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1924 : State Library of Victoria : H8366
1924 : State Library of Victoria : H8366

A monument erected over the grave commemorates explorer John Batman, who founded a settlement on the Yarra River which later became Melbourne. Batman was buried in the Old Melbourne Cemetery but was exhumed and re-buried in the Fawkner Cemetery, a cemetery named after his fellow colonist John Pascoe Fawkner. 

This column also has tablets commemorating William Lonsdale and Charles Joseph La Trobe, Superintendent and first Lieutenant Governor of Victoria.

John Batman (1801 – 1839) was an Australian grazier, entrepreneur and explorer. He settled in the north-east of the Van Diemen`s Land Colony in the 1820s, and later as a leading member of the Port Phillip Association he led an expedition which explored the Port Phillip Bay area on the Australian mainland with a view to establishing a new settlement there. He is best known for his role in the founding of the settlement on the Yarra River which became the city of Melbourne, eventual capital of the new Colony of Victoria, and one of Australia's largest and most important cities. Batman is a controversial figure due to his dealings with Aboriginal peoples in Van Diemen's Land and Victoria. The treaty Batman negotiated with local Aboriginal peoples in 1835, to acquire land in the Port Phillip area, was a matter of controversy in his day, and has remained an event of great historical interest and debate.

A new tomb to John Batman the founder of Melbourne, by the City Council in the Fawkner Cemetery, was unveiled yesterday afternoon by Master Leslie Batman Weire, great-great-grandson of the distinguished pioneer. Despite the wintry conditions, a large crowd was present. Mr. A. C. Gibb, the chairman, explained that the remains of Batman and other pioneers had been removed from the first Melbourne General Cemetery, West Melbourne to their present resting place, under an agreement by which, the City Council agreed to reconstruct the monuments, and the management of the cemetery would keep them in proper order. The new monument was a replica of the one standing in Batman-avenue. 

In dealing with the personality of Batman, Mr. Isaac Selby said the pioneer gave civil freedom to Victoria, and saved it from the stain of penal contamination suffered by other colonies. Batman came through the Heads on 29th May, 1835, arriving in Melbourne four months before Fawkner. He made a treaty with the aborigines on 6th June, 1835. Batman died on 6th May 1839. His widow was left unprovided for, and her plea was unheard by the Government. Had she inherited all the property that Batman secured at the first sale of land his family would have been worth millions of money today, and the little boy who unveiled the monument would have been a millionaire. Batman who was a man of courageous, fearless and romantic character, initiated immigration in New South Wales and Victoria. He brought the first doctor, first school master and first minister to this country, and so laid the foundations of civic and social institutions.

The Rev. S. M. Solomon deprecated the removal of the remains from their original resting-place, and declared that the teachings of Judaism would not allow such an event to happen for wordly gain. The civic point of view no doubt was that the dead must give place to progress but the transfer could not have happened under Jewish auspices. No foot could tread on the grave of a Jew or non-Jew, for the Jews respected the burial places and the memories of the dead. As long as Australia called itself a nation, no man or woman should lend themselves to the desecration of a cemetery that had been consecrated, and in which the remains of people of all denominations were allowed to rest. Commercialism had dragged out the bones of the pioneers in order to make room for the greed for gold. The monument which cost 350, is made of Harcourt granite, and stands 15 feet high. 
The Age (Melbourne), 28 January 1924. 


 

Location

Address:1187 Sydney Road, Old Pioneers Section, Fawkner Memorial Park, Fawkner, 3060
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.713556
Long: 144.960147
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Discovery
Link: http://adb.anu.edu.au/
Source: MA,VMR,RHSV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Adventure
Adventure
Architecture
Architecture
Arts
Arts
Aviation
Aviation
Community
Community
Crime
Crime
Exploration
Exploration
Education
Education
Foreigners
Foreigners
Government-Colonial
Government-Colonial
Government - Federal
Government - Federal
Government - Local
Government - Local
Government - State
Government - State
Humanitarian
Humanitarian
Indigenous
Indigenous
Industry
Industry
Legal
Legal
Medicine
Medicine
Military
Military
Religion
Religion
Science
Science
Settlement
Settlement
Sport
Sport
Tragedy
Tragedy
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