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About Balmoral Cemetery

Balmoral was part of the area Aborigines called “Tugulawa” which means “heart”. This was probably a reference to the heart-shaped piece of land that constitutes Bulimba and Balmoral.

Pioneers came to Balmoral to farm small crops, cotton, bananas, and later sugar. Until the construction of the bridge over Norman Creek in 1856, the only way to get to Balmoral was by ferry across the river, or by travelling from Kangaroo Point to Stones Corner. Most of the subdivisions in the area took place during the land boom of the 1880’s. Balmoral Estate was subdivided in 1888.

Balmoral is gaelic for “beautiful residence” or “majestic castle” and is the name of one of the Queen’s castles in Scotland. It has been said that the surveyor John Watson gave the area the name Balmoral, after the town of his birth in Scotland.

The area for Balmoral Park was surveyed in 1864. In 1891 the original 55 acres set aside for the cemetery was reduced to around 15 acres with the remainder to be used for a recreation reserve. The cemetery is located on the north western side of the slopes of the park.

In 1872, the Courier published an advertisement for tenders for the fencing of the “Kangaroo Point Cemetery”. Tenderers were asked to apply to J. Male, Grocer, opposite Kangaroo Point School near Quinton Street. The advertisement really referred to Balmoral Cemetery, which is in the district now known as Morningside.

Balmoral Cemetery, sometimes called Bulimba or Morningside Cemetery, was opened around 1874 and its existence at the junction of Wynnum and Bennetts Roads in Morningside can be attributed to Frederick Wecker, who became one of the early Cemetery Trustees.

Wecker loved the area and indicated that he wished to be buried there. His impressive grave is situated at the highest point of the cemetery but sadly it is in disrepair. Wecker Road at Mansfield was named for Frederick Wecker, and the suburb of Greenslopes was named for “Wecker’s green slopes”, a phrase which locals coined to describe Wecker’s property near Stones Corner, where he grew lucerne on the sloping land.

The names Balmoral and Bulimba are interchanged throughout the burial registers. FOBC chose Balmoral for our group as this is the name by which the cemetery is generally known by locals and older residents.

The stone wall, which runs the perimeter of the site, was said to have been built during the depression years as part of a work labour program. The well known trade unionist Alex McDonald was supposed to have been part of the gang who built the wall.

The first burial took place in 1874. Sadly, it was that of George Wilson Pointon, a 6 year old lad who had drowned in Norman Creek on 26 June 1874. His brother William was disinterred from the Brisbane Cemetery (Lang Park) and reinterred with him. Their parents William Pointon (7 May 1842 - 11 July 1923) and Annie M. Pointon (26 October 1842 - 15 January 1928) are also buried in the same grave, which is located very close to the cemetery gates off Bennetts Road.

The Brisbane City Council has records of approximately 15,277 interments but it is likely there are more since it is not known how many of the very early graves are occupied. The Brisbane City Council holds some original burial registers dating from 1888 to 1949. Hemmant Cemetery office holds the original portion books dating from 1875. FOBC Inc maintains a full list of monumental inscriptions.

The cemetery closed in the early 1960’s but burials still take place for those who own family plots. Further plots have been sold in recent years.

Graves predominantly face east, in accordance with Christian tradition, however some of the early graves face in the other direction.

A Lieutenant Governor, several Mayors, numerous members of Parliament, pioneers, inventors, explorers and early settlers have their final resting-place at Balmoral Cemetery.

Sadly, the ravages of time, erosion, pollution and vandalism have taken their toll on the Balmoral Cemetery and pose a constant threat to the monumental inscriptions.

Cemetery map

The cemetery is about 4km south east of Brisbane CBD, located adjacent to the corner of Wynnum and Riding Roads Morningside, bounded on the south by Bennetts Road. UBD Map 24 L2.

Click here to download a printable map (pdf 300k).

cemetery map