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Fmr Sikh Cemetery

Author

City of Canning

Place Number

04612
There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.

Location

Bicentennial Adenia Reserve Ferndale

Location Details

Canning River Regional Park

Other Name(s)

Cremation Site

Local Government

Canning

Region

Metropolitan

Construction Date

Constructed from 1932

Demolition Year

1977

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 18 Sep 2018
State Register Registered 02 Sep 1997 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 08 Aug 1995 5

5

Historic Site - recognise Historic Site without built features; recognise, for example with a plaque, place name, or reflection in urban or architectural design.

Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Oct 2017 1

1

Recommend RHP Highest level of protection appropriate: recommend for entry in the Register of Heritage Places; provide maximum encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place.

Statement of Significance

The site is important for historic reasons because of its association with the religious rituals of the small Sikh communiyt of Western Australia. Cremation was not generally permitted in Western Australia until the passing of the Cremations Act 1929, although some cremations of people of 'Asiatic race', took place in country areas and at Woodman's Point Quarantine Station before that date and before the building of crematorium facilities at Karrakatta Cemetary in the late 1930's.

The site therefore has importance as part of the broader history of cemetaries and religious pracitses associated with the disposal if the dead in Western Australia and is closely associated with the passing of the Cremations Act 1929 and the acceptance of cremation in the wider community.

The site has social value for the Sikh community because of its religious associations and because it contributes to a recognition of the Sikh communiyt as a part of thr history of the state.

Physical Description

Fmr Sikh Cemetery is a small area of 0.2 hectares, formally a ‘C’ class reserve within the Bicentennial Adenia Reserve, located in Ferndale. The present public open space was modified as part of the redevelopment of the area in the late 1980s, as a result of minor earthworks and tree planting.
A group of rocks record the site upon which a plaque is mounted. The stones are located approximately 62 metres within the park to the north-west of the Duff and Adenia Road intersection. The bronze plaque reads as follows:
‘Sikh Heritage Cremation Site – Adenia Recreation Reserve – In memory of the Sikh Pioneers who contributed towards the opening up and development of the south west, central and eastern goldfields regions of Western Australia.
Sikh Association of WA Canning City Council Canning Districts Historical Society – 2nd November 1992.
Plaque donated by Hazel and John Parker C.D.H.S stone donated by Readymix Gosnells Quarry.’

History

HISTORICAL INFORMATION
Sikhs are known to have arrived in Western Australia in the early 19th century although it is probable that a greater number of them arrived during the second half of the century. Shiploads of camels were brought to Australia in the 1860s and, although their handlers were known as ‘Afghans’, there were Sikhs among them.
Many early Sikh settlers worked as camel handlers, while others travelled around WA selling wares. The annulment of the White Australia Policy in 1973 saw increased opportunities for Sikh migration with Sikhs coming to Western Australia from India, the United Kingdom, east Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji.
In Sikhism cremation is the usual method for disposal of remains regardless of the age of the deceased. A small C Class reserve occupying 0.2ha (0.5acres), was gazetted in 1932 as Reserve 20968 for the purpose of a Sikh cemetery after a dying Sikh man immolated himself, fearing that he would be buried. At the time the area was isolated and largely undeveloped with few residents living in the vicinity.
An article in The Mirror newspaper provides detail of a cremation at the subject place in June 1934. The article reports that a big pyre was built with banksia logs to cremate a deceased Sikh man and that three days after the cremation the mourners would return to the burial ground to collect every particle of ash to throw into the Canning River.
By 1898, the Sikh community was well established, although lacking recognition, both as a separate ethnic community, and as British citizens. The reserve was vested in two members of the Sikh community, Bulla and Massa Singh. In 1971, the Sikh community sought to have the vesting altered as neither Bulla or Massa were alive. They also sought to have the size of the reserve extended.
The reserve was cancelled in 1977 and reverted to public open space. Landscaping and earthworks took place over the site in the late 1980s, when the Canning Regional Park was developed. In 2011, a plaque at the Sikh Cemetery in Ferndale was placed in-situ.

Integrity/Authenticity

Low

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
National Trust Classification 2016
Richards; "Canning River Regional Park, Western Australia: Historical Survey". pp66, 67 & 72 City of Canning 1991

Other Keywords

Adenia Park
Cremation
Afghan

Place Type

Historic Site

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Cemetery
Present Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve

Architectural Styles

Style
Other Style

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Immigration, emigration & refugees
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Religion

Creation Date

18 Jun 1996

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

19 Sep 2018

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.