Nyah (Tyntynder North) Cemetery

Mr R W Sutton
PO Box 21
Nyah 3594
5030 2022 AH




Situated approximately sixteen kilometres north-west of Swan Hill are the two towns of Nyah and Nyah West. On Ross Road , Nyah West, the Nyah Cemetery is located.

The cemetery of ten acres was gazetted as the Tyntynder North Cemetery on 6 September 1895. It was located in the County of Tatchers , Parish of Tyntynder North. [VGG 1895-3178 ]. During the following years, the cemetery became officially known as the Nyah Cemetery .

In 1894, J. Newton Wood, Secretary of The Taverner Co-Operative Society , of Tyntynder, wrote to the Victorian Surveyor-General requesting that a site for a cemetery be identified and approved. Following a reply from the Surveyor-General , requesting a recommendation for a site for a cemetery, J. Newton Wood, replied on 7 June 1894 noting that a site had been identified and enclosed a plan identifying the site. On 12 August 1894, John Taylor, Inspector, appointed by the Crown to assess areas identified for cemeteries, forwarded his report to the government of the day. In it he noted the following:

* an area of 10 acres be proposed for the cemetery,
* the site is square in shape,
* about 2 miles from the Township site of Tyntynder there is a Mr W.H. Eskrick living on the adjoining block of about 500 acres of Mallee land, his residence is situated about a quarter of a mile from the western boundary of the proposed site.
* there is no manure depot on the site,
* there is no creek or water courses near the site,
* there is no boggy or marsh land near the site,
* he was informed that the rain fall in this locality, some years none, exceed 10 inches per annum,
* he considered it an excellent site.  

On 14 August 1894, H. StJohn Mitchell, Health Officer for the Local Board of Health, Castle Donnington Shire, submitted a report on the proposed site also noting no problems and recommending the proposed site for the cemetery. Under the requirement of the Land Act 1890, S. K. Vickery, Surveyor-General, submitted the survey map on the 2 August 1895 to the government showing the plan of the ten acres proposed for a cemetery, noting:

Geographical form: Upper Tertiary
Physical Condition: Slightly undulating
Soil: Red sandy loam
Vegetation: Mallee and pines.

On the 2nd September 1895 the Governor-In-Council approved that ten acres be temporarily reserved in the Parish of Tyntynder North as a site for a cemetery. On 6 September 1895, the site was officially gazetted.

The first Trustees of the cemetery were gazetted on 6 December 1895 [VGG 1895-4018] and these being:

* Samuel Pearson Watson,
* George Jeans,
* Charles Carmichael,
* Alexander Sykes,
* William Black, and
* John Newton Wood.

The first set of Rules and Regulations for the operation of the cemetery were gazetted on 14 February 1896. On 27 May 1908 an amendment to these Rules and Regulations was approved and gazetted. It noted that, " No interment shall be allowed on Sunday except when it is certified in writing by the Officer of Health of the district, or by a Police Magistrate, that for sanitary reasons it is necessary that the burial take place on that day."  

On 30 January 1964 the Secretary, Commission of Public Health, wrote to S. J. Parish, Nyah, that the following were the Trustees for the cemetery noted in their records:

* Thomas Holmes,
* Arnold Norman Lewis,
* William Chew,
* Gordon Crane, and
* Arnold William Lewis.

From the 1960s there were a number of requests made to the Victorian Commissioner for Health for funds to allow for the improvement of the cemetery. The majority of the requests were not recommended but in the "Grants to Cemeteries 1976/77" a grant of $400 was recommended for maintenance and improvement of roadways and the extension of fencing. In the 1978 Grants a further grant of $400 was recommended for road works throughout the cemetery.

On 14 September 1982 the Nyah cemetery was inspected as part of the reviews being undertaken of public cemeteries. The report noted:

* No of internments in last 12 months - 14
* No of internments since opening - 770,
* Condition of cemetery - Excellent.
* Cost per grave site - $70.00
* Sinking Charge - $100.00.

Remarks: Excellently maintained. Commission Grant Money well spent on fences, toilets, etc.

The Genealogical Society of Victoria holds the following record: " Nyah Cemetery ( Swan Hill Municipality ): Headstones: 19.4.1887 - 3.8.1982" ; Card indexed by Mrs Ivy Jolley of Nyah and the transcript typed by Mrs Noela Lawrence. The GSV received the typed transcript on 12 July 1983. The earliest burials noted in the transcript were for:

* KENT, Doris Edna, aged 83 years, Died: 19.4.1887
* JEANS, Archibald, aged 10 years, 9 months, Died: 18.12.1897.
* KENSLY, John Richard, age not listed, Died: 21.2.1898.

It would appear that the Register noting earlier burials does not exist; they were lost in a fire. The Trust is trying to put together a list of the earlier burials in the cemetery.

In The Mercury Newspaper ( Hobart ) on Saturday 17 October 1896 there is a report into the death of Mary Schofield, aged 76 years, by suicide with the Coroner giving an order for her to be buried privately in the Nyah Cemetery . The report was dated: Swan Hill October 12.

In the " Cemeteries in Victoria: National Estate Study ", circa 1982/3, the cemetery was assessed as Category "B". All Victorian cemeteries had been classified into four classes using a sieving procedure based on their history, location and scenic quality. The 21 "A" Class cemeteries were recommended to be given preservation priority; these included Old Portland, Steiglitz, Ramahyuck Walhalla, etc. There were 27 cemeteries listed as Class "B".

The cemetery is still in operation under an active cemetery trust.

Department of Human Services Cemeteries and crematorium Unit, Cemeteries Archives: Nyah Public Cemetery ; File: H-CEM-377.
Department of Sustainability and Environment (Historical Places Section): Nyah (Tyntynder North) Cemetery.
Genealogical Society of Victoria : " Nyah Cemetery ( Swan Hill Municipality ): Headstones: 19.4.1887 - 3.8.1982" ; Card indexed by Mrs Ivy Jolley of Nyah and the transcript typed by Mrs Noela Lawrence.
"The Mercury" ( Hobart , Tasmania ), Saturday 17 October 1896, Page 2: Intercolonial Telegrams from Melbourne Papers, Victoria .


David W. Weatherill
October 2010



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