Historical audio tours launch at Picton's Pioneer Cemetery

Reverend Ben Boardman and Lyn Davey launch the audio tour at the St Mark's Cemetery on Thursday, allowing visitors to hear the stories of people buried there. Picture: Simon Bennett
Reverend Ben Boardman and Lyn Davey launch the audio tour at the St Mark's Cemetery on Thursday, allowing visitors to hear the stories of people buried there. Picture: Simon Bennett

An exciting new project is bringing Picton's rich history into the modern world.

St Mark's Anglican Church has today launched audio tours at Pioneer Cemetery, allowing visitors to listen and learn about 12 people buried at the site.

The dozen people selected cover several historical eras, from the early 1850s through to early 1900s.

The church's senior minister Reverend Ben Boardman said the audio lessons were available to people on their own phones by scanning a QR code at the cemetery.

Reverend Boardman said each story had been researched and prepared by local historian Betty Villey.

"We were able to put together the stories with the technology that we have available today," he said.

"The rich history of the town is right here and the graveyard is frequently visited."

Reverend Boardman said the tour had plenty of interesting stories to share.

"There's stories about the Fairley family, the first postmaster in the area, a man who overcame two bushrangers and much more," he said.

"You can see how much the culture changed over time."

Reverend Ben Boardman and Lyn Davey walk through the Pioneer Cemetery on Thursday. Picture: Simon Bennett

Reverend Ben Boardman and Lyn Davey walk through the Pioneer Cemetery on Thursday. Picture: Simon Bennett

The audio tour project has been close to three years in the making.

Reverend Boardman first came up with the idea after the 2016 Picton floods caused extensive damage to the Pioneer graveyard.

The cemetery was inundated with flood water and debris, while more than 50 headstones were damaged.

Picton Rotary Club members, Reverend Boardman and local residents joined together to repair the damage.

However, the floods did bring a silver lining. 

Reverend Boardman was re-potting headstones at the cemetery when he thought of the audio tour idea.

"The floods gave us a chance to stop and investigate the graveyard's history," he said.

"We got in contact with families of people buried there, while Betty Villey helped out with research.

"We can now share the stories of these interesting people."

For more details, visit pwac.org.au/cemetery.