Members of what is affectionately known as Coonabarabran’s “Dead People Society” (DPS) are set to undertake further work at the iconic Memorial Wall at the old Coonabarabran cemetery, after receiving a grant under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.
In a visit to Coonabarabran on Thursday, 28 April, Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton presented the DPS Local and Family History Group with a cheque for over $5000, which will contribute to the group’s landscape project that has also received support from Warrumbungle Shire Council and Coonabarabran Rotary Club.
Discussing the project with members of the DPS, Mr Coulton said it was clear the talent and passion that these members bring to the Coonabarabran community.
“The members of the DPS are such great people and their passion for family history is second to none,” Mr Coulton said.
“I am so pleased to support this project that will see landscaping of the area adjacent to the Memorial Wall, that was installed by the DPS.
“There is so much history and mystery in that one wall; it is astounding that there are 767 unknown graves in Coonabarabran, and for the DPS to commit so much time and effort to this project means a lot to the families associated with these graves, as well as the broader community.”
Mrs Nancy Wiese, president of the Coonabarabran DPS Local and Family History Group, said the organisation was thrilled with the grant funding.
“We were very glad to receive this grant, it is certainly going to enhance the surroundings of the Memorial Wall,” Mrs Wiese said.
“We will use the grant to purchase advanced trees, provide a bench seat, and establish a lawn area and underground watering system.
“It will look very nice once completed.”
When finished, the Memorial Wall will contain plaques listing the names of over 700 people buried in unmarked graves at Coonabarabran.
Coonabarabran DPS Local and Family History Group members have researched the social history of these people, which will be published in a book - “More than a Name on a Wall”, to be launched at the unveiling of the wall.
Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, Warrumbungle Shire Council mayor, Peter Shinton and Rotary Club representatives, with members of the Coonabarabran DPS Local and Family History Group at the cheque presentation.