorium,” Mr Boyd said.

“These tours provide a very educational experience on how it all works.”

The Open Day will see the return of the popular free rides on an authentic Australian Cobb and Co Horse drawn coach.

In keeping with the Open Day’s heritage theme, visitors can also view the rare and exquisite craftmanship of vintage hearses, and take in a display which traces the evolution of grave digging equipment.

Visitors can also do their own self-guided walking tours to inspect Woronora’s extensive gardens and lawns on foot.

To make this easier, a special guide map has been prepared to help visitors to see the cemetery at their own pace, and perhaps to take a more reflective journey.

“It will ensure visitors can see the cemetery’s most important historical sites as well as innovative new developments as they make their way around our grounds,” Mr Boyd said.

“Our aim is to make the 2018 Open Day a true family event,” he said.

“A popular area for our younger visitors is the Kids Corner, which provides displays from various emergency services, along with a farm animals display, pony rides, plaster painting and face painting.

“Visitors can also meet some of the Shire’s Funeral Directors”.

There will also be a free sausage sizzle, cooked by Woronora’s staff. Each visitor will also receive a voucher for one free coffee or tea and scone, which will be served in the gardens adjacent to the South Chapel.

Open Day takes place on Saturday April 21 from 10am to 3pm at 121 Linden Street, Sutherland.

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