The New Sign correcting a historic mistake in the naming of the locality. (Chris Vaughan 2014)
Mandarana Cemetery (the old sign with incorrect spelling).. (taken June 2003, Glen Hall Collection)
Historic Hand forged wrought Iron gate installed to entry of Cemetery. May 2014 (Chris Vaughan)
Balnagowan-Mandarana Road, via Mackay, Queensland.
Local Government Authority: Mackay Regional Council
The land was donated in 1882 by Mrs. Elizabeth Martin. The church was part of the Church of England Pioneer Parish and was opened on 13th April 1884 by the Revd. T. Worthington of the Christ Church, Walkerston. The area was also referred to in the early days as Bonson's Scrub.
Mrs Martin was earlier responsible for opening a Mission earlier for the South Sea Islanders (Kanakas) who were engaged to work on the various sugar plantations around Mackay. Mrs. Martin helped raised funds for the building of the church and one of her helpers was a young Nellie Mitchell who was the daughter of Mr. David Mitchell who built the first Marian Mill in 1882. Nellie later married a Mr. Charles Armstrong but the marriage was not to last and she moved back to Melbourne after 18 months. Nellie Mitchell sang in various benefit concerts held in Mackay to help raise funds. She later become "Dame Nellie Melba" of worldwide fame.
The Church was wrecked in 1898 by the effects of Cyclone "Eline". It was also badly damaged in the 1918 Cyclone. On both occasions Madame Melba responded generously towards the restoration.
The church held its golden jubilee in 1934.
The church faced with falling attendances closed in 1962. The land was repurchased by Mr. K.M. Martin in 1967.
A fire took hold in the disused church on August 6, 1968 which totally destroyed the building.
One of the known burials in the cemetery is of Robert (Bob) Martin who settled in the area near Mirani then known as Hamilton in 1863. In 1878 Bob Martin moved to the Mandarana area. He died in 1898 of heart failure brought on by pneumonia he contracted during cyclone "Eline". In accordance with his wishes he was buried under a blue gum near the edge of the cemetery.
Number of Burials: 49 burials in 34 graves. Only 4 of the 5 headstones remain that can be identified. Those headstones are identified on the list below by the underlined Surname. Click to view photographs.
Burials: Only 36 listed on Mackay Courthouse Deaths Register
George Wyatt was born in Weston in Gordano, Portsbury, Somerset England on 17 Dec 1843, son of James and Maria (Twait). His wife Mary Ann was born in Itchington, Thornbury, Gloucester, England on 21 May 1843, daughter of William Boyett and Helen (Jones). George and his wife and three children ( Albert b. 1865, Emily Jane b. 1868 & Louis b. 1870) came to Australia on the ship Suffolk in 1874. Their four-year daughter Louisa died on the voyage. The ship also encountered a gale that destroyed all the masts, flooded the cabins and they lost everything on the deck. The Immigrants spent two months in Mauritius before the repairs were completed. Their son Charles, listed on the headstone, was born in Australia. He was the last of seven children for the Wyatts.
(Courtesy Sherry Harris via Email 15 May 2015)
View of north eastern corner of cemetery where most of the headstones are located (taken June 2003, Glen Hall Collection.)
|An unidentified grave with wrought iron fencing near the southern boundary||An unidentified headstone located in the north eastern section.|
Mackay Courthouse Burial Register.
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