Our History

Along with an innovative future, Woronora Cemetery has a fascinating past.

Imagine you’re back in 1895... Over 110 acres of spectacular gardens and lawns is a brickworks, designated to become a racecourse! But at the last minute, the visionary Mayor of Rockdale, John Bowmer decides the community needs a place to remember loved ones in a setting of beauty and serenity. So on 2nd April 1895, Woronora Cemetery is born.

Changing Times

In the early days, a mortuary train was a popular way of transporting coffins and mourners and a short line linking Sutherland Station and Woronora Cemetery opened on July 28, 1900. Our current office stands on the site of the original platform. As funeral motor vehicles became popular, the last train ran in 1944.

Famous People

Our very first interment in 1895 was a 19-year-old girl called Helen Willow from Kogarah. We don’t know much about her or why she died. But we know how important it was to her family to remember her here. Look around our site and you’ll find many significant figures from World Wars, politics and local celebrities.

Historic Headstones

In 1902 the Devonshire Street Cemetery was closed to make way for Central Railway Station and some of the deceased were relocated to Woronora. That’s why several of our headstones here show dates even prior to our opening.

Creating Memories

Our first cremation took place on 25 April 1934. Our innovative art deco architecture must have been truly amazing then. Over time, we have created many special and important ways to memorialise your loved ones. Our delightful lawns and gardens have been established over decades, flowering year after year.

Today

The function centre was built in 1924 and now caters for your after-funeral refreshments. Our light-filled Centenary Court was officially opened in 1995 to memorialise your loved one’s ashes. Karinya, our children’s garden was created in 2007 and offers a place of peace, where your cherished child can be remembered forever.

Our Garden of Angels was officially launched by the Mayor of Sutherland in September 2010 especially to help families mourn babies tragically lost during pregnancy or stillbirth.

Doorway of Hope was opened in 2010 to help mourners grieve the life of someone reported missing.

Today, we continue to recognise our multi-cultural contemporary society, celebrating lives with our spectacular Gardens of the Pieta and Stations of the Cross precinct.

Fast forward

At Woronora Memorial Park, there have been around 90,000 people buried here in our beautiful grounds and 137,000 have been cremated. Today, we offer a choice of special and personal ways to commemorate lives. Taking care of your memories now and for generations to come.

Our commitment to new thinking, modern sustainable burials, innovative styles of memorials for ashes and special memories makes Woronora Memorial Park a fitting choice to create a special tribute for someone you love. Talk to us now about your future here.

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