Pioneer Cemetery

The Pioneer Cemetery is a multicultural cemetery that saw the beginnings of the philosophy “one people, one future.  It bound is by Richardson, Crowther, Carey and Young Streets within South Carnarvon.

Arial View Pioneer Cemetery

The earliest recorded burial in Carnarvon was in 1880 and the oldest headstone in the cemetery dates from 1884. The cemetery has a distinctive layout and contains the remains of notable personalities of the town.

The Carnarvon Pioneer Cemetery is a record of the personalities responsible for pioneering the development of the pastoral industry in the Gascoyne region and the town of Carnarvon itself. The area containing more recent burials is important to the local community as tangible reminders of their past friends and relatives.

Burial records from 1919 indicate the Cemetery was divided into denominational areas as well as areas for the burial of Chinese and Aboriginal people who were buried in un-consecrated ground and in un-marked plots. The Chinese, Aboriginal and Mohammedan (Afghan) sections are also important as they reflect and record the existence of the multicultural society of Carnarvon in the early part of this century and are an example of the way in which the dominant society divided and administered burial grounds on a cultural basis. The earliest recorded non-Christian burial is of two Japanese people in 1903.

The oldest gravesites can be found to the left of the main entrance, defined by a horseshoe pathway.  To the immediate right are the remaining two gravesites of Afghanistan men, and in the far left-hand corner are the few remaining sites of the Asian section of the cemetery.

A stroll through the cemetery will take you back in time as you locate the graves of those pioneers and read about their place in history.

The Pioneer Cemetery became infrequently used because of the rising water table which precluded burials other than those at low tide. The closure of the Pioneer Cemetery was gazetted on 29 August 1980.

Brown Range Cemetery was opened in the early 1970s on North West Coastal Highway.  And is the towns cemetery today.

Pioneer Cemetery Walk

More information can be obtained from the Local History section at the Carnarvon Library and Art Gallery, 18 Egan Street, Carnarvon, or from the Shire office at 3 Francis Street, Carnarvon.