A better memorial than a grave and headstone

We like to have memorials to our loved ones, be they parents, spouses, children or friends. To the great majority of us (I think I can include most of humanity in this, not just Australians, Westerners or those of Christian background) the usual memorial has been some sort of marker in a cemetery.

But is this the best we can do? I think that, with a little thought and imagination, we can do far better. Why not make your memorial to your loved-one something like a sculpture in a public park, or a bench seat on a trail that tired walkers or cyclists can use and appreciate?

This page was started 2021/02/11
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©

Herons: memorial to Les Chambers
In Gleeson Wetlands, Clare
People who unthinkingly follow other people have often been likened to sheep. It seems to me that our habit of placing our memorials in cemeteries is sheep-like. We do it because that is the way it has always been done. It has taken me 75 years to realise this, so I am just as much at fault as anyone else.

The white-faced herons of the photo on the right is a wonderful memorial to Les Chambers. Many people walk in the Clare Gleeson Wetlands. The sculpture has only been in the Wetlands for a week or so (at the time of writing), but I have already received a number of very positive remarks about it.

This is one of four sculptures by Darren Pattison at the Wetlands.

Bench seat memorial to Pauline Ling
On the Riesling Trail, Clare
The little plaque on the seat says:

Pauline Ling
Often walked this trail with 'Fred'
Fondly remembered by her loving family
John and Malcolm, Sarah and Nigel

There are a number of seats of various types along the Riesling Trail, most of them donated by individuals or small groups; they are appreciated by the trail users.

It is my bike in the photo. One of the many times I've ridden at least a part of the Trail.

By their works we will remember them

If a person has had a hand in some concrete feature, a public building, a museum, a miniature railway, a park, a trail, a public garden, an arboretum or such then that contribution to society will be that person's memorial.

You would hope that the contribution would be publicly recognised.

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Contribution to society and civilisation.

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Self or all: Selfishness or altruism.

Self respect must be justified and deserved.