Tuesday, December 12, 2006

For sale: The smallest back yard

Image by Jenny Rumney

(This column has appeared in the Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia)

ONE of the cheapest plots of Redlands property has featured in our for-sale column but it does not offer space to swing a dead cat.
It is the smallest back yard anyone is likely to occupy – a burial plot.
More later about the "Cleveland single cemetery plot" that was sandwiched between "cheap scooters" and "computer desk".
FIRST, a warning about the catchcry, "You’ll get an answer to that on the internet." After clicking on countless quotations websites for the origin of the "swing a dead cat" adage I felt almost ready to place a deposit on that advertised plot.
When I found myself checking "The Farmer’s Cookbook" for "dead cat" I knew it was time to deal with the "deadline".
This sort of black hole is probably why so many readers still prefer the "classies" they can hold and feel – those in their local paper.
BACK to the plot, advertised by a Cleveland woman: Her husband said she had acquired the site about 25 years ago during her first marriage and could not remember the cost at the time.
The woman now wanted to be cremated so they decided to test the market, after suggestions the site could bring $5000. Two callers had asked for the price but had not called back.
A Redland Shire Council statement showed why Cleveland cemetery is, indeed, hot property.
It said the cemetery had reached capacity but extra grave spaces had been created in areas that originally had not been burial areas.
Just 15 unreserved grave spaces remained. Perhaps an extra 40 sites could be created if an older pathway was used for burials but extra graves might alter the "feel" or aesthetics of the cemetery, and any such action was undecided.
ON prices, it said: "Since 1998 Council has not sold outright burial rights but has accepted only a $250 deposit if the grave was not for immediate use.
"The last time it was possible to fully purchase the burial rights would have been June 1998 and the cost was … a total of $1195. On top, there was a burial fee for that year – if it was used that year – of $600.
"Today the burial fee is $1606, including maintenance. The total cost of a grave for immediate use is $2866 so, when the burial fee is removed, the burial rights today cost $1260."
We hope that helps.
MORE stories on

No comments:

Post a Comment