Book tells the story of Bellbrae’s cemetery

June 9, 2021 BY

Torquay and District Historical Society life member Spencer Leighton, member and author Martin Hooper, secretary Lorraine Marshall and president David Marshall.

THE Torquay and District Historical Society is inviting readers to take a trip back in time with a new book about the Bellbrae Cemetery.

Society member and local historian Martin Hooper has published a book, Bellbrae Cemetery Across Time: A History, charting the history of the cemetery from 1864 when it was first gazetted for the purpose to today.

Bellbrae was settled by white people in about 1841. In the 1860s, Bellbrae had a school, a post office, two churches and a cemetery.

While walking his dog through the cemetery in 2010, the peace and beauty of the place led Mr Hooper to reflect on all the interesting characters that must be buried there and all those family members who had been and were still loved.

He spotted an older grave of 60 years or more and no specific date that read “Hooper” with inscription “In loving memory of George and Annie Hooper” on the headstone.

There were no flowers on the grave and in wondering who these lonely souls might be, Mr Hooper began his affair with the Bellbrae Cemetery, which resulted in the publishing of the book.

“Every cemetery has its mysteries and every grave has a story,” Mr Hooper said.

COVID restrictions permitting, Torquay and District Historical Society are inviting people to meet the author at History House, 18 Price St, Torquay on Sunday, June 6 between 2-4pm. Copies of Bellbrae Cemetery Across Time: A History will be available for sale for $30.