Wehla Cemetery




Research to date has identified the following in regards to this old cemetery.

* Wehla was originally called Jericho.
* The town is in between Logan and Rheola with the cemetery just off the Logan to Kingower Road on a small crown land reserve.
* By 1869 the name was changed from Jericho to Wehla (meaning white possum).

* In early December 1873 a request was made to the Victorian Government for a cemetery in the area.
* A cemetery of 6 acres was approved as a temporary reserve on 22 December, 1873 and gazetted a temporary cemetery reserve on 24 December, 1873, [VGG 1873/Page: 2238]

* A school in the area was opened in October, 1871; a National School known as Jericho and by 1869 it was officially called Wehla (State School No. 320). The school was officially closed on 13 April, 1960, but the school was unstaffed from 1952.

* The Victorian Registration for births, deaths and marriages used Wehla, Burkes Flat and Wehla-Burkes Flat as the registration area names in the 1870s to 1890s.

* To date I have located 4 burials in the Wehla cemetery and of interest the place of burial for these four is noted as:
- Whela:
- 1873- Unnamed Simmons, aged 3 hours, Parents George Lewis Simmons [Miner] and Mary McGuire.
- Wehla Cemetery, with Cemetery crossed out:
- 1889 - Joshua Nesbit [Farmer], aged 18 months, Parents James Nesbit and Jane Speeding.
- Wehla Cemetery:
-1889 - David Chappel, aged 38 years and a labourer, married to Margaret Pounds; and
-1889 - Eliza Pounds, aged 76 years, a farmer’s wife, husband- James Pound; married in Jersey, Channel Islands.
Note: Further information from a family member into the Chappel family note
- that the spelling of the name should be Chapple.
- David Chapple was born in Somerset in 1851 and married Margaret Elizabeth Pounds in 1877 in Donelly, Victoria.
- Margaret Pounds was the daughter of James and Eliza Pounds and James Pounds was the informant on the death certificate for David Chapple.

* The Dept of Sustainability and Environment - DSE, Historic Places Unit, has a small file on the cemetery.
* The closing order for the cemetery was gazetted on the 24th December, 1892 and it is believed that burials were discontinued in the cemetery from this date.

* The first (and looks like the only) Trustees appointed for the cemetery were gazetted on the 4th February, 1887 and were:
- Patrick Joseph Doyle,
- Duncan Sinclair,
- Carl Zimmermann
- John Johnson.

* In the Department of Human Services- Cemeteries Unit file on the cemetery there is a note (no date) that it was believed that there were only 3-4 burials in the cemetery since it was opened and that the local council could not locate any persons to act as Trustees.

* On 25 June 1929 after a request from the Shire of Korong, approval was given, noting that the Secretary Of the Department of Lands and Survey had no objection to, the old Wehla Cemetery Reserve being leased for grazing purposes provided the graves were protected from damage from stock.
* It is not known if the old fence around the cemetery reserve is still there.
* In 1985 it was noted that only traces of the fence were just remains and no headstones were found.

So the cemetery did not get a great use over the short time it was in operation. The big issue now is to fully identify those who were buried in it. I wonder if the four burials I have located so far are the only ones.

Any help with this cemetery would be greatly appreciated.

David Weatherill
January, 2012
Email: djweath@bigpond.net.au
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia



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