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The monument over the grave commemorates Josef Hajek who was known as the "Austrian Hercules" for his feats of strength. Josef died in 1906. 

Herr Josef Hajek the well-known Austrian strong man died in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, last week, from cancer in the stomach. The dead athlete was once connected with Fitzgerald Bros.' circus, and in his day wrestled a number of matches. He had been discharged from the hospital recently, as his case was considered hopeless. When Hajek was showing at the circus, part of his performance was to have an anvil placed upon his stomach, and to allow three men to strike it with heavy sledge hammers. This was, it is thought, the probable cause of the cancer. Hajek visited Albury with the circus, and astounded, local audiences with his feats of strength. 
Albury Banner and Wodonga Express (NSW), 23 February 1906.

"The last scene of all" in connection with the death of Herr Josef Hajek, the Austrian Hercules, was beyond that contemplated in Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man." On Sunday afternoon, beneath a leaden-hued sky and in weather conditions with just enough bite to be termed fresh, and indications that suggested umbrellas and macintoshes as likely to be found very useful, a number of the dead athlete's friends assembled round his grave in the new section of the Roman Catholic portion of Sydney`s greatest "Gods acre" to assist the unveiling of that memorial, towards the cost of which readers of "The Referee" (including several German residents of Sydney) subscribed. 

The whole of the grave is completely covered by one large cross, supported by checkered, champed kerbing, consisting of four pieces of massive masonry. The appearance is considerably added to by two large panels of Carrara marble being let in on either side. The engraved inscription is inlaid with lead. Mr. E. W. O'Sullivan, M.L.A., who knows more about athletics and athletes than perhaps any other of our politicians, and who has interested himself beyond any of them in the sports and the pastimes of the people, performed the ceremony.
Referee (Sydney), 8 May 1907.​

 

 

Location

Address:Hawthorne Avenue, Catholic Section, Rookwood Necropolis, Rookwood, 2141
State:NSW
Area:Foreign
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.874722
Long: 151.058333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 5th May, 1907
Front Inscription
To the memory of Herr Josef Hajek,
The Austrian Hercules,
Died February, 1906.
Aged 50 Years.
R.I.P.
 
 
Back Inscription
The greatest can but blaze and pass away.— Pope.
 
Erected by friends.
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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